Monday, December 30, 2013

Ligthened Up French Toast Eggnog Casserole

Christmas morning- the only morning of the year I'm actually excited to wake up early! And not just to see all the presents under the tree

Some of my favorite gifts this year were food related :)
My husband has wrapped a gift up for me in this same popcorn box for 7 years!  This year it had a new sweater inside.  Trickster! 

So, of course, Christmas breakfast is very important in my house.  You need something hearty after all that work unwrapping presents.  But who wants to cook Christmas morning? That's where this French Toast Casserole comes in!  Just throw it together the night before...pop it in the oven before you start unwrapping gifts and by the time you're done you are ready to eat! 

The best part- I lightened up the ingredients and still kept all of the flavor!

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons (1 / 2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Splenda Brown Sugar baking blend (or 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar)

2 Tablespoons Maple flavored Agave syrup

1 loaf of bread cut into 1" cubes (I used my English Muffin bread I baked a few weeks ago and froze)

2 cups Egg Beaters

2 cups Silk Eggnog (only 90 calories compared to 200 in regular Eggnog!)

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped pecans 

Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter.  Stir in the brown sugar and Agave syrup. Continue stirring until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into the bottom of the pan.

Arrange the bread cubes on top.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. 

In a large bowl whisk the egg beaters and mix in the vanilla and egg nog.  Pour the egg mixture over top of the bread cubes. Press down lightly to make sure all of the bread is evenly coated. Top with the pecans. 

Tightly cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning preheat the oven to 325. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Turn the oven up to 375. Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.





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