Ooey Gooey Blueberry French Toast

This breakfast casserole is really more of a cross between french toast and bread pudding. It's simple, tasty, and perfect for entertaining guests for breakfast and brunch get-togethers!

1 tablespoon unsalted butter 14 slices home-style white bread, crusts discarded and bread cut into 1-inch cubes
2 (8-ounce) packages cold cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 cup blueberries, picked over and rinsed
10 large eggs 2 cups half-and-half
2 cups half-and-half 1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice

  1. Butter a baking dish with the tablespoon of butter.
  2. Arrange half of the bread cubes on the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Top the bread cubes with the cream cheese cubes and blueberries and arrange the remaining bread cubes over the blueberries.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, syrup, and orange juice.
  5. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  6. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes. Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Bake the French toast with foil cover for 30 minutes. Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the baking dish from the oven, remove the foil, and return the dish to the oven until toast is golden brown and puffed, about 30 more minutes.
  8. Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the baking dish from the oven and allow to sit until slightly cooled, about 15 minutes.
  9. Serve in bowls with maple syrup.

YIELD: 10 to 12 servings