Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking with cooking spray. Arrange 6 slices of bread side by side on the bottom of the dish.
Mix together the softened cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until fully blended. Spread over bottom layer of bread slices.
Roughly cut the apple pieces in apple pie filling into bite size chunks. Spread evenly over cream cheese layer. Arrange remaining 6 slices of bread on top.
In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together half and half, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and nutmeg until combined. Pour evenly over bread. Be patient, gradually pouring to allow time for the custard to soak into the bread.
Use spoon to gently press the bread into the custard, and repeat until all of the custard has been added. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To prepare: Preheat oven to 375°F.
Remove the french toast from the refrigerator and allow to warm to room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
To make the topping: Using a fork or pastry blender, cut the cold butter into the brown sugar and flour until blended, then mix in the pecans.
Crumble the topping over the top and bake for 45-48 minutes until golden and puffy.
Let stand 5 minutes then serve. May serve with pure maple syrup or a dollop of fresh whipped cream, if desired.