Cinnamon Contest Winner – French Toast Muffins
Congratulations to our final weekly winner of 2011, Lisa Keys! Her recipe for “French Toast Muffins” took top honors during Cinnamon week!
I can’t believe the end of the weekly contest is here! There have been so many unbelievably delicious weekly winners and the judges sure have their work cut out for them to pick a grand prize winner. (For a look back on previous contests, check out this link to see all the winners.)
Also, don’t forget that a new round of weekly contests have begun! There is more information at the end of this article.
Now, back to these “French Toast Muffins!”
Believe me, they are just as delicious as they sound. Imagine everything you love about French Toast in muffin form! It is no wonder this dish took top honors in the Cinnamon contest, because Lisa creatively uses the theme ingredient in two different ways. First, slices of cinnamon swirl bread is cubed and tossed with milk and eggs to create the French Toast topping. Then, when the muffins come out of the oven, they are topped with additional cinnamon and sugar. Plus, a dash of maple extract is added to the muffin batter. One bite is literally like a forkful of French Toast!
This is certainly one of the most creative muffin recipes I have seen in a long time. They are perfect to grab and go on busy mornings, but they taste like a leisurely weekend brunch!
1/4 cup Milk
3 Eggs, divided
8 slices Cinnamon Swirl Bread, crusts removed and cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 cup Sour Cream
1 tsp Maple Extract
1 stick Plus 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted and divided
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
Heat oven 400 degrees. Grease a standard 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick baking spray or line with paper cups. In a medium bowl, whisk milk and 1 egg until blended. Add bread, then stir to coat, for the French toast topping. In a medium bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined. In another bowl, whisk remaining eggs for 30 seconds. Add sour cream, maple extract and 1/2 cup of the melted butter, then whisk well. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, then blend just until the dry ingredients are moistened, but do not over mix. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Spoon the French toast topping evenly over the batter, pressing down slightly. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Invert the muffins onto a wire rack, turn them upright and cool 5 minutes. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush remaining melted butter over muffins and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Serve warm.
How did you come up with your winning recipe?
I created this recipe about a year ago for a friend’s birthday breakfast. We have a tradition of treating each other on our special day, but this time I invited all the ladies over to the house instead of going out to a restaurant. Plus my girlfriends love being my recipe testers, so I wasn’t afraid to try something new on them. I came up with the recipe when my cinnamon swirl bread got a bit stale. I come from a long line of frugal cooks who never throw out food that has potential to re-purpose into something new and delicious. Torn between making croutons and French toast which is what my parents often did with day old bread I thought -why not both and that is how the muffin was born.
What inspired you to enter the Better Recipes weekly contest again?
First, I love the category- cinnamon. It probably is my all-time favorite aroma in the kitchen. It brings back all kinds of warm memories especially at this time of year. Second, it is just so easy to enter the Better Recipes contest. As one who is not so tech savvy I appreciate how easy it is to navigate the web site.
Why do you think your recipe stood out to the judges?
The flavor is just so yummy and the recipe is easy to make.
Do you have any advice for others interested in entering our recipe contests?
Follow the rules and don’t be afraid to share the food you love. Chances are the judges will love it, too.
Do you have any plans for the prize money? Any plans if you should win the grand prize?
My husband and I had our 30th wedding anniversary a few months ago, but we were not able to celebrate it. We can use this prize money to treat ourselves to something special in the new year. And something extra special if I win the grand prize.
Do you have any other kitchen tips, recipe advice or culinary wisdom to share with the Better Recipes readers?
It doesn’t take fancy bells and whistles to cook good food, but it does take some heart and creativity…and naturally practice makes perfect.
By the way, did you know we have kicked off another round of weekly recipe contests? It’s true! Plus, this year there are two different ways to win…
1) Enter your best recipe under the category theme for a chance at the $250 weekly prize and the $2,500.00 Grand Prize at the end of the contest. These winners are selected by the Better Recipes editors based on ease of preparation (40%), creativity (35%) and adherence to theme (25%).
2) Share your recipe with friends, family, colleagues, everyone! Ask them to vote for your dish as “Reader’s Choice” and win $250!
Check out the official rules and see all the fun contest themes coming up over the next few months. Good luck everyone!
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