Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Filled French Toast

Here's what we had for dinner tonight. This is a new one for us. It is from the Joy of Cooking.

Filled French Toast

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c honey or pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
grated zest of 1 small orange
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 c finely chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, etc), toasted, or shredded sweetened or unsweetened dried coconut (optional)

1 lb loaf white bread, preferably egg bread, trimmed of crusts

egg wash
1 c milk
3 large eggs
1/4 c ap flour
3 tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

1 tbs unsalted butter
1tbs vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly butter a baking sheet. Mix cream cheese, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, zest, cinnamon, salt, and nuts together. Cut the loaf into 1-inch-thick slices; you probably will get 8 slices. Carefully work the knife into one side of each slice of break to create a pocket that you can open with your fingers. Spoon an equal amount of filling into each pocket. Whisk the milk, eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla and salt in a shallow bowl. Soak the bread in the egg mixture until thoroughly saturated but not falling apart. Heat butter and oil in a skillet over medium-low. Add as many slices of bread to the skillet as will fit without crowding and cook until the the underside is just lightly golden. Turn the bread and cook until the second side is lightly golden. As each slice is cooked, transfer it to the baking sheet. Continue cooking the French toast, adding more butter and oil as needed. Bake the sauteed slices until puffed and beautifully golden, about 6 minutes. Serve immediately with powdered sugar, maple syrup, or honey.

*Notes* We used honey, I'm too cheap to pay for maple syrup. I used an egg bread which worked well. I wouldn't use French bread or anything that doesn't have a firmer structure. I'm not sure if it could withstand the stuffing. After the bread is stuffed, it looked like the stuffing would ooze out during cooking. It did a little, but not much. You could refrigerate the bread after it is stuffed, maybe 30 minutes. Because I used an electric griddle to brown the toast, I didn't use the butter or oil. It was a little time consuming because I was making it by myself with the girls wanting to "help," the phone ringing, diaper changing, etc. I would make it again though. It's pretty rich, the girls split a piece and one should fill you up, especially with side dishes. The recipe also suggests putting apple butter or a thick fruit preserve in with the filling, would be worth a try. We also thought about lemon zest instead of orange, but the orange is really good. I hope you enjoy.