Maple Baked Egg Cups
Maple Baked Egg Cups combine some of our best flavors, and this recipe is a little sweet, a lot savory, and very satisfying! It makes a fun Sunday breakfast, and the kids love to help. Different variations of Maple Baked Eggs Cups have been around for a while, but I like my addition of the local, nutty-flavored Swiss cheese and the chives from the garden, often my first harvest of the year. You can use bacon, sausage, or ham in this recipe (I actually make it for myself using a soy sausage), and I always look for local first. I have also substituted a fresh tomato slice for the meat, and that is pretty yummy too.
For the best Maple Baked Egg Cups, use only Vermont dark amber syrup and the best free-range eggs you can find, the taste really is better (do avoid jumbo eggs however, of you might have trouble fitting everything in the cups!). If you are city-locked, look for the cage free organic eggs, which have extra Omegas. I use nice big slices of bread for the cups; I like the little pointy ends to look browned and pretty when it is served! In this recipe. I use Boggy Meadow Farms Baby Swiss from across the river in Walpole, N.H., because it melts beautifully and has a nice nutty taste. You can also substitute any favorite herb or combination.
3 strips good quality local slab bacon, fruitwood smoked and nitrite free if possible
¼ cup melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark amber Vermont maple syrup
6 slices firm white or oatmeal bread, locally baked if possible, crust removed
3 ounces locally made Swiss style cheese
6 free-range organic eggs, medium or large
1 tbsp. freshly snipped (or freeze dried) chives and scant ¼ tsp. ground anise seed
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a six-cup muffin cup with vegetable spray.
Cook your bacon until crisp and drain on a paper towel. Crumble, and set aside.
Take the crust off of the bread slices and then flatten them with a heavy rolling pin. You’ll want them quite thin.
Mix the butter and maple syrup together and spread liberally on both sides of the bread. This is messy business, but necessary!
Place the prepared bread slices into the sprayed muffin tins, tucking them in nicely. Sprinkle the bacon evenly on the bottom and sprinkle that with a little cheese.
Crack an egg into the bread cup. If your eggs are large, pour off a bit of the white before putting them in the cup. Sprinkle with some herbs and salt and pepper, then top with a little more cheese and a few more herbs.
Bake for 15 minutes and check. They will probably need a little longer for the whites to set, but don’t let the yolks go too far. I like the yolks very runny, but you may like a more pudding-like texture, which will take a full five more minutes in the oven. I like to top them with some fresh parsley.