Red, White, and Blue-berry Overnight French Toast

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Like your typical 22 year old Millennial, I'm quite a fan of instant feedback and quick gratification.  So I generally stay away from recipes that take a long time to bake.  Not sure if this breaks that rule - it really only takes 5 minutes to prepare, but here's the catch: you have to do it the night before.  So, the night before Memorial Day, I decided to take a crack at it - and to find a way to make it red, white, and blue because I'm a sucker for themes.

I found this original recipe online through Pinterest.  Naturally, I didn't love the amount of bread, egg, and cream cheese that was used - so I changed the recipe a bit to fit to make it healthier less unhealthy. Don't worry - the taste did not suffer.

My dad was the ultimate test on this one.  Why?  Because he generally won't consume a meal that does not include a substantial amount of meat and calls a lot of my healthy recipes "rabbit food".  What was the verdict?  Let me say this: every single plate in my house was cleared.  People were stuffed to the brim.  There was groaning out of fullness.  And all was good.

Here's the recipe...

What you need for the French Toast:
  • 12 slices of bread cut into cubes (Original recipe called for french or Texas toast.  I used Sara Lee 45 Calories and Delightful- and I tell you, it delicious, it was).
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, cut in cubes (I used Philidelphia's Whipped cream cheese because it's fluffier, healthier, and I didn't want to come across huge chunks of cream cheese in my breakfast)
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh of frozen - doesn't need to be exact.  If you love blueberries, pile em on)
  • 4 eggwhites (Okay, the original recipe called for 12 large eggs.  I impulsively made this dish and only had eggwhites on hand, and only about 4 rather than 12.  But I still think 12 large eggs aren't necessary - they might even make it too moist.  But hey, if you've got the eggs on hand, go ahead and try the 12 and let me know how that works out for ya!)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups milk (I used skim because that's what we buy but any would work)
What you need for the syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar (organic if you're picky like me)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup raspberries (original recipe used blueberries here to match the french toast.  I like to have more flavor variety - plus I was going for a red, white, and blue breakfast - so I used raspberries).
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
What you gots ta do:
  1. Arrange 1/2 of the bread cubes in a greased 9 x 13 pan.
  2. Sprinkle cream cheese cubes and blueberries evenly over the bread cubes.
  3. Top with remaining bread cubes.
  4. Mix together eggs, milk, and syrup.
  5. Pour over bread cubes and cover pan with foil. Let chill in refrigerator overnight.
  6. Bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes or until fluffy and golden. Top with sauce. Serves 8.

Sauce: Cook water, sugar, and cornstarch until thickened. Stir in raspberries and simmer for 10 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Serve over the french toast.

Happy Breakfasting!

Thanks for the original recipe from Chef-N-Training, who got the recipe from RealMom Kitchen, who got the recipe in a newspaper in 2004.  Whew.

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