1 cup fresh, halved cranberries or 3/4 cup dried cranberries
12 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1.5 cups brown sugar, divided
3 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon butter
1 cinnamon stick
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then mix the eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla and orange extracts, and remaining two teaspoons of cinnamon. Pour over the bread cubes. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
The day before, for the casserole lightly grease a 9x13 inch-baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes in the dish, and top with cream cheese cubes. Sprinkle two diced apples, pecans and cranberries over the cream cheese, and top with one-teaspoon cinnamon, then remaining bread cubes.
In the morning, remove the casserole from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover casserole with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned and internal temperature is 160F. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.
For syrup, in a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add remaining diced apple and cook until slightly soft. Add apple cider, brown sugar and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until reduced by half. Pour over the baked French toast and serve, or serve on the side.
Plate one slice of French toast. Drizzle with apple cider syrup. Arrange three caramelized apples slices on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Garnish plate with assorted berries and sliced apples.