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The Irish Boutique - Long Grove, IL (847 634 3540)

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847 634 0339

The Irish Boutique is an Irish import store that has been located in the Chicago land area for over 40 years.  The shop stocks a variety of products ranging from Irish jewelry, crystal, china, food, sweaters, caps, t-shirts and a wide variety of Irish gifts. 

Cooking Blog

Visit our blog to read about Michelle Barry's adventures in cooking and eating Irish cuisine and to learn about new products and upcoming events. 

 

Baked French Toast: Made with Muffins

john barry

If there is one thing I hate, it’s waste.  Food waste is the worst. Re-purposing food is a big part of my life because let’s face it, not everything works out the way I hoped it would. That brings me to muffins. Now that Eve is eating solid food she seems to enjoy feeding herself rather than being spoon-fed. So, last week I made her a batch of super-healthy protein muffins - with whole wheat flour, chia seeds, eggs, almond flour, all kinds of good stuff. She loved them.  Great.

See what I mean? CRUMBS!

See what I mean? CRUMBS!

What I didn’t anticipate was the mess she would make with them! Muffin crumbs everywhere. Everywhere but in her mouth or tummy I suspect. Since I put so much love and nutrition into them I didn’t want to see them go to waste - sucked up in my vacuum or in the garbage after I finally got sick of vacuuming. On a mission to save them, I came up with the idea of making baked french toast, basically bread pudding, with protein muffins instead of bread. It was so easy to do, I just cut up the muffins and soaked them in my standard combination of liquid ingredients for french toast.  I threw the whole thing in the fridge overnight and, in the morning, baked it at 350F until it was cooked through.  Let me tell you...it was a winner. With the whole family. Nothing wasted, and BONUS, all of those eggs = even more protein for my growing little ones.

Muffins, ready to be re-purposed.

Muffins, ready to be re-purposed.

I started with 4 eggs but added another one which is why the recipe calls for 5. It's a judgment call really.* *"It's a judgement call really." This should be my motto. Who am I kidding, it is my motto.

I started with 4 eggs but added another one which is why the recipe calls for 5. It's a judgment call really.*

*"It's a judgement call really." This should be my motto. Who am I kidding, it is my motto.

Muffin chunks go into the egg mixture.

Muffin chunks go into the egg mixture.

After soaking, a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar and it's ready for the oven. 

After soaking, a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar and it's ready for the oven. 

Even though I came up with this recipe out of necessity, I would definitely make it again. Sometimes the humblest of dishes are the most comforting.  Bread pudding was created for the same reason, to make use of stale bread. Despite it’s humble roots, these days, bread pudding makes an appearance at even the fanciest restaurants.  But I love what it represents.  

For the kids I cut small pieces of the pudding and serve with syrup for dipping. We call it french toast bites. 

For the kids I cut small pieces of the pudding and serve with syrup for dipping. We call it french toast bites. 

Baked French Toast: Made with Muffins

Baked French Toast (the breakfast way of saying “Bread Pudding”) is a great dish to make if you are having people over for brunch.  You can follow the recipe below using muffins, bread, even croissants. If you aren't cooking for kids, add a little Bailey’s to the mix and it would be great for your St. Patrick’s day spread.

5 eggs

⅓ cup half and half or milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-3 tablespoons maple syrup (depending on the sweetness of your muffins)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

6-8 muffins

Cinnamon and coarse sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350F.

Add first 5 ingredients to a baking dish and whisk until fully combined

Cut muffins into small pieces and add to egg mixture tossing with your hands or a large spoon and making sure all of the muffin pieces are covered in egg mixture.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and coarse sugar and bake about 40 minutes or until cooked through (start checking for doneness around the 30 minute mark).