Hello, sweet friends! In the midst of online school and the college application process, breakfast has been relegated to an area of my life of lesser importance, which is just so sad. Having a filling breakfast has always been a part of my morning routine, and I’ve been trying to be better about it. If I’m being honest, I think online school has made me lazier and more of a couch potato. Sometimes the simple act of getting up to make coffee is tiring. Yikes, I know. I’m working on it!
Oh, I got a job at Eatzi’s during the summer (I forgot if I’ve mentioned this before?), and I get a lot of free food–the stuff that’s close to expiring that has to be thrown out. I got my hands on a gorgeousss loaf of Challah bread last weekend, and I immediately thought of making some french toast for my parents and I to enjoy in the morning. As you can tell, I went all-out with this one: cream cheese filling, fresh berries, powdered sugar… all of my favorites! And the photos are absolutely stunning, yes?
The whole french toast process is messy, but actually pretty simple! It’s just a matter of making the filling and the milk/egg mixture, cooking it in some butter, and making a pretty little arrangement. This recipe is really everything I love about Sunday brunch: the bright colors of the fruits, the golden-brown bread, and the subtle maple syrup in the air. And then you take the first bite, and you get the soft, buttery bread, mixed in with the decadent cream cheese filling and maybe a blueberry or two. Literal heaven, I tell you!
How to make the french toast…
- The filling is just room temperature cream cheese, whisked until it resembles a spread, and then spiced it up a bit with some sugar and bits of strawberry. The trick to “filling” the toast slices is to put it in a piping bag: trust me, it’s so much easier that way! Otherwise, there’s not much you can do to mess this part up.
- The bread is the most important element here… don’t take shortcuts and buy a random loaf you see at the store! Challah bread is AMAZING… it’s made with egg, so it’s extra rich and dense and perfect for soaking in the liquid. Brioche and Texas toast are also great (although it might be hard to find Texas toast in regions outside of the South).
- When you are filling the bread slices, first use a serrated knife to cut a slit into the bottom. You should form a “pocket,” in which you can just easily pipe in the filling. See the image above for a visual!
- If you have a pie dish or cake pan, use that for the milk/egg liquid mixture. You can just combine everything in there, and it makes dipping the toast so quick and easy.
- BUTTER! If you’re trying to be healthy, you might as well just not make french toast. Do not substitute anything for the butter! It adds a warm, nutty flavor to the bread, and also creates that beautiful golden-brown coating.
Serve it warm, topped with fresh berries, some pecans, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. With a nice cup of coffee, it’ll be the perfect start to your morning, I promise :)
We have our first football game next week, which is crazy! There are so many annoying, Corona-caused nuances that I am not looking forward to, but I’m actually kind of excited about it. Other than that, my weeks are filled with the same old online school routine + band rehearsals in the afternoons. On the plus side, it makes seeing my friends all the more special.
If you decide to make this french toast recipe, make sure to tag me @mysouthernsweettooth on Instagram, or send me a pic through Pinterest. I love seeing your creations!
See y’all soon,
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup diced strawberries
- 1 drop of food coloring (optional)
- 1 loaf of egg-based bread, such as challah, Texas Toast, etc.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4-5 tablespoons of butter
- toppings: mixed berries, pecans, powdered sugar, maple syrup, etc.
- For the filling: In a bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla, whisk, then add the strawberries and food coloring, stirring until fully combined. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside for later.
- For the toast: In a shallow container, like a pie dish or cake pan, whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla, and sugar. Cut the loaf into large, 2-inch thick slices--I ended up with 5 slices. Cut a slit into the bottom each bread slice, making sure not to cut through the other sides (you should be left with a "pocket" of sorts). Using the filling from earlier, pipe a generous amount into each of the bread slices.
- On a pan over medium heat, melt a tablespoon of butter. Dunk one of the filled bread slices into the egg/milk mixture, making sure to soak both sides. Transfer to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Repeat this process with the remaining bread slices, making sure to add an additional tablespoon of butter each time.
- While still warm, top the toast with desired toppings (my favorites are berries, pecans, maple syrup, and a dusting of powdered sugar). Enjoy!