Countdown to Valentine’s Day: Day 4!photo credit

A few years ago, I had a Valentine’s Brunch at my house and made this recipe for all my guests. It was a big hit & I’ve been thinking about making it again for all my Valentines. If you’re looking for something special to make for yours, you might want to try this…

Stuffed French ToastBatter:2 eggs1 cup milk1/2 cup sugar1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1 teaspoon pure vanilla extractFilling:1 1/2 cups cream cheese1/4 cup dark chocolate chips1/2 cup medium-diced banana1/8 cup orange juice1/4 cup sugar1 teaspoon pure vanilla extractSyrup:1 cup sugar1 cup water3 cinnamon sticksButter, as needed4 (2-inch thick) pieces challah breadVanilla ice cream, for serving, optionalFresh berries, for serving, optionalBatter:Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well until incorporated. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.Filling:Fold all ingredients together in a bowl until well incorporated but not completely smooth.Syrup:Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and let reduce by 1/3.French Toast:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Heat a large saute pan and then add butter. Dredge the bread in the batter and place in the pan. Cook until golden brown on both sides, approximately 2 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool. Divide filling between 2 pieces of the bread top with the remaining 2 pieces of bread. Transfer French toast to oven and bake for 8 minutes.Cut each French toast in half and serve with the cinnamon syrup and, if desired, a large scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh berries.Yield: 4 servings

My notes: I skipped the syrup & just sprinkled on powdered sugar. Never even considered the ice cream. Served it with berries & it was perfect!