Heating Up Holidays: Cinnamon Swirl French Toast Casserole
There are several desserts well-suited for cooking in your slow cooker. From festive fondues to pumpkin pies, these sweet treats can be quickly and easily prepared with this appliance. With fall in full swing, it's time to start breaking out those recipes that use your favorite autumn flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg and apple.
For a crafty casserole that deliciously blends these tastes, consider this Cinnamon Swirl French Toast Casserole. Perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert, this scrumptious meal can be paired with your favorite foods or topped with a homemade whipped topping.
Caramelizing Pecans for the Dish
This sweet casserole calls for caramelized pecans, and while you can buy this candied treat at the store, making it at home adds a personalized touch to your dish. Begin by melting 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium-sized skillet. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, stirring until the mixture has blended well. Add 2 cups of pecans, then continue to stir for about 6 to 8 minutes until the pecans begin to simmer and the sugar loses its grainy appearance. Remove the pecans from the skillet and place them on aluminum foil until they've cooled. Store the candied treats in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
Starting the Casserole from Scratch
Begin your casserole by spraying the inside of your Crock-Pot® Casserole Crock Slow Cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread by cutting it into cubes, then placing 6 cups of bread on a baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven for 20 minutes at 275 degrees to allow them to crisp, then put them at the bottom of the slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix together 7 large eggs, 2 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. When the ingredients have been well-whisked, pour them over the bread, coating all pieces. Top with 2 cups of caramelized pecans and 3/4 cups chopped dates. Cover the stoneware and cook for 3 hours on high.
Setting the Finishing Touches
After your Cinnamon Swirl French Toast Casserole is done cooking, serve it warm along with a mug full of your favorite coffee blend (or hot cocoa concoction if you prefer to stay caffeine-free). Top your scoop of casserole with powdered sugar or vanilla ice cream.