Cold winter mornings are good for a few things: pajamas, fuzzy socks, slippers, hot cups of coffee, and most definitely comforting breakfasts. Especially on Christmas morning! I want a warm, special meal without having to miss out on any gift opening. Assemble this baked French toast the night before (in about 5 minutes!) and bake it in the morning. You’re left with all the delicious holiday flavor of gingerbread baked right into one of the most comforting breakfast meals there is. I was never really “into” gingerbread until last year. I always associated it with iced brown holiday cookies that when put side by side with any other cookie (especially those involving chocolate), just never stood a chance. But then I realized the flavor is kind of amazing! And in a warm breakfast dish you can’t go wrong.
Baked Gingerbread Pecan French Toast
- 1 loaf hearty white bread, sliced
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup brewed gingerbread coffee (see note if you don't have gingerbread coffee on hand)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Butter a baking dish generously.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, coffee, vanilla and spices.
- Arrange the bread in the baking dish in a staggered (staircase-like) manner.
- Pour the liquid over the top of the bread, fully coating each piece.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Take the plastic wrap off the baking dish and spoon whatever liquid has not been absorbed over the tops of the bread.
- Sprinkle the nuts and brown sugar on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until the liquid is cooked and the tops of the bread are starting to turn golden brown. You can broil for 1-2 minutes at the end for an even more toasted look.
- Remove from the oven, garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm with maple syrup and butter.
*If you don't have gingerbread coffee, you can add cinnamon and ground ginger to regular coffee grounds before brewing for the same effect.