So I’m one of those ‘weirdos’ that really doesn’t care for pancakes, french toast or waffles. Well let me rephrase that. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the first 2 bites of each of them but anything more than that feels like a brick is in my stomach. Even with my pancakes and waffles being super light and airy, it still just kills my stomach. Growing up, same thing. Every Saturday and Sunday Mom would make huge stacks of pancakes and French toast along with dippy eggs and a few pounds of bacon (I came from a big family who could eat!). I’d see those glorious items stacked on my brothers plates with butter melting down the sides and pure maple syrup slowly being poured over top. I’d put one on my plate and by bite 3 I couldn’t eat anything, not even the bacon. Talk about a tragedy!
For years when I moved out on my own I never made those things. Well along came Mr. Fantabulous into my life and unreal ability to inhale massive amounts of food and not gain a single ounce <hate him>. Now like any one you want to date, you do everything you can to impress them. The thing is, I didn’t have to ‘try’ with him. It just came natural. Him being in my life and just being there was right; it was meant to be.
As we dated we had our routine, even early in our relationship. We were like that little old married couple that had been married for 30 years even though we were dating only a few months. Like my Mom always said “when you know, you know”. Two nights a week we were at my house, Friday were always his place so we could have our pizza, wings, hoagie, soda and Italian ice. Weekends we were inseparable. However it wasn’t until we moved in together did I make him pancakes for the first time. I mean I already got him to move in with my other cooking so I needed something in my repertoire to keep him, right? LOL
I can still remember seeing his face after his first bite. I knew with that single bite I ‘had’ him for life. LOL Well after that, every weekend for gosh 3 months he wanted pancakes. Just like any food, after making it over and over you kind of get either tired of eating it or tired of making it. The one morning I decided to switch it up and go with French toast… SCORE! Same thing with waffles. Oh yeah, this man was hooked, line and sinker for me.
Well as you can imagine it was killing me making all those foods knowing I couldn’t really enjoy them fully. So I’d make myself something else which meant more dishes to wash and more time I took away from us. One thing I take pride in is using the same recipe but in more than one way. It’s how I was raised – to really stretch your recipe and ingredients so you’re not eating the same thing over and over.
We had to live that way as we were so poor that if my parents weren’t creative geniuses in the kitchen I would have grown up eating pretty much 5 dishes – roast & potatoes, spaghetti, meatloaf, pork loin and white bread. Just those things with no diversity. However thank God my parents showed me that with those 5 basic recipes you could make 25 more recipes/dishes.
So one morning I decided to try and make finger-sized french toast sticks. To give them some texture I coated them in cornflakes. They turned out really great but still they were pretty heavy on the stomach for me. I still could only eat one stick before they felt heavy on my stomach. Mr. Fantabulous LOVED them big time een with the crunchy coating.
A few weeks later as I was making him French toast I saw that I had one slice of bread left, the heel which he would never ever eat, and just enough of the dipping batter that would coat it. Not wanting to waste anything I decided to use that. I realized two things after making this heel is that:
– I could actually eat the whole slice of french toast; and
– Using the heel with that crust on it to make french toast is yucky. It doesn’t really taste right.
But that made me realize that the trick, for me, was to make the bread really thin. So while he ate his thick fat slices of french toast, it was thin stacks for me. Again, they were good and I could eat dinner with my sweetie but I’ll be honest.. it as kind of boring for me. Plus thin stacks of french toast isn’t exactly something that is photo-worthy.
So flash forward to a couple of years later when my girlfriend challenged me to create a ‘breakfast’ type food that she would eat. You see she hated anything breakfast related. This woman ate stuffed peppers for breakfast. Making her eggs, pancakes or cereal would be like calling her baby ugly. LOL Into the kitchen I went, bound and determined to make up a recipe even she would eat.
That’s when I started thinking about my flat stacks of french toast. I thought about french toast sandwiches which is pretty much a monte cristo but I wanted to go really out there. That’s how my Savory Ricotta Mushroom Prosciutto French Toast Roll Ups came to fruition. Not only were they super easy to make, but they tasted awesome!!!
Okay so we got savory, so why not sweet. The first time I made the sweet version I put way too much filling it and ended up with a huge mess. Next I tried to be creative and go with a peanut butter and jelly filling. Yeah no, that doesn’t work. So wait, let me explain. Yes it will work BUT what happens when you heat up peanut butter? It gets liquidy and runny. And what happens when you use that in this? It leaks out and gets too runny. Not cool.
Now if you go with straight berry filling, as long as you keep to it about a tsp or two you’ll be fine. Keep in mind that will vary on the size of your bread but for this recipe I’m going with standard sandwich bread. Easy peasy. However you know me, I wanted to go a bit more; push the proverbial envelope. So why not cheesecake filling? I know, insane!
Now this cheesecake filling is pretty straight forward. The trick to this filling is to keep it on the thicker but spreadable side. You want it to be thicker so it doesn’t ooze out in a runny mess and can hold up to the cooking. If you wanted you can easily flavor this with some lemon zest or even add some cocoa powder to make a chocolate cheesecake filling.
When I made the cheesecake filled one I literally sat there and mouthed ‘WOW’ silently…with a mouthful of french toast roll ups. Yes, it wasn’t my most ladylike moment but hey, this was epic tasting!
Once I figured out the right mixture, there was no stopping me. What’s funny is when I made these Mr. Fantabulous looked at them and said “Oh no, what did you do now? Please tell me you’re not changing ‘MY’ French toast recipe”. Wait.. his French toast recipe? I didn’t know he could cook and certainly don’t recall that man making it over the past 20 years.
I did make 2 versions of this – one with seeded raspberry preserves and one with strawberry preserves in case he did want to try it. Fortunately/unfortunately (however you want to look at it) he refused to try them because they were ‘not normal’. LOL But SCORE for me as these were mine, mine, mine! I’m not sure if my thighs were happy about this new discovery or not but I was able to eat 2 of these in one sitting which is huge for me! So into the fridge the leftovers went.
About 4 or 5 hours later I wanted a snack. When I opened up the fridge door I spied these just sitting there, calling my name. I will admit this but I just grabbed a cold one straight from the fridge and took a bite.
What I tasted next was mind blowing! These cheesecake berry filled French toast roll ups turned into this almost pastry-like dessert! I honestly don’t know which one I liked better… the ones straight from the pan that are all warm and creamy or the ones from the fridge that have a pastry-like taste and texture.
This recipe I’ve lost count how many times I’ve made them for both breakfast and a snack/dessert. Stay tuned for more flavors including a ramped up peanut butter and jelly version.Print
- 4 ounces softened cream cheese
- 2 Tbl confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 4 ounces any berry preserves
- 10–12 slices sandwich bread, white or wheat
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk or half & half
- 2 tsp cinnamon. divided
- 1 Tbl brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- In a shallow dish whisk together 1 tsp cinnamon and granulated sugar, set aside.
- To make the cheesecake filling whip together the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla with an electric mixture until thick and creamy. You want the mixture thick but spreadable.
- Remove the edges of the bread to remove the crust.
- Using a rolling pin, roll over each slice of bread until 1/4” thick.
- Heat up a skillet over medium heat and lightly spray.
- Take 1 tsp of cheesecake filling and smear it across the lower third of the bread but not going to the edges.
- Top the cheesecake with 1 tsp of berry preserves.
- In another shallow dish whisk together the eggs, milk brown sugar and remaining cinnamon until combined.
- Dip your finger in the egg mixture and gently coat the edges of the bread.
- Grabbing the end of the bread closest to you, carefully roll the bread up like an egg roll. You want these fairly tight but do not smash.
- Gently press the seam of the bread against itself. This will help them stay shut while cooking.
- Carefully dip each roll up into the egg mixture coating all sides and place in the pan, seam side down.
- Repeat this for each roll up.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes on all sides turning to brown all sides.
- Once cooked on all sides, remove from the pan and immediately roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
For more EPIC Breakfast recipes try one of these favorites!