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Lemon Poppyseed Muffin French Toast with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

Have you ever tried the fresh-baked jumbo muffins from the bakery case in your local Chief store? I am a big-time baker at home, so it is very rare that we buy any baked goods from the grocery store. However, the first weekend of May, we made a bit of an exception. We had just completely gutted our kitchen (no countertops, no dishwasher, no cabinets, no sink...) and it also happened to be my birthday. While I was out for my morning run, my hubby decided to surprise me with breakfast from Chief. He ran and picked up a half-dozen or so of the bakery muffins in all the different flavors for a nice little birthday treat. We cut them all in half so we could try more flavors, and man, I was pleasantly surprised! These muffins rock. My favorite flavor was the Lemon Poppyseed, and I knew I had to come up with a special recipe that highlights these muffins. I thought of a couple ideas (bread pudding, dessert trifle) before I landed on French toast. What better way to make a breakfast classic even sweeter?   IMG_4182   The idea is pretty basic - slice a bakery muffin (any flavor that is your favorite!) into 1/2-inch thick slices, dip it in an egg batter, and fry it up in a griddle until crisp & golden on the outside. I served the lemon poppyseed variation with a strawberry-rhubarb compote, because lemon + strawberries are a match made in heaven, and my mom has had rhubarb out the wazoo in her garden. Start with the strawberry-rhubarb compote first... it can simmer while you prepare the French toast. Combine some strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, water, & vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium heat, and just let it bubble away until thick. It's that simple!   [caption id="attachment_2787" align="aligncenter" width="308"]IMG_4180 At the beginning[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2792" align="aligncenter" width="321"]IMG_4188 After 20 minutes of simmering[/caption]   While the compote is simmering, prepare the French toast. I found it easiest to slice each muffin into 3 slices top to bottom. Make a little egg batter, coat both sides of each muffin, and fry in a bit of butter on a griddle over medium heat.  

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  Just a few minutes on each side until it is golden brown.   IMG_4187   Serve it up with a drizzle of the strawberry-rhubarb compote, and you don't even need any syrup! This was a perfect breakfast for summer - very light, with the citrus and fruit compote. It would be even tastier served up with some more sliced strawberries. (I accidentally used all mine in the sauce!)  

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  You could totally go crazy with flavor combinations here. Pistachio muffins with chocolate glaze, blueberry muffins with good ole' fashioned maple syrup, banana-walnut muffins with caramelized bananas. Your creativity is the limit! _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Lemon Poppyseed Muffin French Toast with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

Servings/Yield: about 4 servings
  • For the compote
    • 1-1½ cups sliced strawberries
    • 1 cup diced rhubarb
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • ¼ cup water
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the French toast
    • 4 bakery-style lemon poppyseed muffins
    • 3 eggs
    • ½ cup milk
    • 2-4 tablespoons butter
Method For the strawberry-rhubarb compote, combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, water, and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low until bubbly and thickened, stirring occasionally, about 20-25 minutes. For the French toast, whisk together eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Slice each muffin into thirds, into slices about 1/2-inch thick. Preheat skillet or saucepan over medium heat; add about 1 tablespoon butter to pan. Dip each slice of muffin into the egg mixture, coating both sides. Place onto hot skillet; cook until golden brown. Flip, and cook the other side until golden brown. Serve warm French toast with strawberry-rhubarb compote. Source: adapted from The Rhode Show

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