Stuffed French toast for Christmas morning

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- Opening all those presents Christmas morning sure makes for a hungry crowd! But who wants to make a heavy, complicated meal?

On Tuesday, our resident chef, Chef Tess, taught is us how to whip up Stuffed French Toast for Christmas morning. And she promises, it's simple and delicious.

It's a recipe straight from her brand new restaurant in Mesa, Bistro à la mode. It just opened at the beginning of the month and has already become a popular dining spot. The restaurant offers plenty of outdoor seating and features an ever-changing menu.

The French toast we saw has a southwestern flair. "We're in Arizona, so even though it's French, I didn't want it to be too French," says Chef Tess.

The recipe is below.
Crispy Bacon Jalapeño Popper Stuffed French toast with Blackberry Syrup

-2- 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
-1 cup mayonnaise
-2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
-1 cup seeded, minced, fresh jalapeno
-1 cup bacon crumbles
-1T fresh minced garlic
Savory Egg batter:
-4  jumbo eggs, cracked and whisked
-½ cup buttermilk
-½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
-½ tsp fine minced garlic
-½ tsp kosher salt
-¼ tsp ground cumin
1 cup corn-flake crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Tangy-sweet Blackberry Syrup:
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup seedless blackberry jam
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
You will also need 12 slices thin sliced sourdough French Bread (depending on how large the slices, usually about 4 inches by 4 inches).
1. Mix the filling ingredients.
2. Fill slices of bread generously with filling, enough to make approximately 6 sandwiches.
3. One for my family to share. The rest for me.
4. In a container the size of the sandwiches, combine the cornflakes and the Parmesan.
5. In a separate container combine the ingredients for the egg coating. set up a dipping station. 
6. Dip the sandwich in the egg mixture and coat well. Then coat with the corn flake mixture.  Continue until all the sandwiches are coated.
7. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the sandwich in a few Tablespoons of bacon fat or vegetable oil.
8. Prepare the blackberry syrup by combining all the syrup ingredients and stirring until smooth.  Drizzle over the warm toast.

Chef Stephanie Petersen (Chef Tess)
TV and radio chef, baker, culinary instructor, cookbook author

Bistro à la mode
4012 E Palm Street - Mesa, AZ 85215
(480) 641-4148
Monday-Friday 10:30am-2:30pm
Open Dec. 26. Available for special events and parties as well.
The bistro information can be found here: