By Chef John Szymanski, Kroger Head Chef

Blue Ridge Mountains Region










    1 (16-ounce) loaf Italian bread
    1/4 cup peach preserves
    1/3 cup chopped peaches
    1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    4 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups whole milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Butter Pecan Syrup:


    1 tablespoon butter
    1/4 cup chopped pecans
    1/4 cup maple syrup


  1. Beat first three ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Cut ends from bread. Cut bread into six slices; cut a pocket through top crust of each slice.
    Stuff each slice evenly with cream cheese mixture; place in a 9-by-13-inch dish.
  3. Whisk together eggs, half and half, and vanilla; pour over bread slices.
    Cover and chill 30 minutes, turning once.
  4. Cook bread slices on a lightly greased griddle over medium-high 3 minutes on both sides until golden. Finish cooking in 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Serve with butter pecan syrup.
  5. To make the butter pecan syrup, combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour immediately over French toast.



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