Happy new year, everyone! I hope you guys had a wonderful holiday break. I know I sure did. The Mr. and I didn't really go anywhere or do anything, but it was nice cuddling up on the couch, watching movies. I was able to try out a bunch of recipes over the holidays. One of which was this lighter version of the french toast casserole that I make for Christmas every year.
This one is actually a lot easier to make since you don't have to make the praline topping. It's also healthier too since it has half the eggs and sugar. The Mr. sliced up the homemade cinnamon bread I'd made the day before while I got to work zesting and mixing the batter ingredients together. Then we just poured the mixture over the eggs, covered the pan with foil, and stored it in the refrigerator the next day. The orange zest added a light citrus flavor that really brightened up the dish. However, even though this is delicious, it won't be replacing the not-so-good-for-you praline french toast casserole from years past. It will however be a recipe I will go to when company is staying over.
adapted from Cook Yourself Thin Faster
- cooking spray
- 4 c. bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
- 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 c. low-fat milk or dairy-free milk
- 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 Tbsp. confectioners sugar, for garnish (optional)
- Lightly spray a 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Add the bread to the pan. With a standing or handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and bananas at medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour in the milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and zest, and mix until smooth. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the top of the bread; cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the over to 375°F.
- Remove the bread mixture from the refrigerator and let it sit out 15 minutes. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean and the center is set.
- Sift confectioners sugar over the top if desired. Cut into squares and serve immediately.