I’ve been craving something pumpkin spice since the weather has gotten chilly.  And I’m not talking about just Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks.

There’s a local diner here that serves French toast stuffed with strawberries and cream cheese and it’s always a delicious treat.  I usually regret getting it after I eat a plate of it because it’s so darn sweet.  When I woke up, I thought about this diner.  And I thought about pumpkins.  And this is how this recipe was born.

Ingredients:

For the Egg Mixture:
-2 Large Eggs
-1/2 Cup of Milk
-1 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice
-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

For the Filling:
-1 Loaf of Fresh Bread
-1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
-4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened (I used low fat)
-2 teaspoons Pumpkin Spice (Adjust to your liking)
-1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup, Optional

Tip:  Allow adequate time for your cream cheese to soften, up to a half hour.  If it isn’t soft it’ll be lumpy in the mixture.

In a medium bowl, add pumpkin puree, cream cheese, and pumpkin spice.

Optional:  Add maple syrup to mixture if you’d like it sweeter.
Stir well, until smooth and creamy.

Now, let’s prepare the bread.

Slice your fresh bread into two inch slices.
Slice a small slit in the top of the bread, like so:

Gently separate the bread, being careful not to tear it.

Use a butter knife to put the filling into the slit in the bread.

Do this to the loaf of bread until all used up, except for the ends.

Prepare the egg mixture.  Put milk, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin spice into a shallow glass dish.

Melt butter in a skillet on medium heat.

Coat both sides of the bread in the egg mixture.

Cook each side until golden brown and no longer eggy.
When done with each piece, place on a sheet in the oven on warm.
Top each piece with powdered sugar and pecans or almonds.  Drizzle maple syrup on top, if desired.
Dig in!

This French toast is absolutely heavenly- try it this Fall season!

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