Chocolate and Strawberry Stuffed French Toast
SUBMITTED by Peggy Steinmetz-Koehler, Eagen, MN

4 slices French or Italian loaf (1-inch thick)
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup strawberry jam
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter
powdered sugar for dusting
maple syrup and fresh strawberries

Stuff Bread Slices: With a sharp knife, cut a pocket into the side of each slice of bread -- cutting almost, but not quite all the way, to the edges. Spread the inside of each pocket with 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of the chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of the strawberry jam. Squash the bread closed to enclose the filling.
Dipping Mixture: In a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla. Dip the stuffed bread slices into the egg mixture, turning to soak both sides evenly.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the stuffed bread to the pan and cook, turning each slice over several times to let it brown evenly (about 5 or 6 minutes total) Dust lightly with powdered sugar and serve with sliced fresh strawberries and maple syrup
NOTE: Depending on the size of the pocket and the slice of bread, you may not be able to use the full amount of stuffing ingredients -- just play it by ear and use as much as will fit inside




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