Monday, April 2, 2012

Bananas Foster French Toast

Have you ever had Bananas Foster? If you're not familiar with it, it's a FABULOUS dessert consisting of bananas cooked with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, then spiked with a little rum and ignited until the alcohol burns off. Then you serve it over vanilla ice cream. Sounds like heaven on a plate, doesn't it? (Actually, it's been on my list of recipes for a while now, soon to be posted!)
 So, what if you took all of that awesomeness and made a French toast version of it? When my sister, Cathy, showed me Betty Crocker's version, it CLEARLY fell into the "How can this not be good?" category. Of course, I tweaked the recipe ever so slightly, and then I decided to make it for Chris and Claire. It was an immediate hit and it was SUPER easy! It's also a time saver because you throw it together the night before you wanna serve it, then just pop it in the oven in the morning. Simple!! I think I might need to make this for Easter Brunch.
I think you should too!!!

1 loaf Pepperidge Farms Cinnamon bread
10 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup maple syrup

2 cups maple syrup
1 tsp rum extract
6-8 ripe bananas
1 cup chopped pecans, (optional)

Spray bottom of 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange bread cubes in baking dish in an even layer. In large bowl, beat eggs, milk and 3/4 cup of the maple syrup with wire whisk. Pour over bread in baking dish. Using the back of a big spoon, press bread cubes down so that they get coated with the custard liquid. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
 Heat oven to 350°F. Uncover; bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown along edges. Let stand 7 to 10 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, in medium microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 2 cups maple syrup uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until warm. Stir in rum extract. Sprinkle banana slices and pecans (if using) evenly over bread; drizzle with warmed syrup mixture. Serve immediately.

This goes PERFECTLY with your favorite crisped bacon or sausage. Just sayin!
The French toast part of this recipe serves as a blank canvas for any kind of topping you like. If bananas are not your thing, try any kind of fresh fruit! Sliced ripe peaches or apples sprinkled with a little cinnamon sugar would be amazing. Also strawberries or blueberries. Oh, and make sure you heat the maple syrup. It's just SO much better that way!!!
Actually, come to think of it, the next time I make this, I think I might put the bananas and syrup together in a small pan over medium heat, just until the bananas are heated through (instead of just heating the syrup and pouring it over cold bananas). Mmmm......

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