Make breakfast special this New Year’s Day

Without taking 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 festive holiday breakfast ideas from

Orange Marmalade Stuffed French Toast

8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons honey
3 day-old loaves of plain, round French or Italian bread
5 eggs
1 cup orange juice
Powdered sugar
Raspberries or other fruit, optional

    Using an electric mixer, mix cream cheese, marmalade and honey together but make sure to keep some large chunks of cream cheese.
    Cut bread into 1/2-inch slices. Spread the cream cheese mixture between two slices of bread.
    Crack eggs in a bowl. Add 1 cup orange juice and mix.
    Coat a warm non-stick griddle with butter. Dip French toast in orange juice-egg mixture, then place on griddle. Cook on all sides until golden brown.
    Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with raspberries or any other fruit before serving.


Hermann Hill Oven French Toast
3 loaves French bread, cut about 1-1/2 inches thick
5 large eggs
1-3/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup chopped pecans

    Blend eggs, milk, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon in a blender.
    Place bread slices in greased baking pans, then pour egg mixture over the top.
    Combine melted butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and pecans in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, then spoon onto egg-soaked bread. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes.
    Makes 16 servings.


    Cream Cheese-Orange Biscuit Ring

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
2 11-ounce cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
3 ounces cream cheese cut in 20 squares
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice

    Combine sugar, pecans and orange rind in small bowl.
    Separate each biscuit, then place a cream cheese square into one-half of each biscuit and pinch sides together. Dip biscuit in butter and then in sugar mixture.
    Stand biscuits on edge in greased bundt pan, spacing them evenly. Drizzle remaining butter and sugar mixture over biscuits.
    Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Invert onto serving plate.
    Combine confectioner’s sugar and orange juice and drizzle over warm bread.


    Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

1 cup pumpkin
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or raisins
For filling:
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1 egg
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

    Mix filling ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate.
    Beat pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, oil and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in  flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cloves just until flour is moistened. Fold in walnuts.
    Fill 24 greased muffin cups until two-thirds full.
    Fill a piping bag fitted with a wide tip with the filling. Push the piping tip into the muffin batter and gently squeeze the filling into muffins. Repeat for all 24 muffins.
    Bake in a  400-degree oven for 20 to 22 minutes, until light golden brown. Immediately remove from pan.


Cinnamon Swirl Mini Biscuits
For filling:
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons cinnamon
For dough:
8 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

    To make filling, place butter in covered bowl and melt in microwave for 30 seconds on high. Add sugar and cinnamon.  Mix and set aside.
    In a clean mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, milk, egg and vanilla and mix until a soft dough forms.
    Place dough on floured surface. Pat and roll into a rectangle that’s about 10 by 15 inches.
    With the long side of rectangle facing you, spread filling over the surface. Roll the dough up jelly-roll style, starting with the long side.  Place the seam down and cut into 22 to 24 pieces.
    Place slices in greased mini-muffin pan and sprinkle with sugar.
    Bake in a 425-degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
    Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm.
    If you don’t have cream of tartar, use 2 teaspoons baking powder and no baking soda.


Croissant French Toast With Spiced Apples, Pears and Cranberries

For fruit topping:
1-1/2 cups frozen cranberries
3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
4 medium Fuji apples
4 medium Granny Smith apples
6 Bartlett pears
6 tablespoons butter
2 or 3 tablespoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup maple syrup
For batter:
2 cups half-and-half or cream
4 eggs
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
24 mini or 12 large croissants
Powdered sugar

    In a small pan, cook frozen cranberries with about 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier until tender. Set aside.
    Peel and dice apples and pears, then sauté over medium heat in butter with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for about five minutes. Add 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier and maple syrup and continue cooking, stirring often, until tender. The fruit will release juice during cooking, and be sure to retain it.
    Remove from heat, add cranberries and stir. Fruit topping can be made ahead and refrigerated, then reheated before serving.
    Mix half-and-half, eggs, cinnamon, 1/4 cup powdered sugar and Grand Marnier.
    Use a sharp serrated knife or scissors, cut a small piece off the top of each croissant. Dip each croissant into batter, allowing excess batter to run off. Cook croissants on a griddle or in a skillet as you would French toast, browning on both sides.
    Remove from heat, spoon cooked fruit and juice over the top, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
    Makes 12 servings.


    Amazin Apple Raisin Cake

2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/3 cup milk
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups peeled, chopped, tart apples or drained pineapple tidbits
1 cup raisins
1/2 to 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
    In large bowl with mixer at low speed,  beat eggs, sugar, mayonnaise, milk, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt for two minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Batter will be thick. Stir in apples, raisins and nuts.
    Place batter in a bundt pan liberally sprayed with vegetable spray or two 9-inchgreased and floured cake pans. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 40 minutes. Cake is done when inserted toothpick comes out clean.
    Let cake stand five minutes to cool, then turn out onto a plate.
    Cake may be glazed stacked, filled and topped with whipped cream, if desired.


Macadamia Apricot Coffee Cake

3-1/2 ounce jar macadamia nuts, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons margarine, softened
1 egg separated
8 ounce can refrigerated crescent rolls
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
5 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons margarine, softened

    In a small bowl, combine chopped macadamia nuts, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 2 tablespoons margarine and egg yolk. Mix well. Set aside.
    Unroll crescent roll dough into two long rectangles on ungreased cookie sheet, overlapping the long sides by one inch. Firmly press edges and perforations to seal. Press or roll into a 13-by-8-inch rectangle.
    Spread filling lengthwise down the center third of the dough.
    In a small bowl, combine preserves and orange peel. Spread over filling. To give a braided appearance, fold strips of dough at an angle across filling, alternating from side to side. Fold ends of coffee cake under to seal. Beat egg white slightly, then brush over coffee cake.
    In a small bowl, combine 5 teaspoons sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 2 teaspoons margarine and remaining macadamia nuts. Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over coffee cake.
    Bake in a 375-degree oven for 15 to 25 minutes, until deep golden. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


Baked Banana Crumble

3 bananas, sliced
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup nuts, optional
1/2 cup coconut, optional
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
Grated nutmeg, for topping
Sweetened sour cream, ice cream or whipped cream for serving

    Heat oven to 350 degrees.
    Mix lemon juice and sugar, add sliced bananas and toss. Place sliced bananas in a greased 9-inch baking pan or 12 ramekins coated with cooking spray.
    Mix oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, butter, nuts and coconut. Spread over fruit.
    Grate a little nutmeg on top, then bake in a 350-degree oven about 20 minutes, until bubbly.
    Serve topped with sweetened sour cream, ice cream or whipped cream.
    If desired, you can mix berries in with bananas.

Cranberry Coffee Cake

For cake:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
For glaze:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

    Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in eggs and extracts until well blended.
    In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to cream mixture, alternating with sour cream.
    Pour half the batter into a greased 9-inch tube pan. Spoon cranberry sauce over batter. Top with remaining batter. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan about 10 minutes.
    For glaze, combine confectioner’s sugar, milk and extract in a small bowl, blending well. Remove warm cake from pan and drizzle with glaze.
    Makes 14 to 16 servings

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
For filling:
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

    Cream butter, then add sugar, eggs and vanilla.
    Mix dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture alternately with sour cream.
    Combine nuts, cinnamon and brown sugar for filling.
    Pour half the batter into a greased and floured tube pan. Sprinkle half the filling over the batter. Pour remaining batter over filling, then sprinkle with the remaining filling mixture. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes.
    Makes 10 to 12 servings.







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