Pumpkin French Toast Muffins with Cinnamon Steusel Topping

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Ingredients:

1 (16 oz) loaf 2-day old Italian or French bread, trimmed of ends and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 2/3 cup milk (I used 1%)
7 large eggs
3/4 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Maple syrup, for serving
Streusel topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold butter (preferably salted), diced into cubes
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

To a blender add, milk, eggs, pumpkin puree, vanilla, 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, the nutmeg and ginger and puree until well blended, about 5 – 10 seconds. Butter a 12-hole muffin pan well, then divide half of the bread cubes among muffin wells and press bread cubes down (not too firmly but enough to create more space to add egg mixture and more bread), then slowly drizzle half of the egg mixture evenly over bread cubes in muffin pan. Divide remaining half of bread cubes over tops of soaked bread, then press down to fit and create a muffin shape. Slowly drizzle remaining half of the egg mixture over tops (try to soak each piece – and drizzle slow so you don’t create a huge mess. Mine still splashed over the sides a bit especially with the second round of drizzling, so I just used a clean paper towel to wipe it back into the cups). Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator to chill 2 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove muffins from refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature 15 minutes. Meanwhile prepare crumb topping by combining flour, cold butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles peas and slightly begins to come together and moisten. Sprinkle evenly over muffins (for more buttery goodness you could melt about 2 Tbsp butter and and gently brush it over the muffins before adding crumble).
Bake in preheated oven 20 – 25 minutes until golden and centers are cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to rest in muffins tins several minutes, then run a butter knife around edges of muffins to remove. Serve warm with warm maple syrup.

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