A cold snap bringing a dose of freezing rain and light snow showers has made for an icy, Midwest spring morning. Last evening, before heading to bed, I loaded the slow cooker with a mixture of bread, eggs, milk, cinnamon and spices. I had looked at the forecast earlier in the evening and the weather sure didn’t look pretty for the early morning hours. I thought it might be nice to have a warm and toasty slice of French toast casserole ready for the family upon waking. A fresh pot of coffee and a few fruit & yogurt parfaits would round out the meal.
As the “baking” takes place in the crockpot, the house smells heavenly. The aroma alone acts as a warm hug wafting through the house. A tip that works great; cover the slow cooker with a clean, dry towel before placing the lid on the vessel. This helps to reduce excess moisture making the French toast less soggy. If you so desire, add a handful of chopped walnuts before sprinkling the final product with maple syrup and powdered sugar. Delicious.
Slow Cooker Apple & Cinnamon French Toast
15-20 slices of day old bread
10 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons salt
pinch ground nutmeg
2 small apples, diced
Maple syrup, for serving
Powdered sugar, for serving
Grease a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Slice bread into 1” cubes; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, brown sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, vanilla, salt and nutmeg and beat until well combined. Gently fold bread and diced apples into egg mixture making sure each piece is well coated. Place mixture into prepared slow cooker. Place a clean, dry dish towel over the slow cooker before covering with lid. (This helps to reduce moisture build up and prevents a soggy French toast.)
Cook on low for 2 ½ to 4 hours, until the French toast is warm and cooked through. Carefully lift the entire round out of the slow cooker with a spatula.
Serve warm with chopped walnuts, maple syrup and powdered sugar.