Blackberry and Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

Like bacon, cream cheese makes everything better, lol. So delicious! Enjoy.

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
16 ounces brioche bread or buns, cut into 1-inch cubes (I typically use S. Rosen’s Brioche Buns, 12 count, 32 ounces, purchased from Costco for $3.59. You will only need 1/2 the bag. Freeze the rest for next time.)
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1-1/2 cups fresh blackberries, gently rinsed and dried
8 large eggs
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups milk (I’ve used regular, soy, or almond milk, sweetened or unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9” x 13” baking dish with the softened butter and place 1/2 of the brioche cubes in it. Evenly scatter cream cheese and blackberries over the brioche. Then, top with the remaining brioche cubes. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, honey, salt, vanilla, and milk. Pour over bread and use a spoon or fork to press down the brioche cubes, making sure they are all moistened. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (casserole will be puffed up and golden brown). Remove from the oven. Serve warm with maple syrup and additional blackberries if desire.

Note: Casserole will stick to the sides of the baking dish. We usually need to soak the dish before scrubbing it with a scouring pad. Alternatively, you could line the baking dish with nonstick foil or maybe even parchment for an easier cleanup.

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