Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Good morning, everyone!  How does a nice, hot breakfast sound?  Strawberries are definitely the favorite fruit of this house, so I always have a container (or two!) in the fridge!  I have to find different ways to use them, although just eating them straight is always a popular option!
I enjoyed making the nutella strawberry shortcake desserts, and the lovely strawberry jam that can also easily be used for breakfast!  
French toast is always yummy, but make it stuffed French toast, and you really have something special!  Even better, it's easy!  And a lot of the prep can be done the night before, so that it doesn't take that much more time the morning of!
This dish took me about 20 minutes to put together the morning I made it.  For something this fancy, that's not too bad, is it?
Here's your grocery list for this one:
French or Italian bread
1/2 pint fresh strawberries
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-3 Tbs granulated sugar, depending on sweetness of berries
4 eggs
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C heavy cream
1 Tbs of butter, per slice of bread, for frying

Okay, this part you can do the night before.  I forgot to pull my cream cheese out ahead of time, so it wasn't as soft as I would have liked it, but it still worked out beautifully!  It may not have resulted in a super smooth mixture, but it all tasted just perfectly in the end result.  To start off with, pull the cream cheese so that it can soften!  Ha!
After that, finely chop up the strawberries, so that they can eventually easily pass through a zip top bag, with a hole cut in the corner.  

To the softened cream cheese, add the strawberry jam, and mix those in a separate bowl, so that they are well combined.  Again, it doesn't have to be perfect, just well mixed.  Once your strawberries are finely cut up, add them in, along with the sugar.  I only needed to add in 1 Tbs of sugar, since these berries were pretty sweet.

The sugar will draw out a lot of the liquid of the strawberries, but that's fine.  Put this mixture into the fridge to set up overnight.  Sweet dreams!

The next morning, crack your eggs into whatever container you want to dip your French toast pieces into, before cooking.  I just used a small 8"x8" baking dish, but use whatever you have on hand.  Beat the eggs up, and add in the cinnamon, again, mixing well.  Pour in the heavy cream, mix well, and set aside.

Pull the strawberry mixture out of the fridge, to come to room temp for a few minutes, while you turn your attention to the bread.  Slice off about 2" pieces, and very carefully, cut a pocket into each slice, without cutting all of the way through the middle.  I usually take a paring knife, and carefully sweep it through, starting in the middle of the piece of bread.  It sounds a little complicated, but it actually is very simple.  

Transfer your strawberry mixture to a zip top bag, and cut off one corner.  Insert the bag into the sliced bread, and squeeze out 1-2 Tbs; it doesn't have to be pretty, you won't even really notice it after the French toast has cooked.  Carefully set the stuffed pieces aside, until everything has been stuffed.

Once everything has been stuffed, dip both sides into the egg mixture; I like to let my bread soak for about 2-3 minutes, per side.  

I like to cook my French toast on my electric griddle set to 350*, but if you're using a traditional skillet, just cook over medium heat.  I put about 1 Tbs of butter down for each piece of bread, let it get mostly melted, then carefully lay a piece of bread down on top of the butter.

I let these cook for about 3-5 minutes per side, flipping once they are a lovely golden brown.

Oh my, how good does that look??  Very.  I know.  Once you have all of your toast cooked up, serve them with a light dusting of powdered sugar, and some freshly sliced strawberries, and enjoy!  Yum!