Banana-Stuffed French Toast

2 Tbsp plus 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp plus 1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp water
2 large ripe bananas, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 cups whole milk
6 large eggs
2½ tsp cinnamon, divided
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 lb whole loaf white or egg bread, ends trimmed, bread cut into (6) 1¼—1½" thick slices
1/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sliced almonds
Powdered sugar
Warmed pure maple syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and water and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is foamy. Add bananas; cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer to small bowl; cool. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar. Pour into large glass baking dish.

Lay one bread slice on a cutting board and make a 2-inch incision into the crust, cutting 3/4 of the way into the side to form a pocket inside the bread. Be careful not to pierce the other side of the bread. Repeat for each slice. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the banana mixture into each pocket. Place bread in egg mixture; let soak 10 to 15 minutes, turning once.

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour, and remaining 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Mix in 3 tablespoons butter until moist clumps form. You can make the streusel ahead and keep chilled in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before using.

Carefully remove bread from egg mixture and place on a heavy large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top with streusel and sprinkle with almonds. Bake until golden brown and filling is hot, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve hot with warm maple syrup.

Makes 6 servings

Allergy Warning: Contains MilkContains EggsContains WheatContains Other Nuts

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