Christmas carols played in the background as the unwrapping of gifts wound down. A time of blissful content - being with your loved ones on Christmas Day. I sat in the big easy chair, reveling in the moment, when Sharon came from the kitchen with plates of a steaming hot breakfast. What a nice surprise!
“When did you have time to make this?” I asked her.
“It was easy,” she said. “I did it last night, and all I had to do was pop it in the oven a few minutes ago.”
Since then it has become a tradition with her family and mine. I think you’ll like it. It really does add a nice touch to any festive occasion.
Christmas Morning Breakfast
1 loaf of French bread cut into 1-inch cubes
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, cut into tiny cubes (tip: dip your knife in ice water)
8 eggs beaten
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
Grease a 9x13 pan. Spread half of the bread cubes over the bottom, then layer the cream cheese cubes on the bread. Top with remaining bread cubes. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, milk, melted butter and syrup until well mixed. Pour over bread. Using a firm hand press the contents of pan thoroughly to moisten. Cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator for at least 2 hours (overnight works great, but don’t push it past 24 hours.)
Preheat oven to 325°. Bake 35-40 minutes until the center is set and the edges are slightly golden. Makes enough for 8-10. Serve hot with apple cider syrup.
Apple Cider Syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple cider or juice
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
dash of nutmeg
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk in apple cider and lemon juice until dry ingredients are dissolved. Pour into saucepan and cook on medium heat until thick, stirring often. Once thickened, cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter. Serve hot. PD