If you have ever looked at the Recipe Index on my blog, you might have noticed that, until recently, there were no breakfast recipes. That's because morning is generally a hurried time of day for us. We're going in different directions, but like clockwork so that our times in the bathroom are varied, we pass each other in the kitchen as he makes his coffee and I make my tea, and we are out of each other's way during the last-minute rush of dressing and brushing our teeth. One thing that we never do is sit down at the same table for breakfast. He has already toasted his slice of quick bread or muffin and moved into the living room for his quiet time while I'm heating my oatmeal and checking my e-mail.
This weekend gave us a wonderful few days to sleep past eight and then enjoy a leisurely breakfast together. In addition to the Eggs Benedict cooking class for my husband, we enjoyed Ina Garten's Tri-Berry muffins one morning, and Smitten Kitchen's Baked French Toast recipe another. We enjoyed our breakfast together, eating our Alabama sausage, some market fresh fruit, a mug of cafe au lait, and each other.
Orange-Almond Baked French Toast
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 loaf challah bread, thickly sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons orange cognac
1 tablespoon almond extract
1/4 cup orange juice
2 3/4 cups milk
sugar, for sprinkling
Butter a 9 x 13 glass or ceramic baking dish. Place two layers of bread in the dish, tearing the bread to fill in any holes. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the bread, and cover with a third layer of bread.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the next six ingredients. Pour the custard over the bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, wrap tightly, and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 425. Uncover the french toast and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the layers puff up in the middle and the top is golden.
Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with maple syrup.