Strawberry-Stuffed French Toast

Strawberry-Stuffed French Toast

Serves 4

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
8 slice bread, white or whole wheat
3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons butter (optional)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon; mix until smooth. Spread one side of each slice of bread evenly with the cream cheese mixture. On the cream cheese side of four slices of the bread, layer with some sliced strawberries evenly over the surface of each slice. Top each slice with a remaining slice of bread, pressing the cream cheese side down onto the strawberries. Press together gently to seal strawberries inside sandwich.

In a shallow bowl, combine the eggs and milk; mix well and set aside.

Preheat oven to 200°F. Spray a large baking sheet lightly with cooking spray and place in oven. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray or melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium-high heat.

Dip strawberry sandwiches into the egg mixture, turning to soak each side. Place soaked sandwich in the hot skillet and cook on each side until browned. Remove sandwiches from skillet and place on baking sheet in warm oven and repeat until all sandwiches are cooked.

Just before serving, cut each sandwich diagonally; top with remaining strawberries and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar. Serve with Warm Strawberry Syrup.

Warm Strawberry Syrup:
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons orange juice or Grand Marnier
3/4 cup puréed strawberries

In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, orange juice and puréed strawberries. Heat mixture over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly, stirring frequently. Serve while warm.