There’s nothing like drinking a warm and cozy cup of hot cocoa while wrapped up in a warm blanket, comfortable clothes, and reading a book or watching a movie. Few things rival that feeling of comfort.
It’s something I imagine myself doing when I actually have a moment to relax, but it’s for whatever reason, I instead find myself with my laptop hanging off my bed while I binge watch Netflix in vegetable mode. Basically, I get really lazy to do it. It’s a lot of effort for a lazy girl like me.
But what if I could tell you there’s something you could do to sweeten the deal? One that inspires inspires the lazy girls to roll out of bed and actually make that hot cocoa?
Yeah, there is. You need to spike your drink with the one and only Bailey’s. It’s the perfect addition to hot cocoa. Plus it’s tasty and it’s fun to drink over the holidays or when hanging out with friends and family.
No, this idea isn’t novel or revolutionary or anything like that, but hey, this hot chocolate tastes great so I’m going to share my way of making this drink with you all.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup shaved chocolate. You can also use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, or even hot cocoa powder. Whatever floats your boat.
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 shots of Bailey's for each serving (adjust to your liking)
- In a medium saucepan, mix together water and the shaved chocolate on low heat. The chocolate should dissolve into the water.
- Add in half and half and gently whisk into the hot chocolate. Keep on low heat and stir for a minute. Remove from flame.
- In mugs, add in shots of Bailey's--however many you would like to add to your drink.
- Then, pour in your hot chocolate. Top with more chocolate, marshmallows, or whipped cream.
You can use powdered hot chocolate for this if you would like. The recipe above yields one large mug of hot chocolate. Adjust recipe based on the number of servings you would like. Also, this recipe can be made in a slow cooker for large groups and parties.
If you are having guests stay over during the holidays or need to cook up a big breakfast for any reason, this decadent pecan pie french toast casserole is the perfect option for a sweet breakfast/brunch or even a mid-afternoon coffee break.
There is a little prep work involved as it does need to sit in the fridge overnight (or for at least 6 hours), but it comes together easily the night before and baking it is pretty effortless.
Whether it’s served with pecans or not, which would strip this casserole of its pecan pie title, it’s still very rich with its cozy, warm cinnamon flavor. Serve with a side of coffee (if that’s your thing) and you’ll pretty much be in heaven.
Yes, the servings are a little deconstructed, but it won’t matter because one serving will be in your belly in a matter of minutes. And, you’ll probably be asking for seconds.
One 8″x8″ casserole makes 9 servings.
Here’s how you make this amazing breakfast casserole:
Pecan Pie French Toast Casserole
For the base:
- 8 oz. loaf French Bread (half a large loaf), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups pecan halves
For the base:
- Butter an 8"x8" baking dish and add the cubed bread.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. Then, whisk in the heavy cream, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
- Carefully pour mixture over bread. Toss the bread in the dish and check to make sure all of the bread is being soaked by the mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking.
Pecan Pie Topping:
- This can be done the day before or the morning of--your preference.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Stir the butter to ensure it does not burn.
- Add in the corn syrup and brown sugar. Stir to combine. You should see a thick syrup forming.
- Let this syrup sit on low-medium heat for 5 minutes, gently stirring.
- Stir in the cinnamon and then stir in the pecan halves. Make sure the syrup coats all of the pecans. Keep on the flame for another 5 minutes, gently stirring.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cover the base using the pecan topping. You might have some syrup left with the pecans. You can reserve it for another use or just add to the casserole.
- Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes. The casserole is done when the bread looks toasted.