1 loaf day-old French bread
8 large eggs
2 c. half-and-half
1 c. milk
2 T. granulated sugar
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
dash salt

Maple Praline Topping:

1 c. butter, room temperature
1 c. light brown sugar
1 c. chopped pecans
3 T. pure maple syrup
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg

Cut bread into 16 1-inch thick slices, ends discarded. Lay slices in a 13×9-inch baking dish in two rows lengthwise, overlapping as necessary. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until blended but not frothy; add half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; whisk to blend well. Pour egg mixture over bread; cover and refrigerate overnight. For topping, cream butter and brown sugar together; add pecans, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg; stir until ingredients are well combined. Cover and refrigerate overnight. To bake, place topping in a microwave-safe bowl and microcook on high (100 percent power) for 20 seconds. Stir mixture and spoon over French bread and egg mixture. Bake at 350°, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until golden. Serve with additional warmed maple syrup.

Marilyn Partington Frame, Traverse City