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Allison Malec is a Marketing Manager at Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, and is an editor at The Recipe Club. She lives in New York City, and loves to cook, bake and eat. She loves anything sweet, especially Momofuku Milk Bar’s Compost Cookies, Ben and Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Crunch Ice Cream, and Vanilla Mr. Softee cones with rainbow sprinkles.

Thought it was impossible to improve upon French Toast? Think again. This decadent breakfast recipe from The Epicurious Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, October 2012) blew my whole family away. The sliced baguette pieces (the cookbook suggests using a country loaf, but this was what I had in the house) are coated in a caramel sauce and then sit overnight in an eggy, creamy mixture. The resulting French Toast was crusty, sweet, doughy on the inside and absolutely irresistible.

Creme Brulee French Toast
Recipe from The Epicurious Cookbook by Tanya Steel and the editors of Epicurious
Yield: Makes 6 servings

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 (8- to 9-inch) round loaf country-style bread
5 large eggs
1 ½ cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
¼ teaspoon salt

1. In a small heavy saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth. Pour into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Cut 6 (1-inch-thick) slices from the center portion of the bread, reserving the ends for another use, and trim the crusts. Arrange the bread slices in one layer in the baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

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2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, liqueur, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill the bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and bring the bread mixture to room temperature.

4. Bake the bread mixture, uncovered, in the middle of the oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot French toast immediately.

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