Stuffed French Toast

by Katie of :

1 loaf french bread
1 c. sliced fresh strawberries
2 T. sugar (optional)
1/2 c. strawberry jam
one package cream cheese, room temperature
4 eggs
1/2 c. milk
2 T. flour
1 t. vanilla
1 T. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 c. butter (4 T.)
1/2 c. sliced almonds
powdered sugar for garnish

If desired, mascerate the strawberries with the sugar in a bowl by sprinkling with sugar and mixing well (can lightly press with a fork to get the juices going). Otherwise, simply slice strawberries. With an electric mixer, mix together the cream cheese and strawberry jam.. Cut bread into 2 inch pieces and then slice a "pocket" in it by slicing it on one side but not all the way through the other three sides.  Spread about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture inside the pocket and also 2 T of the strawberries.  Pinch open edges of bread together to seal and then beat eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a shallow bowl.  Dip each slice of bread in egg mixture, coating completely.  If desired, dip into almonds. Heat butter in skillet over medium heat (don't brown) and then place bread in butter and fry on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). until browned and golden. Sift powdered sugar over top and garnish with sliced strawberries. Use maple syrup in desired.