Sunday, January 9, 2011

"These are a few of our favorite things" Christmas Brunch--Holly and Kim December 2010

Previous to the insanity of the holidays we had a fabulous Christmas Brunch hosted by Holly and Kim.

The theme was "These are a few of our favorite things". They had done a darling job decorating Holly's new home for the Christmas event!

The appetizer table full of all sorts of yummy finger foods for breakfast!

One of the favorites was the French Toast Dippers
There were 3 different syrups to go with them:
Butter Cream, Peanut Buttery, and a Maine Blueberry Sauce
These darlings consisted of:
Simply Sinful Cinnamon and Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

All the little details make the evening!

The table was simple and classy!

The runner and decor in the center was clean and crisp and festive!

The name cards were darling gift boxes tied up with a bright red Christmas ribbon and our name was on the gift tag. Simple, but SO cute!
Wrapped inside were the divine Oreo Truffles, oh my!

They had used a lot of red and silver for the decor, it went great together!

The Salad course was a DELICIOUS Breakfast Crepe Cup!
For sure my favorite and I am pretty sure the winner of the night for quite a few of us!

The main course:
Croissant French Toast with Vanilla & Berry Sauce
Fresh Fruit with Citrus Glaze (Loved the Glaze)
Maple-Dijon Glazed Bacon

and Dessert:
Apple - Blackberry Strudel

For our take home they had made us Swedish Pecans. These could compete with the almonds in the mall and Christmas time!

One of the funnest parts of the evening was that our invite had specific instructions to wear your favorite Christmas PJ's. What more for the perfect night, yummy breakfast, comfy clothes, the holiday season, and great friends!

French Toast Dippers
Adapted from Wasatch Life Magazine

6 slices white bread, cut thick
1 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
9 graham crackers
Olive oil

Cut each bread slice lengthwise into four sticks. In a pie pan or other shallow pan, mix together the cream, eggs, vanilla and salt. Whirl the graham crackers in the food processor until they are fine crumbs. Spread graham cracker crumbs on a plate. Dip sticks, on by one, into egg mixture and then press info cracker crumbs, coating thoroughly.
Heat a little oil in a small frying pan. Cover and cook sticks over medium heat 2-3 mins on each side or until lightly browned. Cool until warm enough enough to handle. Serve with a side of syrup and use your fingers to dip. Makes 24 sticks.
Variation: Spread oil on a baking sheet and place all coated sticks on sheet. Bake for 8 mins at 425. Turn over and bake another 3 minutes.

Buttercream Syrup
½ cup buttermilk
1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
1 TBSP Karo Corn Syrup
1 TBSP vanilla

Bring to a boil in a two quart pan. Will “foam up”. Boil for 1 minute. Add ½ tsp Baking soda and remove from heat and stir well. Regrigerate unused syrup.

Peanut Buttery Syrup
½ can sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup peanut butter
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp Karo Syrup
¼ cup cream
2 Tbsp butter

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and heat to boiling. Boil, and remove from heat. Cool slightly, then add the milk up to 1 cup to thin syrup out to a good, syrupy consistency. Store in fridge. Stores well and will last several weeks.

Maine Blueberry Sauce

1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp cornstarch

In saucepan over low heat, place butter, sugar, nutmeg, and blueberries. Cook about 5 minutes (longer is using frozen berries). Combine lemon juice and cornstarch. Stir into blueberry mixture. Continue to cook and stir until thickened. Serve warm.

Simply Sinful Cinnamon Muffins
1/3 c. shortening (I used margarine)
½ c. sugar
1 egg
1 ½ c flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ c milk
½ c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ c. butter or margarine melted
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 muffin tins. Mix first three ingredients together. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg with milk. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. If using mini-muffin tin, cut baking time in half!
Mix ½ c sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Roll muffins in butter and cinnamon mixture. Eat warm.

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins
Courtesy of
Makes 18 muffins

2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups peeled, finely chopped apples

Streusel Topping
In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in 4 tablespoons butter until mixture is crumbly.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (first 7). Set aside. In medium bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, and oil. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir until just moistened. Stir in apples. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle Streusel Topping over batter. Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. If using mini muffin tin, cut baking time in half.
Cranberry-Lime Spritzer
Mix 1 part cranberry juice cocktail (or any Berry mix if you like it sweeter) with 2 parts limeade, then add a splash of club soda. Skewer some berries and add a slice of lime.
Breakfast Crepe Cups
Adapted from Midwest Living
• 1-1/2 cups milk
• 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 3 eggs
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
• Nonstick cooking spray
• 9 eggs
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• ½ lb sausage, browned (or bacon or ham, if desired)
• 1 cup shredded gouda cheese (4 ounces)
• Green onion
• Red bell pepper
• Dairy sour cream
• Snipped fresh chives or parsley
• Dash salt
For crepes, in a bowl, combine the 1-1/2 cups milk, the flour, sugar, the 3 eggs, the melted butter, and the dash salt. Add lemon extract, if you like. Beat with a rotary beater until well mixed.
Heat a lightly greased 5- or 6-inch crepe pan or skillet. Remove from heat. Spoon in 2 tablespoons of the batter; lift and tilt the pan or skillet to spread batter. Return to heat; brown on one side only. Invert over paper towels; remove crepes. Repeat with remaining batter to make 22 crepes, greasing pan or skillet occasionally.
Generously coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Fit crepes into cups, carefully ruffling the edges of the crepes.
For filling, in a large bowl, beat together the 9 eggs, the 1/4 cup milk, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Set aside. Saute red bell pepper and green onion (or other desired vegetables) for several minutes or until soft.
Spoon sausage into the bottom of crepe cups. Ladle the egg mixture and veggies over the meat. Sprinkle with the cheese. Tent foil over muffin cups to prevent over-browning.
Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until eggs are set.
With a spoon, carefully remove crepe cups. Top with a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives or parsley. Makes 12 servings.
Note: Use leftover crepes for another meal's dessert. Or, spread the crepes with cream cheese and fold into quarters, or roll and top with a fruit sauce or canned fruit-pie filling. To freeze remaining crepes, stack crepes, putting 2 pieces of waxed paper between crepes so they're easy to separate. Let crepes thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour before using them.

Croissant French Toast (with Kneader’s batter)
8 day-old croissants
8 eggs
3 c. milk
1 T. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 T. vanilla

Slice croissants in half lengthwise. Whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla, brown sugar and salt. Pour into a shallow dish. Dip croissant halves into egg mixture, coating well. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add four croissant halves, and cook about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat procedure with remaining butter and croissant halves. Sprinkle with powdered sugar; Top with Vanilla Sauce and drizzle with Berry sauce.

Vanilla Sauce:
1 T. flour
4 egg yolks
1 T. vanilla
2 cups whipping cream
½ cup sugar
2 scoops vanilla ice cream

In a bowl, combine flour, egg yolks and vanilla; set aside. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the whipping cream and sugar to a boil; remove from the heat. Cool briefly and in separate bowl, stir a small amount of hot cream in to egg yolk mixture; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Cook on low for several minutes, then bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in ice cream until melted. Set aside. (If making small batch of French toast – 4 croissants or less, you may want to half this recipe).

Berry Sauce:
2 cups unsweetened raspberries
2 T. sugar
For berry sauce, combine raspberries and sugar in a saucepan. Simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside. (If using frozen unsweetened raspberries, cook longer than 2-3 minutes.

Maple-Dijon Glazed Bacon
6 slices bacon
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
2 tsp Dijon Mustard

Heat oven to 400. Line cookie sheet with tin foil. Lay bacon on top of tray (I use cooling racks) and place on cookie sheet. You could also put bacon directly on cookie sheet. Bake 5-6 mins, then rotate 180 degrees. Cook for another 3-5 mins for thin bacon, 6-8 mins for thick. Remove 1-2 mins before done and brush bacon with syup/dijon glaze.

Grandma Allie’s Citrus Glaze
1 c. pineapple juice
½ c. lemon juice
½ c. orange juice
1 c. sugar
2 Tbs. cornstarch
Combine above ingredients and cook on stovetop.
In separate bowl beat one egg. Slowly add half of the above mixture to the egg; stir. Then, add the rest. Cook again until thick. Sprinkle a little salt in after cooking. May combine with whipped, sweetened cream. Cool and serve over fresh fruit.
Apple-Blackberry Strudel Courtesy of

2 cups blackberries (3/4 pound)
1 large apple, peeled and coarsely grated ( I used a Rome Beauty)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons sugar 1/2 t vanilla extract
Pastry dough for a double-crust pie- your own or see recipe below
1 egg & 1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons sugar for topping pastries, granulated or coarse
Parchment paper

Cook blackberries, apple, flour, cinnamon and 8 tablespoons sugar in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until mixture just boils and is thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl to cool.
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Roll out half of dough 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a rectangle, then trim into four 5-inch squares. Place about 1/4 cup of fruit filling in center of 1 square. Moisten edges of square with milk and fold into a triangle, pressing edges to seal. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and press tines of a fork around edges of triangle, or just pinch together with finger tip. Make 4 more triangles in same manner, arranging them 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling, re rolling scraps together if needed.
Brush triangles with milk-egg mixture and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake, switching position of pans halfway through baking, until pies are golden, about 25 minutes total. Transfer pies to racks to cool.

Pie Crust:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
½ cup very cold water

Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender. Add water. Stir with fork until flour is absorbed and ball forms. Add more water if needed. Flour surface and rolling pin well. Follow directions above for rolling out.

Oreo Truffles
Ingredients 1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
Mix 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls. Dip balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.) I like to drizzle with white chocolate, then sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs or candy sprinkles. You can also dip in white chocolate and drizzle with milk chocolate or colored chocolate. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Carol's Swedish Nuts
3 1/2 cups toasted pecans
2 egg whites stiffly beaten
1 cup sugar
dash of salt
1/2 cup margarine
Directions: Place nuts on pan, and bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove nuts, and melt butter on pan. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar and salt. Fold toasted nuts into egg white mixture. Arrange the coated nuts in a single layer on the buttered pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees, stirring/turning nuts with spatula every 10 minutes, until outside is crisp and golden. Watch closely so as not to burn. Cool, and enjoy!