A delightful autumn treat. Warm French toast with a custardy pumpkin filling and real maple syrup. Real comfort food! You will want seconds.
Serves 8 - 10.
12 cups of Italian or French bread (slightly less than a one pound loaf) cut into 1-inch cubes, divided
1 - 8-oz. package reduced fat (or regular) cream cheese, softened
For Pumpkin Filling:
In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with pumpkin puree until smooth. Add egg and mix, scraping bowl. Add spices and maple syrup and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
For French Toast:
The night before baking, lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. Distribute half of the bread cubes over the bottom of the pan. Spread Pumpkin Filling evenly over the bread cubes. Top with remaining bread cubes. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, maple syrup, salt, and melted butter. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread cubes. Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Cover pan and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to bake, remove pan from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and center is set.
Sprinkle top of French Toast with powdered sugar. Serve with maple syrup.