• 2 large slices hearty white sandwich bread per person
1 1/2 cups Whole milk (to prevent the butter from clumping during mixing warm the milk in a microwave
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons Ground light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons Unsalted butter melted, plus butter for cooking
1/4 teaspoon teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
Whisk together first seven ingredients to make filling, then stir in pecans.
Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread 1 generous tablespoon of filling between 2 slices of the bread. Use the dull edge of a large water glass cut one clean circle out of each filled sandwich, cutting off the crust and sealing the sandwich. Place the sandwiches on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the sandwiches until almost dry throughout (center should remain slightly moist), about 12 minutes, flipping sandwiches halfway through cooking. Remove the sandwiches from the rack and let cool 5 minutes. Return the baking sheet with the wire rack to the oven and reduce the temperature to 200 degrees.
Whisk the warmed milk, yolks, brown sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons melted butter, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. To soak the toasted sandwiches transfer the mixture to a 13” x 9” Pyrex baking dish.
Soak sandwiches in the milk mixture until saturated but not falling apart, 20 seconds per side. Using a firm, slotted spatula pick up the sandwiches and allow the excess milk mixture to drip off; repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Place the soaked sandwiches on another baking sheet or platter.
Heat ? tablespoon butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. When foaming subsides, using a slotted spatula transfer 3 soaked sandwiches to the skillet and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. To keep warm, transfer the cooked sandwiches to the baking sheet in the oven. To cook the remaining sandwiches wipe out the skillet with paper towels and repeat the cooking, adding ? tablespoon of butter for each batch.
Dust the filled Pain Perdu sandwiches with powdered sugar and serve warm with plenty of New Hampshire maple syrup.
*Variation for children: Use 1 tablespoon of Nutella as a filling.