An Enduring Holiday Tradition



Ooey, gooey goodness! Russ first came across this recipe in Gourmet Magazine in 1998. He’s been making it for his children (now adults in their twenties) almost every Christmas morning since, much to their delight!

To date, it has received nearly 600, 4 out of 4 “Forks” in the posted reviews. Of course you don’t have to wait until Christmas to make it, your family and company will thank you anytime of year…


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 braided Challah loaf, about 14 oz.
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

The braided Challah loaf is sliced and arranged on a rack to dry out.

Preparing the “topping” for the french toast.

The stale bread slices are positioned over the topping and then the cream mixture is poured all over.

The baked french toast is ready for serving.

The final step is to flip the bread over onto the plate to reveal the creme brulée topping.


  1. In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.
  2. In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature.
  4. Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Serve hot French toast immediately.

3 thoughts on “An Enduring Holiday Tradition

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