Sassy Mama is in the studio cooking up some breakfast favorites.
Add sliced strawberries to a bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes or so to macerate (soften and release their juices).
Add filling ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Beat with a hand-held mixer until smooth; set aside.
Add eggs, half and half, cinnamon, pancake mix and vanilla together in a shallow dish and whisk until thoroughly combined; set aside near the stove.
To assemble French Toast: Spread a thick layer of cream cheese filling on one side of sliced bread, leaving ¼-inch border all around. Arrange strawberries in an even layer on top of the cream cheese. Spread another layer of cream cheese on a new slice of bread and place it on top of the strawberries (cream cheese side down) to form a sandwich. Repeat to make 5-6 sandwiches total.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat along with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Dip one sandwich into the egg mixture and turn to evenly coat (see notes on soaking times), let excess drip off then transfer to the skillet. Repeat with a second sandwich. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy on each side. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
Serve immediately with desired topping such as powdered sugar, syrups and fresh berries.