square chocolate strawberry french toastOne of my favorite memories from my newlywed days in our first, slummy, cockroach-ridden apartment (who knew there were cockroaches in Provo, Utah. Apparently cockroaches can live anywhere if you’re lucky enough) was late one Sunday night when we were hungry and kind of desperately needed to go grocery shopping. We  rifled through our fridge and our cupboards and realized we had all the ingredients to make French toast, so we busted out our wedding gifts like The Joy of Cooking and our electric skillet and sat in our scary little kitchen, eating French toast.

French toast is still our go-to meal when all else fails, because we almost always have bread, milk, eggs, and a few other ingredients (and if we don’t, we’re ridiculously close to Domino’s pizza, so, you know, there’s always that). For us, it’s what we eat for fun or when someone needs a pick-me-up or at the end of a long day.

When I was pregnant with my oldest son, I had a handful of cookbooks that I scoured over and over again and seem to have lost in a move somewhere because I can’t find them for the life of me. But. One of them had a method for cooking French toast that was a game-changer for me. It takes a little longer (but less hands-on time), so if time is an issue, the stovetop or skillet method is always an option, but if not, it produces fluffy, crispy, non-soggy French toast (which was always my problem when I cooked it on the stove).

The solution? Just like our perfect bacon, you bake it in the oven. Not in a casserole dish like an overnight French toast, but you bake individual pieces of French toast on a baking sheet. It’s magical.

You can use this method with any traditional French toast recipe, but for this go-around, I’m dressing things up a little. For the milk mixture, you’re going to need whole chocolate milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, eggs, vanilla (P.S. If you’re thinking of making vanilla for Christmas 2014, it’s never too early to start!), and almond extract.

chocolate french toast mixture ingredients

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a large, glass measuring cup, whisk together the chocolate milk,

chocolate milk

cocoa powder, cinnamon, eggs,

cinnamon and eggs

vanilla extract, and almond extract.

chocolate french toast batter mixed

Lay the slices of Texas Toast

Texas Toast

on another (rimmed) baking sheet, then pour the mixture over the bread. Allow it to stand for 10-15 minutes or until the bread soaks up the egg/milk mixture (you can carefully flip the bread over if you want to hurry the process along. Also, I’m doing this in a 9×13″ pan, but it’s not large enough for 8 pieces of bread. So use a baking sheet. Unless you only want 6 pieces, or you want to be rebellious).

soaked french toast

When the bread is almost done soaking up the egg mixture, place a 1 1/2 tablespoons butter on the lined baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the oven for 1-2 minutes or until the butter is melting.

butter melting in oven

Remove the pan from the oven and use a pastry brush to brush the butter over the baking sheet. Carefully transfer the soaked bread from one pan to the other pan. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

When the 20 minutes is almost up, melt the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and brush the top of the bread with the remaining butter, then use a spatula to flip the bread and return it to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the bread is cooked through and the pieces are fluffy and golden. Remove from the oven.

Heat 3 tablespoons of chocolate hazelnut spread

nutella for melting

in the microwave for about 1 minute or until it’s smooth and easy to pour. Divide the French toast into individual servings.

chocolate french toast

Divide the strawberries evenly among the French toast, then drizzle with the melted hazelnut spread

chocolate french toast with strawberries and chocolate hazelnut spread

and top with sweetened whipped cream. Makes 8 slices.

Chocolate Strawberry French Toast with Strawberries from Our Best Bites. Baking it  in the oven keeps it from getting soggy !

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Baked Chocolate French Toast with Strawberries
Recipe by Our Best Bites

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole chocolate milk
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
8 slices Texas Toast
3 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons chocolate hazelnut spread
1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
Sweetened whipped cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a large, glass measuring cup, whisk together the chocolate milk, cocoa powder, cinnamon, eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Lay the slices of bread on another (rimmed) baking sheet, then pour the mixture over the bread. Allow it to stand for 10-15 minutes or until the bread soaks up the egg/milk mixture (you can carefully flip the bread over if you want to hurry the process along).

When the bread is almost done soaking up the egg mixture, place a 1 1/2 tablespoons butter on the lined baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the oven for 1-2 minutes or until the butter is melting. Remove the pan from the oven and use a pastry brush to brush the butter over the baking sheet. Carefully transfer the soaked bread from one pan to the other pan. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

When the 20 minutes is almost up, melt the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and brush the top of the bread with the remaining butter, then use a spatula to flip the bread and return it to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the bread is cooked through and the pieces are fluffy and golden. Remove from the oven.

Heat 3 tablespoons of chocolate hazelnut spread in the microwave for about 1 minute or until it’s smooth and easy to pour. Divide the strawberries evenly among the French toast, then drizzle with the melted spread and top with sweetened whipped cream. Makes 8 slices.

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18comments

  1. 1
    Ellie says:

    Sounds delicious. Where do you buy that huge bottle of almond extract? It would be lovely to have one that big.

  2. 2

    Whoa!! Dessert for breakfast is definitely my thing. Loving this!

  3. 3
    Sherri Erkel says:

    Oh no you didn’t!

  4. 4
    Lynette says:

    This sounds so yummy! Thanks for sharing such an awesome idea!

  5. 5
    Kristin says:

    Oh my goodness…seriously? I absolutely know what I’m making this weekend for breakfast! The popover pancakes have been our go-to breakfast since we saw them a few weeks ago, but I have a feeling this one will give them a run for their money. Can’t wait to try!!

  6. 6
    meredith says:

    Just yesterday we were eating French toast with strawberries and cream wondering if it would be good with chocolate sauce … Obviously it is!! Thanks for sharing this :-)

  7. 7
    Patti says:

    With your egg issues, I know soggy French toast is not an option for you!

  8. 8
    Kim G. says:

    That looks divine. I am afraid I will have to try that. Darn carbs!

  9. 9
    Kellie says:

    I need this…NOW.

  10. 10
    Nellie says:

    omg I think I just drooled a bit… this looks amazing!

  11. 11
    Michelle Smith says:

    Want this…for dinner…tonight! (too bad the pork chops are already in the oven)

  12. 12
    Emily says:

    oh gosh…there are no words for what just happened here! Get in my belly!!!!

  13. 13
    Rebecca says:

    Wow. The Nutella put it over the top for me!

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Holly says:

    This looks so good! Have you ever tried using coconut milk? Wondering how that would turn as well in a tropical version of this recipe…

  16. 16
    Suzie says:

    I don’t know what I did wrong, but mine didn’t turn out. The only thing I changed was using french bread in place of Texas toast!! It was suuuuuper soggy inside :(

  17. 17
    Emily F says:

    Mega fail! I tried this tonight and it was so stuck to the pan I couldn’t even flip it! Next time maybe I’ll spray it with Pam before baking?

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