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One Decision Down

December 14 2008 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Breakfast,Recipe » 19 comments


If your December is anything like mine is right now, you’re drowning in decisions. Should we drive or fly? Does he want a sweater or a necktie (or, more likely, neither)? Can we make it to all three of these holiday parties on the exact same Saturday night? Should I or should I not eat that thirteenth cookie of the day? Sometimes it makes me want to curl up under the boughs of a big Christmas tree and hide from it all.


Alas, I’m a little allergic to Christmas trees and I’m sure it would be terribly uncomfortable under there, what with all the prickly needles. Kind of like spooning with a porcupine, no? So, instead, I’m trying to stay calm, not take on too much and check off one decision at a time.


Which is where this recipe—for a Deep Dish Brioche French Toast—comes in. Because this is totally going to be our family’s Christmas morning breakfast (I just need to tell the cook, my mom; minor detail) and it should be the recipe you tuck aside for a holiday morning too.


This recipe was written by David Leite (who you might know from his wonderful site or remember from these ridiculously delicious cookies). I’ve had my eye on it for at least a year, but it always felt too decadent for a plain old Sunday morning.


We had house guests this Saturday night, though, and it was the perfect excuse to trot out this recipe. So, on Saturday afternoon, I set to work slicing porous brioche into little cubes. Half of the cubes went into the bottom of a buttered baking dish, to be topped with smears of cream cheese and jewel-toned cranberries and pistachios. That got covered by the remaining bread cubes, before the whole thing was drenched with a spiced egg-and-milk mixture that smelled a lot like eggnog. And, best of all, you put the whole thing in the fridge for the night.


So, when we woke up on Sunday morning, after a long night of toasting our friends Gena and Alex as they became Mr. and Mrs., we just popped it in the oven. In the oven, it puffed a bit and toasted to a golden brown, while the cream cheese melted into an oozey glue, sealing the top and bottom of layer of bread cubes.


It beat hovering by the stove, flipping individual slices of French toast by a mile.


The recipe is here. My only changes were to use dried cranberries instead of raisins and pistachios in place of walnuts or pecans.

19 comments so far. »
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  1. Gigi says on December 14 2008 at 9:39 pm:

    this sounds like great holiday breakfast recipe. Thanks for sharing it. :)

  2. mylastbite says on December 15 2008 at 1:35 am:

    Looks amazing.

  3. ovenhaven says on December 15 2008 at 5:57 am:

    What a breakfast! I’m sure this would be a crowd pleaser on Christmas morning :)

  4. sue bette says on December 15 2008 at 6:36 am:

    Looks lovely! I like the pistachio substitution, I bet it adds an interesting color to the dish.

  5. helene says on December 15 2008 at 7:46 am:

    Cranberry-pistachio combo sounds fabulous. I’m going to try this with lowfat cream cheese and milk, half the brown sugar, and probably omit the butter, too. I bet it’ll still be yummy.

  6. eggsonsunday says on December 15 2008 at 8:42 am:

    I love overnight baked french toast. This looks delicious! Very festive color choices, with the green pistachios and jewel-red cranberries…beautiful!

  7. Julie says on December 15 2008 at 8:34 pm:

    Very intersting, I mades something similar with blueberries, but those cranberries sound great.

  8. Culinary Arts History says on December 16 2008 at 5:45 am:

    A nice recipe with bread and cranberries. Kids enjoy this dish.

    Thanks for posting this holiday dish


  9. Aggie says on December 16 2008 at 7:00 am:

    I’m loving the cranberry pistachio combo..it’s one of my faves! I would love to have this waiting for me to pop in the oven in the morning! Sounds and looks delicious!!

  10. Rita says on December 16 2008 at 11:32 am:

    Hi Kristin

    How do I subscribe to your posts? I couldn’t find it on your main page.

  11. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on December 16 2008 at 8:22 pm:

    Thanks, all!

    Helene: Let us know how it turns out with the healthful makeover.

    Rita: I subscribe to someone’s site by using the RSS button in my browser’s toolbar. Do you not have something like that? Do others have this complaint? If so, I will look into adding a feed link to the sidebar.

  12. meg says on December 16 2008 at 8:35 pm:

    I just decided to fly from MSP to O’hare…nothing like a last minute ticket!

  13. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on December 16 2008 at 8:43 pm:

    meg: We’ll cross each other in the air! We’re flying too, ORD to MSP.

  14. amylouwho says on December 19 2008 at 2:38 am:

    I can’t wait to try this! I love french toast, cream cheese, pistachios and craisins. Looks like a winner!

  15. Gretchen Noelle says on December 20 2008 at 12:50 pm:

    Oh man! What a delicious sounding brunch recipe!

  16. Kevin says on December 20 2008 at 2:30 pm:

    That french toast looks so good!

  17. Bella says on March 26 2010 at 7:54 am:

    Hey there!

    Do you think I could use a regular french baguette instead of a brioche loaf?

    Please let me know what u think!

  18. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on March 26 2010 at 8:23 am:

    Bella: Yes, I think that would work just fine. Hope you enjoy this!

  19. Bella says on March 26 2010 at 8:47 pm:

    Thanks so much for the speedy reply! I’m going to be putting this in the over in a couple hours (i’m overseas :)

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