Your favorite butter, as needed to grease baking dish
1 loaf brioche or Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (about 12 oz), sliced into 1-inch cubes
1/2 block 8-ounce package cream cheese, halved then sliced into cubes
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
1 cup fresh blueberries, plus an extra handful (separate for topping)
4 large eggs, (5, if your egg yolks are quite small)
1 cup milk
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp ground Nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves (optional)
3 tbsp butter, melted (for drizzling after baking)
maple syrup, as needed
powdered sugar, as needed
Butter or grease an 8 x 8 square baking dish. Place half the bread cubes in a single layer, filling in all the gaps.
Evenly scatter the cream cheese cubes, nuts, and blueberries on top. Cover completely with the remaining bread cubes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Evenly pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes. Gently press down on the cubes with your palms to allow the top layer of bread to absorb the liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Meanwhile, remove the dish from the refrigerator and let sit for 20-30 minutes at room temperature. Bake the French toast covered for 20 minutes.
Take the dish out of the oven, uncover and then take the remaining blueberries and gently press them into the bread evenly spreading them all over.
Return to the oven and bake for another 18-20 minutes or until the cubes are nicely toasted and there’s no more liquid at the bottom.
Transfer the dish to a rack and drizzle the melted butter on top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to release the French toast.
Cut into squares. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar and warmed maple syrup drizzled on top.