Thick slices of cinnamon-vanilla french toast are filled with strawberries and sweet cream cheese and blanketed in powdered sugar in under 20 mins.
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Remember that fast and easy french toast recipe from a few weeks ago? This is its upgrade.
When you hear strawberries and cream, does it bring a sense of decadence to mind? Maybe opulence? It does for me! Even though the inspiration for these stuffed french toast definitely doesn't come from a place of opulence.
Ever heard of Bob Evans?
When I would visit one of my aunts in Orlando, before we'd run off to Universal down the street, we'd often go to Bob Evans to fill up in the morning. It's a little country-looking chain, with a menu reminiscent of IHOP with more country dishes. And on that menu, was strawberries and cream cheese-stuffed french toast.
There aren't many things more impressive to a 4'9 twelve year old foodie than a plate of thickly-sliced french bread covered in powder sugar and piled very, very high. And filled with strawberry cream cheese, with some of it oozing out the side? It's heavenly.
In my version, the cream cheese is beaten smooth with a little powdered sugar and vanilla extract, then strawberry preserves are folded in.
Or, you know, use regular strawberry cream cheese. That's good, too; do your thing, chile.
Word of caution, less is more when it comes to stuffing your french toast. A little ooze is okay, great even. Everything oozing out onto your pan or griddle and burning up? Not okay. So stuff wisely.
Here are some tools I used in this recipe:
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- 1 loaf french bread, cut into 3 inch slices
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk, or half an half if you're naughty
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ package, 4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temp.
- ¼ tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp whole milk or half and half
- ¼ cup or less, depends on preference powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp strawberry preserves or strawberry jam
- Maple Syrup, Powdered Sugar, Fruit, for topping.
- In a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is a softer, looser texture, about 2 minutes. Mix in lemon zest, milk, and powdered sugar, a tbsp at a time, until sweetened to preference. Once those ingredients are incorporated, use a large spoon or rubber spatula to stir in the strawberry preserves.
- Put the cream cheese mixture into a piping bag or ziploc bag with a medium-sized hole cut in a lower corner, and set aside
- In a shallow dish, whisk the eggs until they are as homogenized as possible. Whisk in milk, cinnamon, vanilla and salt.
- Cut the bread slices in the center of the crust, cutting a 3-4 inch-wide slit that goes ½ to ¾ of the way through the bread, don't cut all the way through. Pipe about 1-2 tbsp of the filling into the cut you made in each slice of bread. Press down gently on the open edge to discourage leaks.
- Set the bread down into the dish to soak in your custard for 30 seconds. Flip the bread so the other side soaks for 30 seconds as well.
- In a nonstick skillet or giddle over medium heat, cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Serve with maple syrup, fruit, and powdered sugar.
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Another breakfast idea: strawberry coffee cake muffins! They are phenomenal.
Or if fast and easy is more your style, try this classic french toast recipe. You can sit and eat in 10.
See y'all in the next post!
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.