miranda's french toast - or the best french toast ever

(Photos by Scott Peterson. Prop & Food Styling by Leila Nichols)

This is easily the best recipe to make for brunch. Start the night before (it takes 15 minutes) and finish it up before your guests arrive. Every time I make it, I am asked for the recipe. And I make it every time we have friends over for brunch.

Miranda's French Toast

One loaf of Semifreddi's Cinnamon Twist Bread (or any Challah), cut into cubes
5 eggs, beaten
1-3/4 cups milk
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup fresh blackberries

Place bread cubes in a greased 13in x 9in baking dish. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla; pour evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Sprinkle almonds over egg mixture. Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar, maybe 3 tablespoons worth, or more if you want sweeter, evenly over top. Then drizzle melted butter over the top.

Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with berries. Bake 10 minutes longer or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Yields 6-8 servings.