The Delicious (& Lazy!) Way To Throw A Weekend Brunch

embedPhoto: Courtesy of Erin Phraner.
Chances are, you're not getting up extra-super-early to fix a homemade brunch for friends, but you do love an a.m.-themed party. That’s why overnight recipes were created, right? You throw ‘em together the night before, roll out of bed, and spend your precious time fixing (or perfecting) your bedhead and curing your hangover, if need be.
Of course, you could go savory with a kick-ass quiche — like these three — but we say you give into your sweet tooth. This dessert-for-breakfast mashup is part baked French toast, part carrot cake, and crazy delicious. To recreate the flavors of the classic springtime treat, we layered buttery bread cubes, crushed pineapple, pecans, raisins, and cream cheese in a baking dish. Then we added a mixture of heavy cream, carrot juice, and sugar for it all to soak in. Indulgent? Yes. But, SO good.
The overnight soak lets all of the fabulous flavors meld together, but if you’re in a rush, you can let it soak for an hour and then just continue on to step three.

Carrot Cake French Toast
Serves: 8 to 10

Cooking spray, for the pan
1 one-pound loaf challah bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 eight-ounce cream cheese blocks
1 16-ounce can crushed pineapple
1/4 cup raisin
12 large eggs
1 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 carrot juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp vanilla
Pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)

1. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread half of the bread cubes in the prepared pan. Pinch cream cheese into pieces and scatter over the bread cubes. Top with the crushed pineapple, raisins, and the remaining bread cubes.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth. Whisk in the brown sugar until combined. Add the carrot juice, heavy cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and whisk until combined. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture; press down on the bread slightly to pack it into the pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Put the dish on a foil-lined baking sheet (if desired) and bake until golden and mostly set, about 50 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

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