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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Toffee Pecan French Toast


1 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans

French toast

8 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (such as Grand Marnier) or orange juice

2 tablespoons salted butter

8 thick slices (1 in.) brioche (about 1 lb.)

Prepare sauce: Melt unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in brown sugar until well blended, then bring to a boil. Boil until sugar dissolves, 5 to 8 minutes. Carefully stir in cream (mixture may spatter) and pecans; reduce heat to low. Make French toast: In a large shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange liqueur. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Melt 1 tbsp. salted butter in skillet, tipping pan to coat. Quickly dip bread, 1 piece at a time, into egg batter, coating both sides but not drenching. Lay bread in skillet and repeat with remaining bread. Cook until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes; then flip, add remaining 1 tbsp. butter, and cook until second side is golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more. Transfer French toast to plates, top with some of warm toffee sauce, and serve remaining sauce on the side. Make ahead: Sauce keeps up to 2 days, covered and chilled (reheat in a microwave oven).

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