Saturday, May 21, 2011

Baked Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast

This weekend I hosted a ladies brunch with some friends I haven't been able to visit with for awhile.  As usual, I broke all of the rules and tried out a new recipe for the first time.  I was anxious to see how well it went over with my wonderfully honest group!  It was a hit and I promised to post the recipe so here it is!  Please note that I've halved the amounts of the ingredients as most families wouldn't consume the size of the original however, if you are feeding a crowd just double it.  Also, I doubled the amount of the strawberries called for... after all, when it comes to strawberries... more is better...right? :)  Additionally, I used homemade bread in place of the french bread.  I think just about any bread will work as long as it is somewhat stale or has some substance to it.
I've also included the strawberry syrup recipe.  Double this recipe if you double the French Toast recipe. 

4 cups day old french bread cut into 1" cubes
6 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
4 oz. cream cheese cubed

Spray 8X8 baking pan.  Cube bread into 1" pieces.  Cut cream cheese into small cubes.  (About the size of a lima bean) Set aside
Beat eggs, milk, vanilla, salt and sugar together. 
Place half  (2 cups) of cubed bread in baking pan.  Spread cheese cubes evenly over bread.  Layer strawberries over cheese.  Top with remaining bread cubes.  Pour egg mixture over bread/cheese/strawberries.  Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
Bake 30 mins covered at 350.  Remove foil and bake 15-20 minutes more until top is nicely browned and center is set.

Strawberry Syrup.
1 C. sugar
1 C. water
1/8 C corn starch
2 C. sliced strawberries

Cook sugar, water and corn starch over medium heat until thickened.  Add strawberries and cook 5 more minutes.  Add orange juice or water to thin if needed.  Serve warm.


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