Pumpkin Spice French Toast w/Ginger-Orange Cream Cheese
Filling: 8 oz. cream cheese 1 tsp. grated orange zest 1 T. crystallized ginger, minced 1/3 C. powdered sugar
Toast: 3 eggs 1 C. whole milk 12 sliced French bread 1/2 C. pumpkin puree 2 T. butter, melted 1/4 C. brown sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice 1/2 C. pecans, chopped 1 pinch fine sea salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13" pan. Beat together the cream cheese with orange zest, ginger and powdered sugar until smooth; set aside. Whisk the milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until combined. Cube the bread and place half in a layer in pan. Pour half of the pumpkin mixture over the bread. Gently spread the cream cheese mixture over the top of the first layer making sure it is evenly distributed. Top with remaining bread cubes and drizzle the rest of pumpkin mixture over top. Press the bread down to saturate. Sprinkle the top with pecans and finish with sea salt. Bake 35-40 minutes until cooked through the center. Serve hot with maple syrup.