Tasty Thursday

Since February is the month of love, try waking up your sweetheart with this romantic breakfast from our fabulous French Toast book by Donna Kelly. Cherry Valentine French Toast is easy to make and the perfect meal for any day of the month!

Cherry Valentines
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces whipped cream cheese
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Few drops red food coloring, if desired
8 slices day-old firm white bread

Chunky Cherry Syrup
1 can (14 ounces) sour pitted cherries, drained and diced
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
Red food coloring, optional

Using a hand mixer, mix together the whipped cream, sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese in a bowl; chill.

In a pie pan or other shallow pan, whisk together the milk, eggs, almond extract and salt. Add a few drops of red food coloring to make the mixture pink, if desired. Cut bread slices into large heart shapes with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Soak bread slices in egg mixture for 10 seconds on each side. Heat a frying pan sprayed with nonstick spray over medium heat. Cover and cook soaked bread in the pan 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Let each slice cool to room temperature. Place one-fourth of the chilled cream filling between two French toast slices. Ladle generously with Chunky Cherry Syrup and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar as a garnish. Makes 4 servings.

To make the syrup, place cherries in a small saucepan. Add corn syrup and sugar and bring to a full rolling boil. Reduce heat and let simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until thickened. Turn off heat and add a few drops of red food coloring, if desired. Let cool to warm and then serve. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes 2 cups.

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