Baked French Toast with Nutella

Makes 4 to 8 servings.

Make-ahead trick: Fill the French toast and make up the custard in advance. In the morning, about 40 minutes before eating, dip toast in custard and bake it while the coffee brews and you set the table.

Toast:
4 ounces cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese,
    at room temperature
6 tablespoons Nutella, at room temperature
8 slices white bread

Custard:
4 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Confectioners' sugar
Maple syrup (optional)

To make sandwich
Mix cream cheese and Nutella until combined. Spoon mixture on 4 bread slices and spread all the way to outside edges, then top with remaining slices to make sandwiches. Place in resealable plastic bag and refrigerate until ready to bake.

To make custard
In flat container with an airtight lid large enough to hold a bread slice, beat together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract and nutmeg. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Mist a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with sides with nonstick cooking spray.

Dip sandwiches into custard, turning once, for 2 minutes on the first side and 1 on the second to soak up as much of the custard as possible. Lay drained slices on pan and bake for 15 minutes, then turn them over and bake for 20 minutes more, or until toast is golden brown on both sides. Sprinkle lightly with sifted confectioners' sugar and serve with syrup, if desired. Recipe can easily be doubled.