Monday, November 22, 2010

Stuffed French Toast with Cranberry Cream

It's Thanksgiving week!  I don't love cranberry sauce with my turkey, but I do love cranberries, so here's a way to use up any leftover cranberry sauce after the big holiday.  Or, of course, you can just buy yourself a can of whole berry cranberry sauce and go to town with this one.

E and I were on our weekly grocery date and we ended up at Costco where they were sampling a pre-made stuffed French toast.  We took one bite, looked at eachother and quickly walked away before we gave in to our weakness and ate all the samples.  I decided to try to make a version at home and I think my version is just as good, or even better than the one we sampled.

I used sourdough bread for my French toast.  You could absolutely use regular white bread or Italian bread, but I love the tang of sourdough.  It kinda matches the tang of cream cheese.  I picked up this loaf (which wasn't on sale, but was worth the full purchase price) of Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Soft Sourdough Bread at ShopRite. 

I love using sourdough bread for grilled cheese, too, but that's another story.

I made a filling of Neufchatel cheese (a.k.a. reduced fat cream cheese), powdered sugar, cranberry sauce, and orange zest.  I spread the filling onto the bread and made sandwiches...

I dipped each sandwich in an egg batter made with milk and lemon extract.  I didn't use cinnamon because I wanted a clean, fresh, fruity aroma and flavor.  While I grilled the French toast I made a quick compote of cranberry sauce and orange juice.  I simmered the compote and then poured it over the warm French toast.  It was heavenly.  Both sweet and tart at the same time.  Much better choice than maple syrup.

This breakfast was so rich that we each only ate one piece of stuffed French toast (sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with hot cranberry compote).  So rich, in fact, that we didn't even serve it with bacon.  All we needed was a fresh cup of coffee.  Heavenly.

Stuffed French Toast with Cranberry Cream
a Keeley original
Serves 4

For the French Toast
8 slices of sourdough sandwich bread (soft bread, I use Pepperidge Farm)
4 ounces (1/2 package) of neufchatel cheese, softened (a.k.a. reduced fat cream cheese, or just regular cream cheese)
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for topping
2 Tablespoons whole berry cranberry sauce
1 teaspoon orange zest
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract

For the Cranberry Compote
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
3 Tablespoons orange juice

French Toast
In a small/medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and orange zest (a hand mixer works well to get a creamy consistency).

Divide the cream cheese filling evenly among 4 slices of bread.  Spread to cover the bread (leaving about 1/2" border on all sides).  Top each of the 4 slices with a plain slice of bread to make four sandwiches.

In a shallow bowl, whip together the eggs, milk, and lemon extract.  (I use a pie pan.)  Dip each sandwich in the egg mixture.  Make sure to dip both sides and let it sit in the egg for about 15 seconds... any longer and it may get soggy.

Preheat a griddle pan (or nonstick skillet) to medium/high and spray with nonstick spray.  Grill the French toast for about 2 minutes per side, slice each piece on a diagonal and serve immediately with powdered sugar and cranberry compote.

Cranberry Compote
Combine cranberry sauce and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook for 5 minutes or until simmering, stirring frequently.  Serve hot over French toast (or buttermilk pancakes or waffles..)


  1. This looks amazing! I love the rick filling with the tart cranberries...yum!

  2. I would love to come over for breakfast and eat a pound of this.

    Wink, winkkk.

    Happy Thanksgiving, muffin!

  3. That stuffed french toast looks amazing and so seasonal! Happy Thanksgiving and happy thanksgiving day cooking

  4. You had me at cranberry cream! These look amazing Keeley. Your new header is nice too!


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