breakfast

Crumb Cake

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One of my favorite treats to have growing up was crumb cake. It was usually something we had on the weekend, when we could just take our time enjoy a slice. I’ve had a few days off for the holidays, so I woke up one morning feeling like I needed to recreate those leisurely mornings from my childhood. I found this recipe on Pinterest, and it may be even better than the boxed kind I used to eat. The touch of almond extract really adds extra flavor, and it is extra crumbly.

Ingredients

Crumb Topping:

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 1/2 ounces)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

Cake:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix dry ingredients for crumb topping together in a large bowl. Create a well in the center and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, vanilla, and almond extract for crumb topping. Pour into well of dry ingredients. Pull dry ingredients into wet with a fork, and begin to form crumbs. You want some larger and some smaller, but no larger than a 1/2 inch. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar for cake until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add in vanilla extract and sour cream, scraping sides to make sure it is well combined. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add mixture to butter mixture, and beat on low until just combined.

Pour cake mixture into a greased 9×13 inch pan and spread evenly. Pour crumb mixture on top, and bake for 30-35 minutes.

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Cranberry + Lemon Dutch Babies

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I have a true addiction to breakfast foods – especially the sweet ones. If I could eat pancakes, french toast, or waffles for every meal, I may just be okay with it. Today is the first day of my mini-vacation, and I started my day off by making these adorable dutch babies. I added some cranberries to make them a bit more festive (as I also decorated for Christmas this morning). They taste as good as they look – it’s a gigantic, thick and fluffy pancake, and takes much less work and time. Here’s my variation of the recipe I used (original found here).

Ingredients

2/3 c sifted flour

2/3 c whole milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 stick butter, sliced

Handful of fresh cranberries

Powdered sugar and lemon zest for seasoning

Recipe

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place 10″ cast iron pan in oven.

Meanwhile, whisk together flour, milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Remove cast iron pan from oven, and place sliced butter in it. Swirl it around to ensure the entire pan is coated. Pour in batter, sprinkle cranberries gently on top, and place immediately back in oven.

Bake for about 12 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar and lemon zest, and serve immediately.

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Maple Frosted Donuts

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When I bought my donut pan months ago to make these, I promised myself donuts wouldn’t become an addiction. I swore I’d only make them every so often, on special occasions, or if I was having a bad day. To avoid the temptation, I put the pan in the very back of my cabinet. And well, it worked. It wasn’t until I was cleaning the other morning that I remembered I even had the pan. I looked up a fall inspired recipe, and found this recipe for maple frosted donuts.

Here’s the thing – these donuts are amazing highly addictive. I can’t stop eating them. If you don’t want to become a full-fledged donut addict, I highly suggest not making these. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Ingredients

MAPLE GLAZE

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup  pure maple syrup

  • 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract (optional)

SPICE DONUTS

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Recipe

Make the glaze first. Melt butter and maple syrup together in a saucepan over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and sift in confectioner’s sugar. Whisk until well combined. If you desire a stronger maple flavor, add maple extract.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, milk and yogurt until well combined. Add in milk and yogurt, and mix completely. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and combined until just mixed. Batter will be thick, do not over mix.

Pour batter into a piping bag (or ziplock bag with the corner cut out) and fill donut molds 2/3 of the way full. Slam against counter a few times to get it evenly spread, and then make for 9-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit for a few moments before transferring them to the cooling rack. Allow to completely cool before dipping them into the maple glaze. Donuts stay fresh for two days, or freeze for up to two months.

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Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Poptarts

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Growing up, I feel like I ate pop tarts all the time. While this is probably far from the truth, I  still remember it as one of my favorite snacks/breakfasts. I never ate any of the super fancy kinds though – we always stuck to cinnamon sugar. There were times in college that I would have random cravings for them at 2am – and it’s safe to say that my love for pop tarts hasn’t died off yet. Instead of eating them from a foil wrapper out of a box, I decided it was time to be a bit more sophisticated, and learn how to make them completely from scratch. This recipe is simple as long as you have a couple hours to spare, and will make you start craving pop tarts all the time too.

Ingredients

For Crust:

2 cups + 4 tbsp flour

1 tsp salt

2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, but into 16 pieces

6+ tbsp ice water

For Filling:

1/2 cup  light brown sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 large egg

2 tsp milk

For Icing:

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 tbsp milk, plus more as needed

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Recipe

Mix together flour and salt. Cut in butter until clumps are slightly larger than pea size. Add water one tablespoon at a time, and knead dough until well combined. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.

Remove from freezer, divide dough in half. Roll out each half into a 9×12 inch rectangle. Cut into 3×4 inch squares. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, place squares on cookie sheet, and refrigerate for one hour. Repeat with other half of dough.

While dough is cooling, prepare filling by mixing together brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour. In a separate bowl, combine the egg and milk.

Remove dough from fridge, brush one pan with the egg/milk mixture. Place 1 tsp full of the filling onto of brushed side, and spread out so just 1/4″ is left around the edges. Coat the other cookie sheet of squares with the egg mixture, and place it brushed side down onto of the filled squares. Press edges together with a fork, and poke about 9 holes in the top of each poptart with a toothpick. Place in fridge for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use remaining egg/milk mixture to coat the tops of the poptarts. Bake for 22-28 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile mix together all ingredients for icing. Once pop tarts have cooled, apply icing. It should be completely hardened and ready to eat within an hour.

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Pumpkin French Toast

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of sugary breakfasts. I’m a sucker for pancakes, waffles, or even just a good old bowl of sugary cereal. Growing up, my dad used to make us french toast all the time, but it was never something I took on making on my own. I found this recipe the other day, and decided it was worth giving a try. I used challah bread so it was nice and fluffy, and would absorb a maximum amount of the pumpkin egg mixture. The results were amazing – and definitely a perfect, easy option to serve on Thanksgiving morning.

Ingredients

9 slices bread

4 eggs

 1/2 c pumpkin puree

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 c milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

butter for griddle

Recipe

Preheat griddle or pan to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, milk, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Pour into a shallow dish.

Butter the griddle. Dip each side of the bread slices into the egg mixture, allowing it to absorb for just a few moments (press down slightly on bread to make sure it soaks through the middle). Place onto griddle, and allow to cook on one side until it has turned golden brown. Flip each piece, and allow opposite side to brown.

Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup.

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Maple-Walnut Biscotti

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I made pumpkin spice biscotti last year around this same time after a long day, and I remembered it being one of the most relaxing nights I’d had to myself in a while. After a long day at work the other day, I decided there was no better time to come home and duplicate my relaxing evening. This year, I opted for maple-walnut biscotti (you can find the original recipe here), and turned on Breakfast at Tiffany’s to watch while it was in the oven. Once they cooled, I cozied up on my couch, had some coffee and a biscotti, and was ready to call it a night.

Ingredients (makes about one dozen large biscotti)

2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped, toasted

2 large eggs

1/2 c granulated sugar

1/2 c brown sugar, firmly packed

1/4 c pure maple syrup

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon maple flavor, optional

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 1/2 c all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toast walnuts for about 10 minutes, until they have turned golden brown.

Beat together eggs, sugars, maple syrup, and maple flavor. Add melted butter, combine until smooth. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Add the nuts last, and combine well.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Shape the dough into a rectangle (about 5″ wide, 12″ long, and 1″ thick). Using wet fingers, smooth the sides and top of the rectangle.

Bake the biscotti for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes (this will make cutting it easier). Cut them into 1″ thick slices, and place them back on the baking sheet (try to place them close together, balanced upright). Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until sides have just started to turn a light golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool. Drizzle with royal icing if desired.

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Apple Strudel Muffins

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Ever since I purchased my waffle maker (you can see the post about that here), it’s the only thing I’ve wanted to have for breakfast. Waffles, however, aren’t the easiest thing to grab on the go whenever I’m craving something sweet in the morning. I stumbled across this recipe the other day, and it seems like something I wouldn’t completely mind trading in my waffles for. It is perfectly sweet and substantial enough that one in the morning on my way to work with a cup of coffee is a more than satisfactory breakfast. Plus, it taste just like fall, which never hurt anyone.

Ingredients

2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced

2 cups flour

2/3 cup white sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tsp cinnamon

Topping:

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup brown sugar

cinnamon for sprinkling

Recipe

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tray with liners.

Mix together wet and dry ingredients for muffin until well combined. Stir in apple chunks. Scoop batter into each liner so that tins are about 2/3 of the way full.

In a separate bowl, mix together ingredients for topping. Sprinkle desired amount of topping on each muffin. Top with cinnamon.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

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