1 ½ loaves of French bread diced into 1 inch cubes
1 cup half & half
2 cups milk - skim, whole or 2%
1 tsp. Salty-Savory-Sweet Double Strength Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. Saigon Cinnamon – ground
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons sugar
Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or butter bottom and sides well. Place bread in baking dish evenly. Mix all other ingredients and pour over bread cubes. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator the next morning about 30 minutes before cooking to allow the baking dish to warm up a bit.
In small saucepan place the following:
1 stick butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsps. Pure maple syrup
1 cup chopped walnuts – you can use pecans if you prefer.
Gently melt topping ingredients and evenly pour over the top of the French toast mixture. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, let cool for 5 minutes and serve. Excellent variations included canned pumpkin or pumpkin pie spice, diced cinnamon apples or other firm fruits like pears. I have made this recipe many, many times with all sorts of variations using the base recipe.
Works well in individual ramekins for a delightful presentation.