Mr. Peacock usually eats a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, but on special occasions loves to indulge in a plate of warm French Toast with real butter and real maple syrup. I use Grade B maple syrup, because it has a “deeper” maple taste than the ultra filtered Grade A syrup. Around the holidays I usually buy some store bought eggnog just to make Overnight Eggnog French Toast. This “overnight” French Toast is perfect for the holidays—make it the night before (and clean up the mess) and pop it in the oven the next morning. It’s easy and yummy too!
Overnight Eggnog French Toast
Good quality bread like Brioche, Challah, French Bread, etc…sliced about ¾ inch thick (I used a Sweet Batard from Acme Bread)…
you’ll need about 6 to 8 slices depending on the shape and size of the bread, enough to fit flatly, without overlapping in 9” x 14” shallow dish.
1 cup of good quality egg nog
½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon of vanilla
2 teaspoons of rum or whiskey (I used Cointreau cause I had some, but the liquor is optional)
Pinch of salt
1) Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a 12” x 18” jellyroll pan or cookie sheet. Lay out your slices of bread (7 slices of my bread choice fit into my 9” x 14” shallow dish) and let it dry out sitting in my oven (turned off) for a few hours (or all day.) You want the bread to be a bit dried out, my bread was super fresh, but if your bread is already a bit dried out skip this step, however, still prep your jellyroll pan with the cut parchment paper (so it’s ready in the morning for step #4).
2) In a mixing bowl (preferably with a spouted lip), beat the eggs, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend well.
This is what the bread slices look like after they've soaked in the eggnog mixture overnight.
3) Pour half of the liquid mixture into your 9” x 14” shallow dish. Arrange your bread slices on top of the liquid, without overlapping. Pour the remaining liquid over the bread, making sure to coat the surface of each slice. Don’t worry if there is extra liquid because it will be absorbed over night. Then cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate over night.
4) When you wake up, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
The soaked slices arranged on a parchment (lightly buttered) lined jellyroll pan, before baking.
5) Butter the surface of the parchment paper in the jelly roll pan (that you used to dry out your bread.) Take your soaking sliced bread out of the fridge. The liquid should all be absorbed, if it isn’t completely absorbed then dab the bread slices into the extra liquid. Lay each slice of bread on the buttered parchment paper. Leave a few inches between each slice.
6) Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how browned you like your French Toast. I like my French toast a little bit crispy around the edges and soft, yet firm in the middle, so I baked mine for about 12 minutes and then flipped them over for another 12 minutes—both sides were a deep golden brown. It'll depend on your oven too. If you like it less crispy on the edges, cook it a few minute less.
7) It’s now ready to enjoy and the clean-up is so simple—just throw the parchment paper in the recyling.
If you like bacon, you can lay out bacon slices on another jellyroll pan (lined with foil for easy clean-up) and bake on another rack—along side the French Toast. Bacon prepared this way is so easy too. I like it crispy and well-done—just visually check the bacon for your desired preference. As I said, serve the Overnight Eggnog French Toast with real butter and real maple syrup! Sliced fruit would also be yummy on top—either bananas or berries. You could also sift some powered sugar on top of each slice too. It's a perfect treat for a cozy holiday morning!