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Orange-Pecan French Toast

Every Christmas morning, we have a routine. The kids open their Christmas stockings, then, before the chaos of digging into presents happens, we sit down to a delicious Christmas breakfast. In addition to scrambled eggs, ham, biscuits and gravy, fruit and mimosas, we include some cinnamon or pecan rolls. This year, I plan on making this delicious Orange-Pecan French Toast. The dish can be made the night before, then just pop in the oven in the morning and enjoy!

Orange-Pecan French Toast Makes 12 servings • 1 c. packed brown sugar • ⅓ c. butter, melted • 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup • ⅓ c. chopped pecans • 12 thick slices French bread • 1 tsp. grated orange zest • 1 c. fresh orange juice • ½ c. fat-free milk • 3 Tbsp. white sugar • 1 tsp. cinnamon • 1 tsp. vanilla extract • 3 egg whites • 2 eggs In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, melted butter and corn syrup. Pour into a greased 9 by 13 inch baking dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle pecans over the sugar mixture. Arrange the bread slices in the bottom of the dish so they are in a snug single layer. In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, egg whites and eggs. Pour this mixture over the bread, pressing on the bread slices to help absorb the liquid. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the cover from the baking dish and let stand for 20 minutes at room temperature. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

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