Forget the plain French toast you grew up with — this decadent stacked version filled with cream cheese and marmalade is a revelation. We love it as is, but you can also experiment with other fruit preserves, such as raspberry or apricot, in place of the orange marmalade.
Cheese-and-Marmalade French Toast Sandwiches
4 large eggs
1 cup (8 oz./250 ml.) whole milk
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 Tbs. fresh orange juice or orange-flavored liqueur
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
8 thick slices challah or other egg bread
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
6 Tbs. orange marmalade
Canola oil or clarified butter for cooking
Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for serving
Pure maple syrup for serving
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Have ready a rimmed baking sheet. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange zest and juice, and vanilla. Lay 1 bread slice on a work surface and spread with one-fourth each of the cream cheese and marmalade. Top with another slice. Repeat with the remaining bread, cream cheese and marmalade.
Place a griddle over medium-high heat until hot. Lightly oil the griddle. One at a time, dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture and turn gently to coat evenly, keeping the sandwiches intact. Let stand until the bread has soaked up some of the egg mixture, about 30 seconds. Remove the sandwiches from the egg mixture, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, and place on the hot griddle. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the sandwiches and brown the other side, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to the baking sheet. When all 4 sandwiches are on the sheet, place the sheet in the oven and bake until the cream cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
Serve the French toast sandwiches at once with butter and maple syrup. Serves 4.
Find more great recipes for sunrise specialties in our book Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers.