I love this picture. Not because it's the best shot of this dish but because Jack is staring me down so intently, binky out, ready to pounce the second I look away. It should speak volumes for this recipe. My little guy was grabbing handfuls off of my plate at brunch today, he simply couldn't get enough.
This is my take on Southern Living's Blackberry French Toast recipe from back in 2009. I've made a few changes and mine doesn't have to sit overnight but if you want the original recipe go here.
Jam & Brown Sugar French Toast Casserole
1 loaf of french bread cut into bite size pieces (the big kind, sold in the paper bag in the bakery)
1 cup jam (my kids like black raspberry, but any kind will work)
1 package of cream cheese (cut into the tiniest cubes you can do)
2 and 1/2 cups half-n-half
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup loosely scooped brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a glass measuring cup heat your jam in the microwave until melted and smooth and set aside. Whisk together the eggs, half-n-half, cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl. Layer half of the french bread pieces into a buttered casserole dish. Pour a quarter of the egg mixture onto the bread in the dish and then drizzle the melted jam and evenly distribute the cream cheese over top. Add a top layer of bread pieces and pour the remaining egg mixture evenly over top. With your hand crumble the brown sugar on top of the casserole, cover with foil and set in the oven for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve with maple syrup or eat alone. The original recipe was too sweet for us and even with my changes we eat this alone although I'm sure my brother and Buddy the elf would pour it on ;)