Baked Mini Bread Cups

Back when the Food Network was just a little bitty baby, like in 1994 or something, I watched Sarah Moulton make these little dessert cups out of a piece of bread; something she said her grandmother used to make for her.  Oh, how clever, I thought, and I’ve kept the recipe tucked away for the past 15 or so years while I made all manner of torts and tarts, trifles and truffles. 

The funny thing is, I never forgot about those cute little cups cut from a slice of bread and baked in a little muffin tin.  And then a couple of weeks ago I retrieved the recipe from cold storage and thought, why ever not?

To say that this is easy is, well, very true.  So easy.  It’s a perfect recipe for the pastry-averse or just a quick dessert when all you have in the house is some bread and ice cream (or Nutella or lemon curd).

 

So here’s the deal, you take a piece of white bread (yes, it must be white bread), and cut out a couple of little rounds, about 2 1/4 inches or so. 

Then roll them flat...

and brush both sides with melted butter.  Then just stuff them in a mini muffin pan, sprinkle with sugar and bake. 

 

They pop right out of the tin and are now ready for you to fill with anything you like. 

Aren't they cute?

We liked them with a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream and topped with caramel sauce and a caramlized pecan.

...and the one topped with chocolate and a sliced almond...

 ...but then there was the one filled with lemon curd (maybe my favorite)...

 

But the one filled with Nutella and topped with a little hazelnut was divine...

But, you say, these would be also great for savory applications, and you would be right.  Just sprinkle them with a little salt instead of sugar and you could fill them with a quiche or custard mixture or a leafy spring salad drizzled with a balsamic dressing and shaved parmesan cheese, or actually anything your imagination can, well, imagine.

Oh, and all that leftover bread?  We’re not into wasting around here… I just tossed it into the food processor, made breadcrumbs and stashed em in the freezer.

So have at it, people.  Easy, quick, cheap and delicious is one of our favorite equations in the kitchen.  We think you’re going to like this one.

Baked Mini Bread Cups

Click here for a printable recipe

Recipe adapted from Sarah Moulton

6 slices fresh thin sliced white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Salt or Sugar, depending on if you plan to use a sweet or savory filling

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Using a 2-inch round cutter,  cut bread into rounds.  Butter both sides with melted butter and press into mini muffin tins, being careful not to tear bread. Season with salt or sugar. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until they are firm to the touch and slightly golden in color. Fill with desired fillings.

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Homemade Nutella      Lemon Crostata with Blackberries      Nutella Panini