1. Spray a 9 x 12-inch (3 L) baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Cut bread into six 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) thick slices. Using a small, sharp knife, cut a 2-inch (5 cm) long slit into one side of each slice of bread, cut three-quarters of the way through to create a pocket.
3. Spoon an equal portion of the chocolate chips into each pocket; press to close. Arrange stuffed slices in the prepared baking pan. Whisk the eggs with the milk, cinnamon and vanilla; pour evenly over the bread. Carefully turn bread over and spoon mixture over top to ensure each slice is evenly soaked. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup (if using).
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