French Toast Bake.

Okay, it's Valentines Day morning, and you're thinking, "hmm, how do I make this day a special one?" Let me give you a big fat clue, guys (girls, forward this post to your man, STAT) -  make her BREAKFAST IN BED. I'm gonna go ahead and share a extra special recipe that will make this day memorable for you and your love - this French Toast Bake, adapted from the Cinnamon Baked French Toast created my indulgent-foodie role model The Pioneer Woman, featuring a pared-down ingredient list. I eliminated a few of the most fattening items from the recipe, and it still tastes like a completely decadent doughnut (because it is much like a doughnut!) I will say that this makes an entire casserole pan, so you might want to cut the recipe in half if its just for the two of you. Or you can have leftovers with your coffee the next morning (which I always oft for :) You can also add some extra toppings, like sliced apples, blueberries and pineapple, or just keep it as is. There's practically no way to ruin this dish. This would also be the perfect item to bring to a brunch, since you can prep it the night before and just pop it in the oven in the morning. I like simple. I like sweet. I like bread. I LOVE THIS BAKED FRENCH TOAST. Enjoy and happy Valentine breakfast to you!

- 1 loaf french bread, roughly torn into bite-sized pieces
- 8 eggs
- 2.5 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp. vanilla extract

- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 sliced almonds
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 stick of cold butter, sliced into thin pieces

1. Oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter (or olive oil, if you're somehow attempting to make this "healthy"). Roughly tear the bread into bite-sized pieces and evenly distribute in the pan.

2. In a medium-sized bowl combine eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover and store in the fridge for several hours, or even overnight like I do.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Using a stand mixer, begin mixing the ingredient and slowly add in the butter slices. Continue mixing until ingredients combine and resemble fine pebbles. Store in a Ziploc in the fridge.

4. When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F. Remove breaded mixture from the fridge and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. Bake for 45 minutes.

5. Scoop out individual portions. Drizzle with maple syrup. Yummmmm.

Valetines Breakfast Baked French Toast with pour Maple Syrup.jpg

This recipe would pair really well with something salty like has browns, and this Pomegranate Gin Fizz (it's allowed since it's brunch :) I hope you have a happy Valentines Day, cozying up by the fire, making breakfast and binge-watching some Netflix, just because. For the love.