2tablespoonsmaple syrup, (or your favorite syrup, both optional)
2tablespoons butter, softened (approximately)
In medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese and sugar. Fold in the chopped strawberries.
If you are using unsliced bread, trim both ends off the bread, then cut the loaf into 12 slices, each about ¾ inch thick.
Spread one side of each bread slice with the cream cheese and strawberry mixture, dividing the spread equally. Top 6 slices of bread with sliced strawberries, dividing equally, then add the remaining bread slices with cream cheese side down to create a sandwich. Press the sandwiches gently to get them to stick together.
In a shallow dish, beat the eggs slightly. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon, milk and vanilla and whisk together until it is all blended and the eggs are well mixed.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Brush it with a thin layer of butter.
Working in batches, dip the sandwiches into the egg mixture, soaking them well. Add the egg-dipped sandwiches, in batches as necessary, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, pressing gently. Flip the sandwiches over by using one spatula under the sandwich and one on top to steady as you flip, and cook until the sandwich is golden and puffed and a knife inserted into the bread comes out clean, about 2 minutes on each side.
Keep the prepared stuffed French toast sandwiches warm while repeating until all of the sandwiches are cooked. Add more butter to the pan and adjust the heat as you find it necessary, to prevent burning the French toast.
Enjoy the stuffed French toast as it is, or top it with more delicious maple syrup if you love it sweet.
Easy Alternate Directions:
I know that this recipe calls for the sandwiches to be made up, then dipped whole into the egg mixture before frying. That is certainly the traditional way to make stuffed French toast, but I find it messy. There is an easier way if you are interested.Here is what I suggest:Make the cream cheese and strawberry mixture as detailed in the directions above. Slice the extra strawberries and set all of it aside.Make the egg wash for the French toast. Dip each piece of bread into the egg wash mixture and place them in the skillet or on the griddle. Flip the French toast pieces when the underside is nice and browned and cook on the second side. When the French toast pieces have been cooked, spread the cream cheese and strawberry mixture on all of the slices. Add the sliced strawberries on top of 6 of the slices and "crown" your French toast sandwiches with the second slice of French toast, cream cheese side down. You will get the same wonderful sweet flavor and texture as the sandwiches done the traditional way, but it is much easier to make. I'm always in favor of finding ways to make it easier on the cook.So take your choices of methods. Either of them will mean you can easily enjoy this fantastic cream cheese and strawberry stuffed French toast any day you want.