Today December 17 is the perfect day to have pancakes or french toast topped off with some delicious, real maple syrup to celebrate National Maple Syrup Day.
In the spring, the maple trees are tapped by boring holes into the trunks of the trees, and the sap is collected in buckets.
After the sap is collected, it is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving only the concentrated syrup.
European settlers to the north american continent learned the process from the indigenous people, or native Americans. Up until the 1930’s the United States led the world in the production of maple syrup, but now Canada is the world’s largest maple syrup producer, were as Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States.
If you didn’t know, a production farm turning sap into maple syrup is known as a sugar-bush, sugar-wood or sugar-shack.
Wow too much talk about maple syrup is making our mouths water, so let’s get to our featured recipe, which is a twist on french toast, French Toast Cream Cheese Casserole, and here is what you will need.
French Toast Cream Cheese Casserole
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick or 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
1 loaf of real sourdough bread, cubed into bite-size pieces (optional to use a loaf of French bread)
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large mixing bowl, cream eggs and sugar, then add whole milk, cream, maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix together until well combined.
Next add the melted butter to the egg mixture and mix together thoroughly.
Butter a 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle butter with coconut sugar or brown sugar for some added sweetness (optional). Next, spread half of the bread over the bottom of the dish then sprinkle half of the cream cheese chunks over the top. Add the rest of the bread then sprinkle with the remaining cream cheese.
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the top of the pan making sure to get the entire bread wet.
Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cinnamon. You can use a mesh strainer to spread the cinnamon more evenly.
Cover the dish with foil.
Bake for 35 minutes then remove the foil from the pan and bake for another 10 minutes.
Let cool for a few minutes then serve with real maple syrup.
Check out our other French Toast recipes with real maple syrup…
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