Juicy berries, crunchy walnuts plus yummy cream cheese and warmed up maple syrup make this a fantastic breakfast or brunch dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day!
It is an established fact that my family loves French Toast (or eggy bread as my British hubby would say) for breakfast and especially for brunch. I have a few versions of it including 3 in this blog! We surely cannot get enough of it. I have tried many variations of this delicious American-style stuffed French toast but the blueberry version is one of our favorites. It is just so wonderful to bite into this warm overnight-soaked baked bread and then into your mouth suddenly burst delicious juices from the berries! But that's not all - the almost melted cream cheese provides a delightful contrast of texture and flavor which makes your palate truly dance with joy! As if that's not enough, make it even better by drizzling your freshly baked french toast with warmed up pure Maple syrup and then help yourself with a generous dusting of powdered sugar on top to add extra sweetness and love! Aren't you hungry yet?
Butter (for greasing baking dish)
One loaf brioche or Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (about 12 oz), cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 a block of an 8-ounce package cream cheese, halved then sliced into cubes
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup fresh Blueberries, plus an extra handful (separated)
4 large Eggs
1 cup Milk
1/4 cup firmly packed dark Brown sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1 pinch ground Cloves
3 Tablespoons melted Butter (to be used after baking)
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Pure maple syrup, for drizzling
Butter or grease an 8 x 8 square baking dish. Place half the bread cubes in a single layer, filling in all the gaps.
Evenly scatter the cream cheese cubes, nuts, and blueberries on top. Cover completely with the remaining bread cubes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Evenly pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes. Gently press down on the cubes with your palms to allow the top layer of bread to absorb the liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Transfer the dish to a rack and drizzle the melted butter on top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to release the French toast. Cut into squares. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar and warmed maple syrup drizzled on top. Enjoy this lavish breakfast or brunch dish!
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