I complain constantly how I don't have a ton of hard core traditions, so in an effort to start making some of our own, Mr. Allan and I have some must do/make/see things we love at Christmas time. One of my favorites..since I love to cook and bake..making Mr. Allan and the cats a delectable Christmas morning breakfast. I try to keep it healthy and am constantly scurrying the baked goods and cookies out of our house and to the workplace kitchen area so we don't eat them, but, I found a little indulgent recipe that's not too too bad that we make every Christmas morning....
So, my friends, I give you the best Christmas morning casserole....Pannettone French Toast Casserole..it's sooooo good..and a bonus..you can assemble it the night before, so you can just pop it in the oven on Christmas morning while the coffee is brewing, the Christmas tunes are pumping and, at least in our house, the cats are opening their gifts.
Panettone French Toast Casserole
courtesy of Whole Foods
6 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon water
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
6 (1-inch-thick) slices panettone (about 1 pound), halved
2 cups milk
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a small bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons butter, sugar and water until well combined. Spread mixture over the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer apples and their juices to the reserved baking dish and spread out evenly over the sugar mixture. Scatter cranberries over apples and arrange panettone over the top, overlapping the slices as needed. Set aside to let apples cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon then pour over panettone, being sure to coat all slices. Cover and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover baking dish and bake until just cooked through, puffed and golden brown, about 40 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly before serving.
Just a couple notes...I just cube the Pannettone vs. putting slices on top and I used skim milk last year and probably almond milk this year since we're on a non dairy kick...the type of milk doesn't really affect this recipe at all!
And...for my all time absolute favorite Christmas tradition...it must be good if it beats the Christmas casserole....is the annual Briggs sisters Christmas Exchange...or as we call it Our Favorite Things.
Yes, this is an absolute knock off of Oprah's Favorite Things. I was the brainchild behind copying Oprah. Every Year we spend around $50..although I always go way over...and purchase our favorite things of the past year...it's so much fun to come up with the list and it's easy since there are 3 of us..each of us just buys duplicate things for the other two. So, it's 2 for the price of 1 Christmas shopping with a lovely traditional twist. While I can't reveal this year's Favorite Things...since I know my two sisters best be reading this blog...here's a LINK to the items that made it on last year's list..and I must say, this year's list is so much better!