I love having company because it gives me a chance to make sinfully delicious recipes like this one from Paula Deen, that I would never make just for my husband and me. You know, because we are always on a diet! This is also great because you make it the night before, so you don’t have to do all that cooking first thing in the morning before you get coffee in your system.

Baked French Toast Casserole

  • dash salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8   large eggs
  • 2 cup half-and-half
  • Butter, for pan
  • 1   loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)

Praline Topping, recipe follows
Raspberry Syrup, recipe follows

Praline Topping:

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2-teaspoon ground nutmeg

Raspberry Syrup:

  • 1 cup raspberry preserves
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur (recommended: Framboise)

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch thick each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9X13 casserole dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 45 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with Raspberry Syrup.