Heat oven to 375F. Line eight 3-inch muffin pan cups with large foil muffin cup liners.
Tear bread into small bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and salt until blended. Add bread pieces and toss well to moisten evenly. Sprinkle brown sugar and pecans over all and toss again lightly to distribute.
Spoon some of bread mixture into bottom of each lined muffin cup, filling each cup about 1/3 full. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon apple butter on top of each. Spoon another portion of bread mixture on top to fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full. Spoon remaining 1/2 tablespoon apple butter on top of each and finish with remaining bread mixture, mound it to generously fill each cup. Lightly press down on mixture in each muffin cup to pack firmly.
Bake muffins 20 minutes or until firm, golden brown and slightly springy in center. Sprinkle with confectioners – sugar and serve warm or at room temperature with maple syrup, if desired. (Note: muffin cup liners can be removed easily if muffins are cooled to room temperature.)
Nutrition information per muffin – calories: 323; protein: 8g; carbs: 43g; saturated fat: 2g; monounsaturated fat: 8g; polyunsaturated fat: 3g; cholesterol: 57mg; fiber: 3g; sodium: 294mg.