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Bourbon Pecan French Toast Bread Pudding
For the French Toast:
nonstick cooking spray
8 large croissants, cubed
1 cup (227ml) whole milk
1 cup (227ml) heavy cream
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3 Tablespoons (42ml) bourbon
2 teaspoons Vain Vanilla extract, I used Mexican Vanilla in Kentucky Bourbon
1 cup (213g) light brown sugar packed, divided
For the Pecan Syrup:
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (160g) light brown sugar packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (113ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup (92ml) maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (227g) pecans roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon (14ml) Vain Vanilla extract, I used Mexican Vanilla in Kentucky Bourbon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions:For the French Toast:
Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
Place the bread cubes into the prepared baking dish. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the milk, heavy cream, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, egg yolks, bourbon, vanilla, and half of the brown sugar (106g) and beat until well combined.
Pour the liquid mixture over the bread, and gently toss to ensure all of the bread cubes get soaked with the liquid mixture. Sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining brown sugar (107 g).
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Remove the casserole from the fridge and let it come to room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.
Place in the oven and bake - covered - for 35 minutes. Then carefully uncover and continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until golden brown and firm in the center.
Top with gooey pecan topping and serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
For the Pecan Syrup:
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter.
Add in the brown sugar and cook, stirring with a whisk, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is bubbling, about 2 minutes.
Add in the cinnamon, heavy cream, maple syrup, and salt and whisk to combine.
Add in the pecans and, using a rubber spatula, fold them into the liquid mixture until they're completely coated.
Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon and vanilla. Pour on top of the french toast and serve at once!