When I was growing up, I loved waking up to the scent of French toast. I have adapted my mom's oven-baked version of he recipe to include one of my other all-time much loved treats; a caramel apple. —Suzanne Forsberg, Manteca, California
- 8 cups cubed French bread
- 3 medium tart apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 envelope (.74 ounce) instant spiced cider mix
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1-3/4 cups 2% milk, divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate English toffee bits
- 5 eggs
- CARAMEL SYRUP:
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Place half of the bread cubes in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Top with apples and sprinkle with cider drink mix. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugars, 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Stir in toffee. Spread over apples. Top with remaining bread cubes.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs and remaining milk and vanilla. Pour over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, combine the sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup and baking soda. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture turns a golden amber color, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Serve with French toast. Yield: 12 servings (1-1/2 cups syrup).
Originally published as Toffee Apple French Toast with Caramel Syrup in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2012, p28
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