I took to Pinterest for inspiration on what to do with it and came across a recipe I’d pinned ages ago. I had all the required ingredients on hand (with some minor modifications) including the leftover cherries I had frozen after finding them for such a great deal a couple of weeks ago!
First, tear your bread into chunks and place half of them in the bottom of a greased pan. Normally I would cram more bread in there, but I had a small-ish loaf and was worried I wouldn’t have enough.
Next scatter some chunks of cream cheese and fresh or frozen cherry halves across the top. Cover the cream cheese and cherries with the remaining bread chunks, whip up your French Toast mixture (eggs, 1/2 and 1/2, brown sugar, vanilla, and spices) and pour it over the top, thoroughly soaking the bread. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. (If you’re blogging, forget to take pictures of those last 3 steps. It keeps things interesting.)
The next morning, set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and allow the covered casserole to sit at room temperature while the oven preheats. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom isn’t a soupy eggy mess.
Cut a generous square for yourself and drizzle with maple syrup. Unfortunately, what landed on my plate wasn’t exactly photogenic but it sure did taste good! My husband commented that it was “absolutely delicious” and suggested that I use even more cherries next time.
Cherry and Cream Cheese Overnight French Toast1 French baguette (day old or stale)
1 8oz block of cream cheese, cubed
1c fresh or frozen cherry halves
2c 1/2 and 1/2
1/2c brown sugar
2t vanilla extract
Maple syrup for serving
1 – Butter or grease a 9×13″ baking pan. Tear the baguette into pieces and place half in the bottom of the prepared pan. Scatter the chunks of cream cheese and fresh or frozen cherry halves across the top. Cover the cream cheese and cherries with the remaining bread pieces.
2 – Mix together the eggs, 1/2 and 1/2, brown sugar, vanilla, and spices. Whisk well and pour the mixture over the top, thoroughly soaking the bread. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
3 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the casserole from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature while the oven warms. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and most of the egg mixture has been absorbed.
4 – Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly. Cut into squares and serve with maple syrup. Refrigerate leftovers.
Adapted from Manila Spoon