This is truly the easiest breakfast to throw together the night before. Simply tear up the croissants right into your baking dish, mix them with milk and eggs, and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. Forty-five minutes before you want to eat, pop the dish in the oven. This will be my new go-to for Christmas morning so I can lounge around, open gifts, and be with my family (not in the kitchen). And though any croissant will work here, I love supporting local bakeries and placing an order for a dozen croissants. Fresh, gourmet croissants really bring this up a notch. However you are celebrating this holiday season, I wish you and yours “glad tidings of comfort and joy”!
OVERNIGHT CROISSANT FRENCH TOAST BAKE
makes one 9″x12″ dish, which serves 8-10 (2/3 the recipe for an 8″x8″ dish)
butter for greasing the baking dish
12 heaping cups croissants, torn into large bite sized pieces (for me, this added up to 10 croissants, though I’d recommend buying 12 to be safe)
8 large eggs
2.5 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
zest of one small orange
a few handfuls of fresh berries (I used diced strawberries and blueberries)
Topping suggestions: fresh berries, whipped cream, maple syrup, powdered sugar
1. Grease the inside of your baking dish with butter. Tear up the croissants into large bite sized pieces, and measure out 12 cups directly into the baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and orange zest. Pour the milk and egg mixture over the croissants and toss gently in the dish with a large spoon. Sprinkle a few handfuls of berries over the top of the croissants.
3. Cover the dish and put it into the refrigerator overnight. Remove it from the refrigerator 15-30 min before baking (so you don’t stick the pan in the oven while freezing cold). Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
4. Bake the French toast for 45 minutes, until the croissants have turned dark golden brown. Serve with any additional toppings, like powdered sugar, maple syrup, whipped cream, or more berries. This keeps well for several days as leftovers.