Maggie Austin’s Brunch Cups
Cake baker Maggie Austin LaBaugh came up with this recipe for her sister's family because they love savory, eggy breakfasts. The cups have become a breakfast-on-the-go staple at Buzz Bakeshop. This is the perfect meal to make with any leftover croissants or cooked bacon you have on hand. You’ll need a standard-size 12-well muffin pan. Make Ahead: You’ll have some of the spice blend left over; it can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several months. The unbaked brunch cups need to be refrigerated for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours. Baked brunch cups can be reheated in a 325-degree oven for 8 minutes or in the microwave on MEDIUM for 20 seconds.
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 3 butter croissants, preferably stale, cut into very small cubes
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (220 grams)
- 6 teaspoons coarsely chopped chives, plus more for garnish
- 7 or 8 strips (7 ounces total) bacon, cooked, drained and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 6 large eggs
- 1 1/4 About 1 1/4 cups (9 1/2 ounces) whole milk
- Generous 3/4 cup (6 1/2 ounces) heavy cream
Combine the salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. You’ll need a total of 1 1/2 teaspoons of the spice blend for this recipe; reserve the rest for another use. Grease the muffin pan wells with cooking oil spray. The layering begins in this step; make the croissant and cheese layers as even as possible. Use half of the cubed croissants to create a bottom layer in each well, pressing them in slightly. Use three-quarters of the shredded cheese to create the next layer, then sprinkle about 1/8 teaspoon of the spice blend over each portion of cheese. Next, scatter 1/2 teaspoon of the chives in each one, then divide the bacon evenly among the wells. Use the remaining croissant cubes to create a layer on top of the bacon, then the rest of the cheese on the croissant layer. Whisk or use an immersion (stick) blender to combine the eggs, milk and heavy cream in a mixing bowl. Pour this mixture over each cup, filling just to the rim of the well. Press down slightly to ensure the ingredients will be soaked, adding more of the egg mixture as needed. (You might not use all of it, depending on the freshness of the croissants; leftover egg mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.) Cover the muffin pan tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Discard the plastic wrap; if there's room, top off each cup with any leftover egg mixture. Bake (middle rack, straight from the refrigerator) for 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pan from front to back halfway through, until the internal temperature of the brunch cups registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. The brunch cups will be puffed and lightly browned. Let the cups sit in the muffin pan for 5 minutes before dislodging or serving. Serve warm, garnished with chives.