Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cinnamon French Toast Bake

I don't know about you, but something about summer makes me not want to cook at all. I know a lot has to do with the heat, some of it has to do with me being lazy (especially after staying out all day at the spray park), and a little has to do with being off my routine. When the kids are in school I have a great routine and I stick to it pretty well. My meals are planned out each week and dinner is on the table no later than 6pm. In the summer my kids are lucky to have dinner by 7pm. And even luckier if it's not cereal (although they think I'm Mom of the Year when they get cereal for dinner).

That is why I love breakfast-for-dinner. Often we'll do french toast or pancakes or something for dinner because it's easy and usually pretty cheap. This time I stepped it up a notch and made Cinnamon French Toast Bake for dinner. I've actually made it before but kind of forgot about it during the big move to our new house. It sprang back into my mind when I was in a dinner rut and I'm so glad I remembered it again!

Please note that in the pictures below you will see I made a mistake. (Whaaaaat?!) Yeah, I'm human. I also thought I knew more than the recipe and just made it without actually reading all the way through it. Please please please cut your cinnamon roll pieces into EIGHTHS. Not fourths. Like I did. It all worked out in the end, but when they aren't cut small they don't bake well. And let's just say raw cinnamon rolls are not a good, healthy dinner. Even if they are smothered in syrup. I ended up rebaking the center after we had cut out the sides, but I don't really want you to have to do that.

Mmm... All that frosting looks sooo good!
Start out by pouring your butter into the bottom of your baking dish.
Cut your cinnamon rolls.... into EIGHTHS. Seriously people, I learned a lesson here.
Beautiful raw cinnamon roll pieces.
Stuff them nice and comfy into your buttered baking dish. They should all fit nicely and will definitely rise a lot higher!
Make your egg and spice mixture. Some people use only 5 eggs as opposed to 6. I used all 6 and it worked just fine for me.
Take your cinnamon roll pieces swimming in the egg mixture. I moved my pieces a little to make sure the eggs covered every nook and cranny of that baking dish.
Sprinkle with your chopped pecans. If you don't like pecans you can omit this. Personally I don't love them, but I still added them and they were amazing! They are not as bitter once they toast in the oven and gave the french toast bake a nice crunch!
While it bakes, let your 5-year-old munch on the leftover pecans. Seriously, folks, he was like a little pecan vacuum!
Nice and golden, just how you want it to look!
Cover with the frosting and let cool a little before you cut into it.
Oh yeah, smothered in a touch more syrup and powdered sugar... Hey, it's indulgence at it's finest! We served this up with some fresh fruit and turkey bacon. My kids still talk about this meal!
And your house will smell amazing too.

Cinnamon French Toast Bake
1/4 cup butter, melted

2 cans (12.4 oz each) refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing (I used Pillsbury Cinnabon rolls) 
6 eggs  
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup maple syrup  
Icing from cinnamon rolls
Powdered sugar and maple syrup for garnish (optional)
Heat oven to 375°F. Pour melted butter into ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Separate both cans of dough into 16 rolls; set icing aside. Cut each roll into 8 pieces; place pieces over butter in dish.
In medium bowl, beat eggs. Beat in cream, cinnamon and vanilla until well blended; gently pour over roll pieces. Sprinkle with pecans; drizzle with 1 cup syrup.

Bake 20 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Meanwhile, remove covers from icing; microwave on Medium (50%) 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle.

Drizzle icing over top. Garnish with powered sugar and extra syrup, if desired.

Recipe source:

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