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Mad irish toast


Pecan cream cheese:

2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese

1 cup of coarsely chopped pecans

Whiskey butterscotch sauce:

1/4 cup Irish whiskey (Jameson or Kilbeggan)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup salted butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

Egg batter:

3 eggs

3/4 cup whole milk

A shake of cinnamon

8 slices of challah (egg bread), cut an inch thick

For the pecan cream cheese, microwave cream cheese for 40 seconds to a minute to warm. Place in mixing bowl with pecans and mix until blended. Refrigerate. (It's a nice idea to toast the pecans before chopping, but the diner doesn't do that.)

To make the sauce, mix the whiskey and cream. Have it ready for use. (The homemade sauce is available at the diner for $7.50 per pint).

Melt the butter and brown sugar in a medium-sized heavy saucepan. Stir constantly. Do not stop. Heat and whisk until it combines into one thick sauce and is bubbling.

Slowly add the mixed whiskey and heavy cream, keeping everything boiling. Let bubble for 5 minutes. This removes the alcohol but leaves the flavor. The sauce is complete (occasionally it will separate; just warm it, stir it and use it).

Make the egg batter by combining eggs, milk and cinnamon in a wide bowl. Dip bread into egg batter until almost soaked. Put all slices of bread on slightly oiled hot griddle.

While cooking, warm 1/3 cup of pecan cream cheese (per person) in a microwave 30 seconds for each serving. Fry egg-coated bread on both sides until a good golden brown. Remove from griddle and set on cutting board.

On each of the four slices, spread a third of a cup of warmed pecan cream cheese. Make sure the entire piece of toast is covered. Put second slices on top. With a sharp knife, cut each serving diagonally. Set attractively on the plate.

Then add 2 ounces of the whiskey butterscotch sauce. The diner uses a 2-ounce ladle to apply syrup, completely covering the toast. Any leftover sauce should be refrigerated. Warm and stir before use.

Miss Albany Diner, Albany, N.Y.

Nutrition facts per serving: 1601 calories, 129 g fat, 67 g saturated fat, 503 mg cholesterol, 83 g carbohydrates, 26 g protein, TK mg sodium, 4 g fiber