Category Archives: Breakfast

Nutella Cinnamon Palmiers

Oh Nutella, how I love thee!! And I love my fab cuz Erica for introducing me to this amazing condiment many years ago.  I really love the stuff, it’s like bacon, it just always makes things better!

A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for pesto palmiers.  When I made them, I was thinking about how yummy it would be to do little bite size cinnamon roll palmiers.  For a nice brunch, perhaps.  When the MOMS Club I’m in decided to do a potluck brunch, I knew I had to try making them.  And why not add some Nutella in while I’m at it?!  It was fantastic.  The few that weren’t eaten at the meeting/brunch were pretty quickly devoured by my husband when he got home!  I have a feeling that they will be making frequent appearances!

Nutella Cinnamon Palmiers
Recipe a Cooking With Christen original

Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
Nutella
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter, melted
For the Icing:
powdered sugar
small amount of milk
a few drops of butter extract

Method:
In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon and melted butter until it’s a coarse mixture.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12×12 square.  Spread a light layer of Nutella evenly over the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the Nutella layer.  Lightly mark an indentation at the 3-inch mark, the 6-inch mark and the 9-inch mark.  Fold the top down to the three, then the six, then the nine.  Repeat with the bottom half.  (See Confections of a Foodie Bride for examples!)  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm.

When its firm, preheat the oven to 375.  Make an egg wash with one egg beaten with a splash of water.  Cut the dough into 1/2 inch slices.  Place slices on a baking sheet topped with a silicone mat, brush lightly with the egg wash, and bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven, flip over and continue baking until light brown.

While they’re baking, make your icing.  Mix some powdered sugar with a small splash of milk and a few drops of butter extract.  Stir well, the mixture should be thin enough to stir easily, but thick enough to stick to the palmiers.

Allow the palmiers to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack set over parchment paper.  Dip one side of the palmiers into the icing,then place icing side-up on the wire rack and allow any drips to fall onto the parchment paper.  Let the icing harden, then serve.

Nutella Cinnamon Palmiers

Baked Blueberry Doughnuts with Lemon Glaze

There are a few people in my life that are major fans of doughnuts.  I have been curious for a while about the doughnut pans that you use to bake them.  I mean let’s face it, the deep-fried doughnuts with chocolate icing and sprinkles that my daughter would consume for every meal if she were allowed – are not healthy.

When PreventionRD posted a recipe for blueberry doughnuts, which are MY favorite, I decided to go buy one of the pans.  It was really easy to make, it was just like baking a cake.  And speaking of cake, I need to say this.  If you are going to eat this and expect it to taste exactly like a deep-fried doughnut, you’ll be disappointed, because it doesn’t.  But it does taste very good, my husband said he likes them better actually.  It’s more of a light cake texture, in the shape of a doughnut.  They’re great (made even better by the fact that they are less than 100 calories each!).  I guess I’ll have to figure out how to make the chocolate and sprinkle ones for my daughter now!

Baked Blueberry Doughnuts with Lemon Glaze
Recipe Adapted from Prevention RD

Ingredients:
2 cups cake flour (or 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
2 eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup blueberries, halved

Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp low-fat milk, plus more to thin out, if desired
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix well, then mix in the lemon zest.

To the flour mixture, add the buttermilk, eggs, applesauce and vanilla, stir until well incorporated but do not over-mix.  Gently fold in the blueberries.

Spray doughnut pan with nonstick spray.  Pour batter into each of the doughnut molds, filling halfway.  Bake 8-10 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden (the tops will still be pale).

While the doughnuts are baking, make the icing:
Mix the powdered sugar with the vanilla, milk and lemon juice.  Stir well.  It should be thin enough to coat the doughnuts, but still fairly thick so it stays and doesn’t just drip off.

When the doughnuts are done baking, allow them to sit in the pan for four minutes, then remove.  Dip one side in the icing and set on a cooling rack placed over parchment paper.  Allow the icing to harden.

Baked Blueberry Doughnuts with Lemon Glaze

Homemade Biscuits with Sausage Gravy

A local restaurant here has these huge fluffy biscuits with buttery-tasting sausage gravy and it is AMAZING.  I don’t even want to think about how unhealthy it is because it’s my favorite breakfast item there.  You can’t even see your plate for all the biscuits and gravy!

We decided to try making it for a “breakfast for supper” night.  I’m not enough of a morning person to wake up and have to start rolling out dough and stuff.  Honestly, I normally don’t even eat breakfast.  Anyway, I was really pleased with how this all came out.  I think next time I’ll just substitute regular butter for the shortening in the biscuits, but the gravy was great – hubby even said it was better than the restaurant.  He gets brownie points. :)

Homemade Biscuits with Sausage Gravy
Biscuit Recipe from:  www.tasteofhome.com
Sausage Gravy recipe my own creation

Biscuit Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening or butter (one stick)
1 egg
2/3 cup milk

Sausage gravy ingredients:
1/4 stick butter (plus more, to taste)
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
milk
1 pkg breakfast sausage, crumbled
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

To make the biscuits:

Preheat oven to 450.

In the bowl of your mixer, add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt, mix well.  Add the butter or shortening in small amounts, mixing until it is a coarse mix.  Mix in the egg and milk just until evenly moistened.

Turn onto a floured surface and kneed twenty times.  Roll out until it’s 3/4 inch thick and cut with biscuit cutters.  Place on baking sheets (I used a silicone mat) and bake 8 minutes or until turning golden brown.

To make sausage gravy:

Brown the sausage in a small pan, drain and set aside.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the flour.  Cook two minutes, being sure to scrape the sides and corners of the pot.  Add enough milk to break the roux up, mix well.  Add the sausage and a little more milk, until it is a thick consistency but still thin enough to pour over biscuits.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and extra butter.  I like mine buttery tasting!  Serve over biscuits.

Fluffy Biscuits

Biscuits with Sausage Gravy

Bacon-Cheese Drop Biscuits

The other day “the boss” aka my 2 1/2 year old woke up informing me that she wanted biscuits.  Of course I had every other breakfast food imaginable EXCEPT biscuits.  I decided to do a recipe I hadn’t done in a while, bacon-cheese drop biscuits.  Except she is a picky little buggar, I knew she wouldn’t touch it with bacon and green onions in them, so I left those ingredients out.  But you should keep them in because it’s so delicious!  And even better, it’s from Cooking Light!  If you’re not dieting, use the regular items (bacon, milk, cheese etc.) and it’ll be extra tasty!

Bacon-Cheese Drop Biscuits
Recipe from:  Cooking Light 15-Minute Cookbook
Yield:  16 biscuits – 1 biscuit/serving

Ingredients:
2 turkey-bacon slices
2 cups low-fat biscuit mix (reduced-fat Bisquick, the heart-healthy one is good too)
1/2 cup preshredded low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 chopped green onion
1/8 tsp cayenne
3/4 cup fat-free milk
Cooking Spray

Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place bacon on microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels.  Microwave at HIGH for 1.5 minutes, then crumble the bacon.

Combine the bacon, biscuit mix, cheese, onions, red pepper and milk until combined and everything is moist.  Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray (or use a silicone mat). 

Bake 10-12 minutes until turning golden.  Serve.

75 calories per serving.

Bacon-Cheese Drop Biscuits (without the bacon and green onions)

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

Kids.  As soon as you figure out something they like to eat and go buy it, they suddenly don’t eat it.  This happened with us.  My daughter LOVES bananas, so my husband bought a big bunch for her.  Well my mom was in town and I guess it was just too exciting and we were cooking more fun stuff, but the bananas started turning brown.  So I had to do something with them.

After a little Google action, I found a recipe on Cooking Light’s website for marbled-chocolate banana bread.  It sounded delicious, and was really easy when I made it.  Mine didn’t really “marble” so much as have a line of chocolate, but that’s alright.  It’s all in the taste, and the taste was spot on.  This is REALLY good, if you have some bananas over ripening, use this recipe.  Heck, just go buy some bananas and wait for it!

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread
Recipe from:  Cooking Light, September 2003

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about three)
1/2 cup egg substitute (equivalent to two eggs)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt, stirring with a whisk.

In a larger bowl, cream the sugar and butter together.  Add the bananas, eggs and yogurt and beat until blended.  Add the flour mix and beat on low until just moist.

In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips per package directions.  Once melted and smooth, add 1 cup batter to the chocolate and mix thoroughly.  Spray your loaf pan with cooking spray and layer the chocolate batter with the regular batter.  Use a knife to swirl them. 

Bake for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

Dutch Baby

Have you ever heard of Dutch Baby?  I hadn’t until I saw the recipe in a magazine recently and had to try it.  For some reason when I think of the title Dutch Baby, the Vanilla Ice song Ice Ice Baby pops into my head.  I don’t know.  Anyway, you can sing that while you cook this if you want.  But no matter what you sing, you should definitely cook it because it was delicious and pretty easy, which are some important characteristics of a breakfast food!

Dutch Baby is like a pancake in that it is a batter cooked in a hot skillet, but it goes a lot further by being cooked in the oven.  It rises up high almost like a souffle and then it’ll end up falling down and being almost like a pie.  And the edges are so crispy and delicious.  It’s so fantastic, we’ll be having it for breakfast often!

Note:  You can use whole or low-fat milk instead of the skim but it won’t be as crisp. 

Dutch Baby
Recipe from:  The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2011 – Cooks Country

Ingredients:
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp grated lemon zest plus a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (for serving)
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp powdered sugar

Method:

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Pour the oil into a  12-inch oven-safe skillet and make sure the bottom is coated and brush some along the sides, making sure it’s completely coated.  Place the skillet in the oven while it’s preheating until the oil is shimmering, which takes about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, lemon zest and salt.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs until they are frothy and light.  Whisk the milk, butter and vanilla into the eggs.  Whisk 1/3 of the egg mixture into the dry mixture until no lumps remain, then add the rest of the egg mixture and mix until smooth. 

Open the oven and pull out the rack, keeping the skillet in the oven on the rack.  Pour the batter into the heated skillet and push the rack back in and close the oven.  Bake until the edges of the Dutch Baby are deep golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with the lemon juice and powdered sugar (it’ll deflate, don’t freak out).  Cut into wedges.  We served ours with syrup drizzled on, it was really good!

Dutch Baby right out of the oven

Dutch Baby has deflated

A slice of heaven!

Boudin-Stuffed Beignets (Oreilles de Cochon)

As you saw from my last post, our Thanksgiving was Cajun-themed.  One of my favorite foods in the South is beignets.  Another is boudin.  Put them together?  Why didn’t someone think of this earlier??  I know you’re thinking “yuck, boudin is spicy meaty rice and beignets are basically donuts, how does that work??”

It works.  TRUST me.  And trust all the other people at our Thanksgiving that seriously gobbled this up.  Gobble, gobble.  It was gone.

The dough recipe makes twice what is needed for the beignets.  So you can a.)  make some rolls, or b.) make some more beignets, just doubling the filling, or c.)  cut the recipe in half.  Just do what makes you happy. 

P.S.  Oreilles de Cochon means “pig ears” which is what these look like when they are done.

Boudin-Stuffed Beignets
Recipe from:  Real Cajun:  Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana

Ingredients for the beignets:
1/2 recipe dough
1 cup boudin filling, removed from casings
vegetable oil for frying
powdered sugar for dusting

Ingredients for the dough:
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup shortening or lard
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1 egg, lightly beaten
3.5 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
8 tbsp (aka 1 stick) butter, melted

Method:

For the dough:
In a small bowl, stir together the yeast and warm water, then set aside.

In the stand mixer bowl, combine the shortening, sugar, salt and boiling water, beat for 2 minutes using the paddle attachment until combined, then cool.

Use a fork to stir the beaten egg and yeast into the shortening mixture, then add 3 cups of flour.  When the mixture pulls together into a dough and you can’t do much with that fork, then lightly dust your hands with flour and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, then begin to knead.  Knead it about five minutes, until no longer sticking to the surface and has a smooth sheen.  Cover and set in a warm place to rise for 30-40 minutes, then punch down, knead another minute and let rise another 15-20 minutes.

Now for the beignets…

Roll your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape until it is a 14-inch square.  Cut into 9 equal pieces.

One piece at a time, place the square in front of you with the point down facing you.  Place a generous tablespoon of boudin across the diamond, leaving 1/2-inch border on each side.  Roll the bottom up over the boudin, fold in the corners, then roll once more.  There will be a triangular shape left at the top, leave that alone, it’s the ear shape!  Repeat with the remaining ones. 

Heat a few inches of oil in a large deep skillet (I like cast iron) to 350 degrees.  Add the beignets, working in small batches so they don’t get crowded.  You may need to hold them down under the oil to cook evenly, or else flip them halfway through.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, then serve warm topped with a powdered sugar dusting.

Boudin-Stuffed Beignets