I like to make a big deal about weekend breakfasts. Making and eating the best meal of the day isn’t something we always have a ton of time for. But on the weekend, it can be a true event – especially when it involves a fun main course! This weekend, I was inspired by a fresh batch of strawberries, shipped up from Florida to make these pumpernickel stuffed french toast sticks with strawberry sauce.
I’ve always been a dipper. As a kid, my mom would make a lot of our meals more fun by including a sauce. The added activity just made eating more fun. Even as an adult, I prefer a meal where I can dip something in a sauce, whether that’s fries, veggies, or in this case – bread!
French toast sticks are a childhood favorite, and I wanted to elevate that a little bit, while still keeping their character. For these, I’m using a pumpernickel bread, which brings in a rich, robust flavor. The filling is a sweetened mascarpone, which just melts right into the bread.
Then, they are dipped in a traditional custard and rolled in cinnamon sugar. After being fried to perfection, the creamy strawberry sauce is the perfect complement for dipping. They seem like more work than they truly are, and the result is worth it.
Strips of pumpernickel stuffed with a sweetened mascarpone filling, made into french toast sticks and served with a creamy strawberry sauce
- 2 Oz Mascarpone Cheese
- 1 Tbsp Milk divided
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 6 Slices Pumpernickel Bread sliced thin
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 Cup Milk
- 5 Tbsp Sugar
- 2.5 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1/2 cup Strawberries frozen or fresh
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Mascarpone Cheese
Make the filling by mixing together the mascarpone and milk until combined and creamy. Then mix in the sugar until dissolved.
Spread the filling on three sliced of the bread. Top each filled piece with another piece of bread. It's best to pair up the bread first, to make the best matches, so less filling overflows the edges.
Slice each sandwich in the shorter dimension into 1-inch wide sticks. Press the sticks at the edges slightly, so they stay stuck together.
In a medium bowl, mix the eggs and milk for the custard. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Quickly dip each stick into the custard, and let the excess drip off. Then roll the stick in the cinnamon sugar. Place the sugared sticks on the sheet pan until they are all ready.
Heat a flat frying pan or griddle on medium heat, and melt half the butter. Add half of the sticks in a single layer, and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side. These should be lightly browned, but be careful that the sugar doesn't burn.
Melt the rest of the butter, and add the rest of the sticks to the pan, and cook in the same way.
While the French toast sticks are frying, heat a small pot on medium high, and add the strawberries and 1/4 cup of water. Cook covered for about 5 minutes.
Uncover and stir frequently, and smashing the berries with the spoon. Add the sugar, and continue cooking for about 3 more minutes, until the sugar is dissolved, and the sauce has thickened slightly.
Turn off the heat, and stir in the mascarpone sauce. Serve 6 French toast sticks with half the strawberry sauce.
- If you're not into pumpernickel, any thinly sliced bread will work here. If you don't have mascarpone, cream cheese will work, but be a tangier flavor.
- If you use fresh strawberries, they do not need to be cooked covered for as long. Cook only about two minutes to soften, and then try smashing them.
- If you'd rather unstuffed sticks, use thick cut bread instead, and just skip the filling. The rest of the steps will work to make standard French toast sticks.
- If you don't have strawberries, you can use frozen raspberries. Add a bit more sugar to taste, as raspberries are more tart.