This is an easy, make-ahead breakfast or dessert; perfect for autumn or winter.
10 cups 1-inch, day-old croissant cubes (approx. 5 large croissants)
6 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/4 cups pure canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (for recipe to make your own, go to www.theyummylife.com/recipes/24)
3 cups half-and-half
3 cups 2% milk
1-1/2 cups toasted, coarsely chopped pecans (to toast pecans, spread in single-layer on baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes)
Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Add croissant cubes & set aside. Add eggs to large bowl and whisk just until blended. Add sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, pumpkin & pumpkin pie spice; whisk together just until blended. Whisk in half-and-half and milk. Pour liquid mixture over bread cubes, stir gently to moisten bread completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove bread mixture from refrigerator. Sprinkle evenly with pecans; stir gently to distribute pecans throughout mixture. Cover loosely with foil and bake 70 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 20 to 40 minutes, until no liquid is visible when you pierce the center with a paring knife. Place on rack to cool for 15-30 minutes to allow mixture to firm up. Best served warm, but not hot. To serve for breakfast, cut into squares or spoon onto plates; drizzle with warm maple syrup. To serve as dessert, top with whipped cream.