Yesterday, while I was out running errands, I picked up a French baguette to go with our leftover pasta dinner - this delicious little number to which I added shrimp and broccoli. The bummer about buying bakery fresh bread for only two people is that by the second day, it's too stale to eat on its own. Cue the french toast.
Despite the fact that I had already made these super indulgent browniest cookies from Smitten Kitchen's blog last night (oh. em. gee. They're definitely in my top three favorite cookie recipes - along with Momofuku's confetti cookie and these oatmeal coconut cookies I came across a few years ago. This girl loves a cookie...), I decided to up my french toast game with a few ingredients I had on hand, and this scrumptious, decadent honey + cinnamon cream cheese stuffed french toast with a crunchy almond crust was born. Here's the recipe, if you'd like to throw it together for your own weekend brunch...
Almond Crusted Honey + Cinnamon Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
4 - 1 to 1.5 inch slices French baguette (or other good bread)
4 oz. cream cheese
1 tbsp. honey (I used wildflower honey, but you can use whatever variety you like)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 to 4 eggs
1/4 c. almond milk
1/4 c. 2% milk (you could use whole or whatever you have on hand)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. sugar
pinch of salt
4 tbsp. slivered almonds
1 tbsp. butter
additional honey for topping
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a small bowl with a fork or whisk, mix together cream cheese honey and cinnamon.
Slice the (already sliced) pieces of baguette again lengthwise, leaving the bottom crust intact. This holds the bread together, while allowing a pocket to stuff the french toast. Dollop a heaping spoonful of the cream cheese mixture into each bread pocket and spread. You should have four "sandwiches."
In a rectangular baking dish, whisk together eggs, milks, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Dip and soak the stuffed sandwiches in the mixture for approximately 20 seconds on each side.
Melt butter in a large pan or griddle over medium heat. Place the sandwiches in the pan, press 1 tbsp. of slivered almonds into the top side of the sandwiches that are not yet cooked, and cook on each side for 3 to 5 minutes until browned.
Once browned, place the french toast on a parchment lined baking sheet, almond side up, and bake for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. The cream cheese will melt into ooey-gooey goodness and the toast should puff up as the egg mixture continues to cook. Remove from oven, plate, and drizzle with additional honey.
Note: I didn't have cream, but if I did, I would definitely whip some of it up with honey and/or cinnamon to dollop on top of these bad boys.