French toast is delicious served with a little butter and maple syrup, but when you want to make it even more special, use a secret ingredient that you probably already have in your refrigerator: cream cheese.
Choose the Right Bread
The foundation of great French toast is hearty bread that’s just a little stale. Look for unsliced loaves in your bakery’s day-old section. Brioche, challah or French bread are all good choices. Cut the bread into 3/4- to 1-inch slices, or ask your baker to slice it for you.
If you can’t get day-old bread, lay sliced fresh bread on a sheet pan and let it sit out overnight, or lightly toast the slices in an oven set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The drier the bread is; the better it will soak up the custard.
Make the Egg Mixture
Simple French toast requires a mixture of eggs and a combination of milk, half-and-half, or cream. Keep it plain or use the mixture to incorporate a layer of flavor into your French toast. Add spices, such as powdered cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger. For an adults-only treat, add a splash of your favorite liqueur.
Incorporate Cream Cheese
The easiest way to add the sweet richness of cream cheese to your French toast is to make a glaze. Beat 1 part room temperature cream cheese to 2 parts powdered sugar and 1 part softened butter. Drizzle the glaze over hot French toast.
If you want to impress your guests -- or create a gourmet treat -- make a cream cheese filling for your French toast. Beat softened cream cheese with powdered sugar and a few drops of vanilla to taste. Add more sugar or vanilla until the filling reaches the level of sweetness you want. Use the filling as it is, or incorporate your favorite berries, spices or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Cut a slit lengthwise down the middle of each slice of bread, taking care not to cut all the way through. Put 2 or 3 tablespoons of filling into the pocket. Do not overfill, or the cream cheese will ooze out during cooking.
Cook the French Toast
Soak the French toast in the egg mixture. You can soak it for as few as 3 to 4 minutes or overnight.
Cook the French toast until it is golden brown on the outside and reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. If you’ve assembled the French toast the night before, the easiest way to cook it is in the oven. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes.
If you are assembling the French toast immediately before cooking, you can bake it or cook it on a griddle or in a frying pan. Coat the frying pan with cooking spray and carefully place the French toast in the middle of the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side.
If you are cooking for a crowd, a griddle allows you to cook four to six pieces of French toast at a time. Follow the same procedures as for pan frying, and keep finished slices warm in the oven while you cook.
- Photo Credit Gina Moore/iStock/Getty Images
How to Make Stuffed French Toast
Be the MVP of brunch by serving this delicious stuffed French toast recipe featuring an oh-so-gooey chocolate hazelnut filling.
How to make Crunchy Cream Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops
Create a savory cream cheese stuffing to flavor your pork chops before dredging them in a crunchy coating and baking them until...
Recipe for Oven-Baked French Toast
**Start to Finish:** 40 minutes **Servings:** 4 to 6 **Difficulty Level:** Beginner Making baked French toast requires little hands-on effort. Biting into...
How to Prepare Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers With Cream Cheese Filling
With their small size, stuffed jalapenos make a good appetizer or pot luck offering. The cream cheese in the recipe complements the...