I’ve always been a big believer that alcohol and baked things just go together. Like red wine brownies. Or just red wine with brownies, which I have always found to be the perfect way to end a crazy week.
There is no shortage of ways to combine alcohol and sweets: frostings, cakes, breads, and ice creams all take well to adding alcohols like Baileys, Kahlua, and even beer. And there is no shortage of ways to combine maple syrup with booze, like this Maple Manhattan, this Fall Fig Cocktail, or Bourbon Grapefruit Bitter.
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Bourbon and challah French toast are a match made in boozy breakfast heaven, especially when all you need to do is pop this casserole in the oven and serve up it up with some spiked maple syrup. That dose of bourbon will either be the perfect start to a lazy Sunday or inspire you to get back into bed altogether.
Note: this recipe needs to be made the night before serving.
Challah French Toast Casserole with Boozy Bourbon Maple Syrup
For the casserole:
- 6-8 slices leftover challah (you can also use French bread or sourdough)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ¾ cup heavy cream or half and half
- 1/3 cup bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Additional cinnamon sugar (optional)
For the maple syrup:
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 4 ounces bourbon (or more)
Grease a 9×13 baking dish. (If you have less leftover challah or bread, you can also use an 8×8 square pan and just not add all the egg mixture to the dish.)
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, heavy cream (or half and half), bourbon, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and sugar.
You may need to slice pieces of challah to fit snuggly in your casserole dish. Add first layer of challah to pan. Ladle with half the egg-milk mixture. Add second layer of challah and layer the remaining egg mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until the morning.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes.
Add the maple syrup and bourbon to a small saucepan over low heat.
Serve the casserole with the bourbon maple syrup, powdered sugar and fresh berries if desired.