Shopping for eggnog is a bit like shopping for wine; you can’t buy just anything and expect it to taste good. Organic Valley makes superior eggnog, as does Southern Comfort. Avoid generic brands and low-fat varieties for optimal flavor. In addition to being a tasty holiday drink, eggnog makes the most decadent French toast you can imagine. For this recipe, you can do most of the prep work in the evening, and then simply bake come morning. From The Gourmet Kitchen.
Prep Time: 45 minutes (mostly inactive) • Cook Time: 55 minutes • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes (mostly inactive) • Yield: 8 servings
2 cups good-quality eggnog
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened 9 to 10 cups day-old challah (approximately one loaf), chopped into 1-inch cubes
1¼ ounces (¼ cup) all-purpose flour
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggnog, egg, and vanilla.
2. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with the butter and layer the challah inside the pan, gently pressing it flat. Briefly rewhisk the liquid ingredients and pour them evenly over the bread, taking care to cover all the exposed bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes or as long as overnight to allow the bread to absorb the mixture.
3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter until the mixture looks crumbly.
4. Uncover the loaf pan and gently press the bread down evenly until the liquid begins seeping up over the bread. Spread the topping evenly over the bread. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the top is golden and crunchy.
5. Allow to cool for several minutes and then slice and serve.