Well, the Christmas season has come and gone, though you might not know it at our house. At least, not immediately outside our house. It’s not that we haven’t taken down our lights or have left some tacky blowup snowman out front. It’s that our 8-foot tall live Christmas tree is sitting directly outside of our front door because we don’t have a truck and it’s too big to haul away in our Mazda 5. Nothing says class like a Sasquatch-sized withering Christmas tree smack dab in front of your house halfway into January, right? I would almost rather have an 8-foot tall actual Sasquatch out there. At least that would be less cliche. Our kind neighbors have offered to take it to the Christmas tree recycling center (yes, that’s a thing) when they take theirs (which is NOT sitting in front of their house) one of these days soon. Yay for helpful neighbors!
At any rate, our Christmas 2014 was a pleasant and mostly peaceful one and in some ways I wasn’t ready for it to be over. (Just ready for the tree to be gone.) For me, holidays are marked by the foods I cook/our family eats, many of which have become traditions. For several years now I’ve done an overnight French toast for Christmas morning–usually a banana-pecan one–but this year I wanted to try something new. I ended up settling on this scrumptious, colorful cinnamon-spiced raspberry almond French toast. The original recipe calls for a whole cup of brown sugar, which I get, cause yeah, it’s Christmas and all, but as much as I love sugar, I also love cutting it out where it won’t really be missed. So I scaled it way back to just over a half cup and nobody thought it wasn’t sweet enough. (Plus, who are we kidding, it’s gonna get bathed in maple syrup anyway….I mean, it is Christmas after all.)
So while the Christmas season may be over, I think I have found a new favorite overnight French toast–cinnamon-y with bursts of tart raspberries and the crunch of almonds to contrast with the soft texture of the bread. Now I think I may need to start a Valentine’s Day breakfast tradition just so I can make it again…
Raspberry Almond French Toast
(Adapted from Taste of Home)
12 slices cinnamon bread, cubed
5 eggs, beaten
1 3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. + 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
heaping 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. slivered almonds
2 c. raspberries, fresh or frozen
1. Place bread cubes in a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish (you will get about two layers of bread). In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
2. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle almonds over egg mixture. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with raspberries and bake another 10 minutes. Slice and serve with your favorite maple syrup.