Since having kids, it has been wonderful re-experience the magic of the holiday season through their eyes.  Seeing their excitement and wonder at every twinkling light and Christmas tree is just precious.  And seeing the season with this perspective emphasizes even more the fact that as parents, we have the biggest role in creating their memories.  These are the times they will be nostalgic about someday years from now.

Starting new traditions within our own little family is such fun.  We have been baking mountains of cookies, singing lots of carols, and enjoying cozy early mornings gazing at our tree with its pretty white lights.  The season and the chilly weather make me yearn for a warm and comforting breakfast that we all enjoy.  The idea of a winter holiday spin on another favorite breakfast of ours came to mind a few weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to get past it.  This weekend we finally got around to trying it and…well…Caroline climbed onto the table to serve herself seconds (great) and Andrew ended up scraping the baking dish clean.  Since this can be made ahead the night before serving, it is an ideal option for Christmas morning breakfast or brunch.

Side Note: In the spirit of the season of giving, today is the start of a series of giveaways…but this year I’m changing things up and doing it a little differently.  Head on over to the giveaway page to learn how you can help others by entering!

  • Yield about 4 servings


For the French toast:
4 large eggs
1 cup low-fat eggnog
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
1 small French baguette*, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5-6 cups)
1 cup cranberries

To serve: 
Confectioners’ sugar
Maple syrup


  • 01

    Add the eggs to a large mixing bowl.  Whisk briefly.  Add the eggnog, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the bowl.  Add in the cinnamon and nutmeg.  Whisk well until the mixture is evenly combined.  Stir in the cubes of bread until evenly coated.  Stir in the cranberries.

  • 02

    Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.  Transfer the bread-egg mixture to the baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least two hours or up to overnight.

  • 03

    When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Remove the plastic wrap from the dishes.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffed up and light golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.  Serve as desired with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup, if desired.

  • 04

    *In case you’re in the habit of making your own French bread, one of these baguettes is just the right size.