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.