Make breakfast special this holiday season

Without taking up too much time, you can make the morning meal something everyone will remember

    OK, you’ve bought the champagne and chilled it. You’ve got noisemakers and party hats. You’ve even got the New Year’s Eve party meal ready to go.  
    But what about the next morning?
    Make New Year’s Day even more special by making something unexpected to start the day.
    Even a cold breakfast can be special if you take a few minutes to prepare something your family doesn’t usually have.
    You could make something that celebrates your heritage, such as stollen or a strata.
    Give traditional breakfast foods a touch of holiday flavor, perhaps making a gingerbread cake, pumpkin spice muffins or cranberry nut bread.
    Or just add a holiday twist to breakfast. Instead of plain butter for your biscuits, create orange butter by blending orange marmalade with softened or whipped butter.
    Make holiday cream cheese by blending light cream cheese with cranberry-orange or cranberry-raspberry sauce. French toast is festive when made with slices of pannetone, an Italian bread baked in a round, tall-sided pan and made with pieces of dried or candied fruit.
    Whatever you make doesn’t have to be elaborate. Make pancakes or waffles and throw some chopped fruit in with the batter. Create an omelet filled with cheese and meat left over from your holiday meal. Bake a coffee cake or muffins with nuts, chips or fruit.
    There are even breakfast casseroles that can be put together the night before, refrigerated and then put into the oven as your family awakens.
    Following are some holiday breakfast ideas from

Woodhaven Berry Puffs

For tart:
Flour for work surface
1 pound package puff pastry dough
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups pastry cream
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
12 ounces fresh raspberries or 1 quart strawberries, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
For pastry cream: (must be done day of)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
4 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    Prepare an ice bath.
    Pastry cream cannot be made ahead of time. To make, combine cornstarch, flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in bowl. In another bowl, whisk eggs until smooth. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and whisk.
    Combine milk and remaining sugar in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.    Remove from heat, whisking constantly, then slowly pour into egg mixture while whisking,
    Return to heat and bring to a boil while stirring until thickened, about three minutes. Transfer to large heat proof bowl, set in ice bath, cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
    Place puff pastry on lightly floured work surface and gently roll out  until it is a 9-by-18-inch rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Trim edges until even, then trim four strips.
    Transfer large piece of pastry to a baking sheet and pierce all over with a fork. Brush with egg mixture and lay cut strips over edges, overlapping the ends. Brush strips with egg wash and overlap edges. Cover with plastic wrap and chill one hour.
    Bake pastry tart shell in a 400-degree oven about 15 minutes, until well browned and puffed. Remove from oven and press center down with a balled up kitchen towel. Bake five more minutes, then press again if needed. Cool.
    Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold into pastry cream mixture. Spread mixture over bottom of cooled tart shell. Arrange berries in neat rolls covering the pastry cream. Dust with powdered sugar and serve, garnishing with mint leaves if desired.


Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

For sticky topping:
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
For rolls:
8 ounces crescent rolls
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons low-fat milk
For glaze:
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons low-fat milk

    In a small saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter, honey and one tablespoon water over medium heat until mixture is smooth,  Pour into a 9-inch round cake pan. Sprinkle pecans over mixture, then place crescent rolls on top of the pecans.
    In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.  Brush each bun with melted butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Bake in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes, until tops of buns are browned. Remove from oven and immediately invert onto a wire rack, making sure there is foil underneath to catch drips. Let cool slightly.
    In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and milk and drizzle over buns.
    Serve warm.


Bacon Quiche Tarts

5 slices bacon, cooked crisp
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
10 ounces refrigerated flaky biscuits
Dash Tabasco sauce

    Beat cream cheese, milk, onion, egg, Tabasco sauce and Swiss cheese together.
    Separate dough into 10 biscuits and place one inn each of 10 lightly greased muffin tins. Firmly press into the tin, forming a 1/4 inch crust. Place half the bacon in the bottom of the tins, then fill with cheese mixture.
    Bake in 375-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining bacon, pressing it down into the mixture. Serve warm.


Blueberry Streusel Cake

3 tablespoons shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1-3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
For crumb topping:
½ cup flour
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons soft margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon

    Cream shortening with sugar, then beat in egg.
    Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add dry ingredients to shortening mixture alternately with milk. Sprinkle washed, drained blueberries with a little flour, then stir into the batter. Pour batter into a greased and lightly floured 11-by-7-inch baking pan.
    To make topping, mix together flour, sugar, soft margarine and cinnamon until crumbly. Sprinkle batter with topping and bake in a 350-degree oven  about 40 minutes, until cake tests done.


Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1-2/3 cups sour cream
3 cups flour
3 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
12 tablespoons soft margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup walnuts

    Combine sour cream, flour, eggs, baking soda, 1-1/2 cups sugar, baking powder, soft margarine and salt.
    Place half the batter into a greased bundt pan.
    In a bowl, mix remaining sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Sprinkle half the topping over the batter. Pour remaining batter on top, then sprinkle with the rest of the topping.
    Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes.


Raspberry Cream French Toast

1 loaf sourdough french bread
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 12 to 18 ounce jar raspberry preserves
1-1/2 cups half and half
1-1/2 cups milk
6 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
Maple syrup

    Cut bread into one-inch slices, then spread half the slices about 1/4 in. thick with softened cream cheese. Spread a generous layer of preserves on top. Top with plain bread slices.
    Arrange sandwiches in a 9-by-13-inch pan that been coated with cooking spray.         In large bowl, beat eggs, half and half, milk, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Pour over sandwiches, cover and refrigerate at least four hours or overnight.
     Toss brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and walnut pieces together until crumbly.
    Top each sandwich with two tablespoons  maple syrup and sprinkle generously with struesel.
    Bake in a 350-degree oven about 40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let set five minutes after removing from oven.
    Serve with a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar and warmed syrup on the side.


Beechwood Breakfast Strata

8 ounces pork sausage, crumbled
1 pound mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Seasoned toast points or rounds
1-1/2 cups 2% milk
1/2 pound ricotta cheese, part skim, room temperature
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 pounds Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup broccoli, broken into small florets and steamed lightly
2 cups chopped green onions, green part only

    In a skillet over medium heat, brown sausage four to six minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté three to four minutes, until wilted. Season with black pepper, if desired. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
    Coat a 15-by-10-inch baking pan with cooking spray, then line with seasoned toast points or rounds.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine milk and ricotta cheese. Whisk in flour, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, one at a time, and whisk until fully incorporated. Stir in the sausage/mushroom mixture, cheeses, broccoli and green onions. Pour into the pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate between 12 hours and overnight.
    Remove from refrigerator, uncover and bake in a 350-degree oven about 60 minutes, until golden brown, the center only slightly jiggles and the rest of the mixture is set. Cool five to 10 minutes before serving.
    Makes 8 servings.


Ham Hash Topped With Eggs in Mustard Cream Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons oil
3 large potatoes, peeled, cooked and cubed
1/2 pound ham, chopped
1 tablespoon finely minced onion
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup milk
4 hard cooked eggs, peeled and sliced

    In large skillet, heat three tablespoons butter with oil until butter is melted. Add potatoes, ham and onion and cook over medium heat, stirring and turning mixture frequently, until crispy brown.
    To make sauce, melt remaining butter in small saucepan.  Stir in flour and mustard.  Add milk and continue cooking until sauce is thick.  Add sliced eggs to sauce, but do not stir.  
    When hash is finished cooking, place in serving bowl. Pour sauce over middle of hash and serve at once.  


Pumpkin Belgian Waffles With Vermont Maple Syrup Whipped Cream

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree, canned
4 eggs, separated
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup

    In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
    Whisk together milk, pumpkin puree, and egg yolks. Stir pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients, then add melted butter.
    Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into pumpkin mixture. Ladle batter onto preheated waffle iron and cook until steam ceases to escape from the iron.
    Whip the cream until peaks begin to appear. Add syrup when peaks begin forming, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Serve waffles with maple syrup and a generous scoop of the whipped cream.
     You may add chopped pecans to the batter and cook as pancakes.

Light as a Feather Waffles

2 cups self-rising flour
1 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
4 eggs, separated
1-3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup olive oil
Chopped pecans

    Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
    In a small bowl, separate and beat egg yolks, then add milk and oil. Stir into the dry mixture until smooth.
    Beat egg whites with a mixer until stiff.  Use a large spoon to gently fold whites into the batter.
    Spoon into a preheated waffle iron, sprinkling chopped pecans on top of batter before closing the waffle iron if desired.



Berry Bakes

4 slices whole wheat bread
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

    Cut whole wheat bread into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Combine butter, sugar and cinnamon and drizzle over bread. Toss to coat.
    Combine the blueberries, brown sugar and lemon juice.
    Place half the bread mixture into four 8-ounce ramekins. Layer with blueberry mixture and remaining bread. Bake, uncovered, in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until crisp and heated through..


Homemade Granola

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup wheat germ
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
7 cups oats
3 cups coarsely chopped nuts
2 cups raisins, cranberries and currents

    Combine oil, honey, wheat germ, salt and vanilla extract in large bowl. Mix well.
    Add oats and nuts. Mix until combined.
    Bake in a 375-degree oven until golden brown, stirring often.
    Stir in raisins, cranberries and currents. Cool and serve.




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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