Butter, for the muffin tins
1 tablespoon milk (a splash)
2 teaspoons cinnamon (about half a palmful)
A dash of vanilla extract
A few grates of fresh nutmeg
6 slices white or wheat sandwich bread
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 pound country breakfast sausage, casings removed if links
3 McIntosh apples, skins left on, cored and chopped
1/4 cup fresh apple cider
Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.
Rub the inside of each cup of a 6-cup muffin tin with butter and set aside. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk (eyeball it), cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Cut a slit in the corner of each slice of bread from the middle of the slice to the edge. Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture, then lightly press it into a cup of the muffin tin, overlapping the pieces where you cut the slit to make it fit into the cup without tearing.
Bake the French toast cups for 12-14 minutes, until they're light golden brown. While the cups are working, place a small saucepan over medium-low heat with the maple syrup and cinnamon stick. Keep the syrup warm and stir it occasionally while finishing up everything else. Place a medium size skillet over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the sausage and sauté, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until golden brown and cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Add the chopped apples and fresh cider to the pan and sauté until softened, 3-4 minutes. Allow the cups to cool slightly in the muffin tin before removing them. To serve, arrange the cups on a platter, fill each one with the apple sausage mixture and drizzle with cinnamon maple syrup.