Oven-baked french toast
Naturally, since I am the French Toast Girl, one would assume that I know my french toast. (One would be right!) Here's my current favorite recipe, printed with the kind permission of the folks at the Whistling Swan Inn. it's great because you can make it ahead of time and eat it for a week, or serve 10 people all at once. Yum.

8-oz . cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup margarine, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 eggs
2½ cups milk
1 to 2 lbs. French bread loaf, cut 1 to 1½" thick

Prepare baking dishes (2 - 3) by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Beat softened cream cheese and margarine with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in large mixing bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time; mix well. Stir in milk. Soak slices of bread in the batter, both sides, and place in prepared pans. Spoon leftover batter over slices and refridgerate overnight.

Bake at 350º for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and just slightly crispy on top. Serve with warm syrup or fruit sauce.

My notes: I am not the biggest cream cheese fan (but I'm working on it!); you can make it without the cream cheese and it still tastes great. Also, we make half this recipe with a whole loaf of Paul's homemade 7-grain bread, which makes 12 thick and hearty half-slices and feeds the two of us for the whole week. We also like Earl Grey tea and strawberry all-fruit syrup from Polaner.

Reprinted with permission from INNside Breakfast at the Whistling Swan, printed June 1995

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