French Toast Muffins

French Toast Muffins
8 cups diced (1/2-inch cubes) day-old crusty bread, any variety you like (we used whole-wheat sourdough; it took about half a loaf, but it would be awesome with something like cinnamon raisin)
3 cups shredded MacIntosh or Cortland apple (don’t bother peeling, it’s too much effort)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup apple cider
6 eggs
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes, shredded apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, cider, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.  Pour over the bread mixture and stir to thoroughly combine.  Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 1 hour, or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375.  Lightly grease (or line) 18 muffin cups.   Fill the prepared cups with the soaked bread mixture — you can fill them all the way to the top for this recipe, since the “muffins” won’t expand much.  Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, or until nicely set and golden brown on top.  Let cool a few minutes, then run a butter knife around the outsides of the “muffins” before removing from the pans.  These are best served warm, whether it’s fresh from the oven or heated in the toaster.

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