French Toast Banana Casserole

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6 tablespoons butter (syrup)

1 cup brown sugar (syrup)

2 tablespoons corn syrup (syrup)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (syrup)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (syrup)

2 medium ripe bananas (thinly sliced, plus additional bananas for serving)

1/4 cup dark rum

1 loaf challah bread (or other rich or eggy bread, cut into cubes)

8 eggs

1 1/2 cup milk

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter (melted)

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

pinch of salt

whipped cream for serving


1. In a small saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup to make the caramel mixture. Stir the mixture and heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture starts to bubble, about 3-5 minutes.

2. Stir the vanilla and cinnamon into the sugar mixture and then pour it into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Layer the sliced banana on top of the sugar mixture. Drizzle the rum over the bananas at this time, if using.

3. Place the cubed bread over the top of the bananas in an even layer.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract and salt until completely beaten. Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes. Press down on the cubes so that they submerge more fully in the egg mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, ideally overnight.

5. When you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 375 F and take the French toast breakfast casserole out of the refrigerator. Leave the French toast on the counter while the oven preheats.

6. Bake the French toast, covered for 45-60 minutes. Monitor the casserole and check to make sure that the egg mixture is completely cooked and not runny. Remove the aluminum foil for the last 5-10 minutes for a crunchy top.

7. Remove the casserole from the oven and top with additional caramel syrup (can make ahead of time or right after you take it out of the oven), additional sliced banana, and whipped cream. You can also flip the pan upside down onto a plate so that the caramelized bananas are displayed on top. Then top with additional bananas, whipped cream and caramel syrup.

Bon Appetit!

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