Caramel Cheddar French Toast Bake

Servings: 8-10
1 jar (11.5 ounces) caramel sauce
1 loaf (1 pound) day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch slices
6 ounces Henning’s Maple Bourbon Cheddar cheese, cubed (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup glazed or candied chopped pecans, divided
8 large eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Warm maple syrup

Cooking Directions:
Drizzle half of the caramel sauce on the bottom of a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish; top with half of the bread. Layer with the cheddar, 1/2 cup pecans, remaining caramel sauce and bread.
Whisk the eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a large bowl; pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Heat oven to 350°F.
Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake for 18-22 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and a thermometer inserted into bread mixture reads 160°F. Serve with maple syrup.