Cranberry French Toast Casserole:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 (1-pound) loaf brioche bread, sliced into 1-inch slices
1 tablespoon butter, plus additional, softened, for buttering pan
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 cups White Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting
DIRECTIONS: Butter 9x13-inch baking dish. Set aside. In large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, orange zest, cinnamon and salt. Mix well, thoroughly combining ingredients for batter.
Working in layers, dip each bread slice in batter; place 1 layer of slices in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle a few cranberries over each slice before adding next layer. Pour remaining batter over and top with remaining cranberries. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight, or at least 2 hours.
Heat oven to 375°F. Bake, foil-covered, 25 minutes. Uncover and bake additional 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.
While casserole is baking, melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add walnut pieces and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
Top each casserole serving with a dollop of White Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting and toasted walnuts.
White Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting:
7 ounces white chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) Wisconsin mascarpone cheese
DIRECTIONS: Melt white chocolate over low heat, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat; set aside to cool to room temperature.
In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add cooled white chocolate to butter mixture; mix until just incorporated. Add mascarpone, mix until just incorporated (don't over mix).
TIP: You may substitute store-bought croissants (about 12 from bakery) cut into 2-inch pieces.