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Savory Brunch Muffins 12 – 1 = 11. But in the world of muffins, 12 muffins – 1 muffin = 1 very happy tummy. Combine traditional brunch ingredients – eggs, smoked salmon, and fresh dill – and present them in a delightful and portable manner. These muffins, topped with crunchy and salty potato chips, make for one fabulous brunch-to-go, or serve them hot at your next brunch gathering.

Savory Brunch Muffins
Better Homes and Gardens

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh dill
2 oz. lox-style smoked salmon, chopped
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
1 cup wavy potato chips, crushed

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease twelve 2½-inch muffin cups or line with parchment paper squares; set aside.

2. In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

3. In a 2-cup measure whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, butter, and dill; add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Gently fold in salmon and chopped eggs.

4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each three-fourths full. Sprinkle crushed potato chips over batter in cups.

5. Bake 15 minutes or until golden-brown. Cool in cups on wire rack 5 minutes.

Makes 12 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I cut parchment paper into roughly 5-inch by 5-inch squares. Try not to get any batter on the paper when filling the cups. After baking, any batter stuck to the paper will appear as dark brown spots. This is not the worst thing in the world, but it will look a little messy.

2. Place the potato chips in a plastic bag and crush with your fingers. Some of the potato chips should be slightly pressed into the batter or else they will all fall off after baking.

3. Don’t overbake these muffins or they will be dry.

4. The next time I make these I will add a pinch of black pepper and some snipped chives or chopped green onions to the batter to enhance their flavor.

5. Because of the salty potato chips and smoked salmon, there is not a lot of additional salt added to the batter. If you like your food saltier, cautiously add more salt only after you have determined the degree of saltiness of the salmon and potato chips you are using. Not all smoked salmon or potato chips have the same amount of sodium.

Enjoy!

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Hungarian Rhapsody Coffee Cake Cheesecake for breakfast? Coffee cake for dessert? Either way, the versatility of this impressive cake cannot be denied. With its cheesecake-like texture and egg-rich flavor, this cake stands out at any gathering any time of the day. Just how delicious is it? I made it for a potluck brunch the other day and people fought over the last few pieces. The list of ingredients may scare healthier-eaters away, but keep in mind, this coffee cake is meant to be served in very small portions!

Hungarian Rhapsody Coffee Cake
Congressman Tom Lantos, California Poppycoctions Cookbook, Volume 3

INGREDIENTS
Crust:
1 cup melted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour

Filling:
1-and-1/2 cups butter or margarine
1-and-1/3 cups sugar
8 eggs, separated
3 teaspoons lemon juice or vanilla
1/3 cup flour
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. To make crust: mix melted butter, powdered sugar, and flour. Pat into 9 x 13-inch Pyrex dish. Bake 20 minutes in oven. Set aside.

3. Cream together butter with 1 cup sugar.

4. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. Add lemon juice or vanilla. Add flour and cream cheese. Cream until smooth.

6. Whip egg whites, gradually add 1/3 cup sugar. Fold into egg yolk mixture.

7. Pour into “half-baked” crust. Bake in 350° oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until done. Test with knife to see if it comes out clean.

8. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into small squares.

Serves 18-22

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Although I’ve made this coffee cake many times before, I don’t recall the crust mixture being so greasy. The ratio of flour to melted butter didn’t seem right. The end result still tasted good, but I think there is room for improvement. The next time I make this, I will use less butter or add more flour to better incorporate the butter or I will substitute a different butter crust recipe.

2. I used the combination of 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp vanilla, because I happened to have some freshly squeezed lemon juice on hand.

4. Make sure the cream cheese is soft or else your batter can turn out lumpy. Tiny lumps in the batter are okay as they disappear as the cake bakes.

5. This coffee cake can be a little messy to serve and eat. I like to cut the cake into squares and place them into cupcake liners for ease of eating and a clean and attractive presentation.

ENJOY!

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Gingerbread Pancakes Take a good look at these lightly-spiced caramel-colored pancakes. Better yet, click on the photo to enlarge it. They appear deliciously light and fluffy, but something is missing. Butter? No. Syrup? No. Maple Cream? Yes! I should have whipped the cream before I cooked the pancakes, because resisting pancakes hot off the griddle is obviously not one of my strengths!

Gingerbread Pancakes
From the Great Gingerbread Cookbook By Sara Perry

PANCAKE INGREDIENTS
1/3 cup light molasses
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 cups milk
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat an oven to 250° degrees F.

2. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Place an ovenproof dish on the rack.

3. In a large bowl, beat the molasses and oil, by hand or with an electric mixer, until well-blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the milk. It is important to stir all the way to the bottom of the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are brought together.

4. Sift the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon into the egg mixture, and beat until just blended. The batter will be slightly thick and have a rich, dark caramel color.

5. Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet on medium-high heat until a few drops of water skip along the hot surface. Working in batches, measure out a scant 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. When cooking more than one pancake at a time, pour the batter so that the pancakes do not touch. Cook the first side until the edges begin to dry and bubbles begin to appear on the top surface. Turn and cook 1 minute on the second side.

6. Place in the oven on the preheated dish to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve the pancakes hot with Maple Cream.

Makes twenty 4-inch pancakes.

MAPLE CREAM INGREDIENTS
1 cup chilled whipping cream
1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup, at room temperature.

DIRECTIONS
In a chilled bowl, whisk the cream until it just begins to form soft peaks. Drizzle in the maple syrup, continuing to whisk until soft peaks form and begin to hold their shape. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Makes about 2 cups.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I used dark molasses, because that’s all I had in my pantry. Peggy Trowbridge Filippone of About.com says, “Although light and dark molasses are interchangeable in recipes, be aware that using the dark will intensify flavor and slightly darken the end product and vice versa.” Indeed, my pancakes were slightly darker in color than those in the cookbook photo, but they had a nice molasses flavor to them.

2. It is better to measure out the oil first instead of the molasses. By doing so, the oil will coat your measuring cup, enabling the molasses to pour out more easily.

3. Keep an eye on these pancakes as they are cooking; they have a tendency to brown quickly, due to the sugar content in the molasses. It would be wise to start at a lower temperature than you normally would for pancakes and then adjust the the heat accordingly. My husband liked the darker pancakes, because they had more intense flavor.

4. The gingerbread flavor in these pancakes is very subtle. If you want a spicier gingerbread flavor, add more spice.

5. If you like thinner pancakes, thin the batter with a little bit of milk.

ENJOY!

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Bread Pudding Muffins My husband has two sweet loves that drive him crazy. Both possess endearing qualities that he cannot resist. If ever they appeared together, he would be beside himself with indecision. Recognizing that his birthday highlights this conflict, I decided to alleviate his stress this year. I figured out a way he could have his cake and eat it too—a way he could enjoy one love in the morning and one love after dinner. For breakfast I made him custard-rich bread pudding muffins and in the evening he blew out birthday candles on a moist and spicy carrot cake. Problem solved.

Bread Pudding Muffins
The Grand Central Baking Cookbook

INGREDIENTS
1 pound crusty artisan white bread
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1½ cups heavy cream
1½ cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

DIRECTIONS
1. Slice the bread and cut it into 1-inch cubes. Put it in a large bowl and toss it with the cinnamon.

2. Whisk the eggs, sugar, cream, milk, and vanilla together until well combined, then pour the custard over the bread. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

4. Line a standard-size 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, or generously grease with butter.

5. Scoop a heaping 1/2 cup of the pudding mixture into each of the 12 muffin cups; each one should be nicely mounded. Top off each pudding with the remaining custard.

6. Bake for 45 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through the baking time. The puddings should be lightly golden brown on top. Dust them with confectioners’ sugar while they’re still warm.

Makes 12 Pudding Muffins

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Because of the amount of soaking time involved, if you plan on serving these muffins in the morning, it is best to begin soaking the bread the evening before.

2. I was able to get 18 muffins out of the recipe.

3. Although these are categorized as muffins, these little bread puddings would make nice individual desserts.

ENJOY!

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Jammers: Biscuits Topped with JamImagine the smell of homemade biscuits wafting throughout your home in the early hours of the morning. You wake up early, before everyone else, because you enjoy the peace and calm of your empty kitchen. The timer rings and you take a tray of jammers, large buttery biscuits topped with jam, out of the oven. You restrain yourself from taking a bite into one, because you know that they will reach perfection in about five minutes. That gives you just enough time to brew a mug of coffee or steep a cup of tea. You eye the clock as five minutes turns into an eternity. Finally, you sit down with your hot brew and stare at the plate of jammers. You carefully select the largest one that has the biggest glob of jam on top. And after only one bite, pure delight spreads across your face as the crunchy exterior yields to the soft flaky interior. Ah, there’s no better way to start the day than with a hot jammer!

Grand Central Bakery Jammers
The Grand Central Baking Cookbook

INGREDIENTS
4 cups (1 pound, 4 ounces) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (8 ounces, or 2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1¼ to 1½ cups (10 to 12 fluid ounces) buttermilk
About 3/4 cup good quality preserves or jam

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

2. Measure the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a bowl with high sides or the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.

3. Dice the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Use your hands or the paddle attachment of the stand mixer on low speed to blend the butter into the dry ingredients until the texture of the flour changes from silky to mealy. There should still be dime- to quarter-size pieces of butter remaining. If you’re preparing the dough the night before, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill overnight; otherwise proceed with the recipe.

4. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour 1 cup of the buttermilk in one addition. Gently mix the dough just until it comes together; it will look rough. Scrape the dough from the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add another 1/4 cup buttermilk and mix again to incorporate any floury scraps. The majority of the dough will come together, on the paddle if you are using a stand mixer. Stop mixing while there are still visible chunks of butter and floury patches. The dough should come out of the bowl in 2 to 3 large, messy clumps, leaving only some small scraps and flour around the sides of the bowl. If the dough is visibly dry and crumbly, add up to 1/4 cup more buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing no more than one rotation after each addition.

5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use the heels and sides of your palms to gather the dough and gently pat it into an oblong shape 1½ to 2 inches thick. It won’t look smooth or particularly cohesive; that’s okay. Use a biscuit cutter to cut jammers into circles at least 2½ inches in diameter. Layer the leftover scraps on top of one another and gently pat them out to a thickness of 1½ to 2 inches and again cut into circles.

6. Use you thumb to make an indentation the size of a fifty-cent piece in the middle of each biscuit. While gently supporting the outside edge of the biscuit with your fingers, use your thumb to create a bulb-shaped hole that’s a bit wider at the bottom and that goes almost to the bottom of the biscuit (think pinch pot). Try to apply as little pressure as possible to the outside of the biscuit, to avoid smashing the layers, which are the key to flaky jammers.

7. Fill each indentation with 1 tablespoon of jam and put jammers on the prepared baking sheet with 1½ inches between them.

8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through the baking time. The jammers should be a deep golden brown.

Makes 10 to 12 jammers

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. These are very large biscuits! I was only able to make 8 biscuits from the recipe.

2. The key to achieving a flaky biscuit is to keep the butter cold and to avoid overworking the dough.

3. I baked my jammers for 35 minutes in a convection oven and they were done perfectly.

ENJOY!

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Lemon-Rosemary Crumb Cake

The strong flavors of rosemary and lemon can oftentimes dominate a recipe. Not so, in this case. From the crunchy lemon crumb on top to the tender cake speckled with bits of rosemary, this cake is delightful from top to bottom. With its perfect blend of flavors and its ease of preparation, it will quickly become one of your “go to” cakes. Serve it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack, or dessert!

Lemon-Rosemary Crumb Cake
Cooking Light Magazine, May 1998

Ingredients:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chilled stick margarine or butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
Cooking spray
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
3/4 teaspoon water
Rosemary sprigs (optional)
Lemon slices (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Reserve 1/2 cup flour mixture for topping; set aside.

3. Combine remaining flour mixture, rosemary, baking powder, and baking soda; add buttermilk, lemon juice, and egg. Beat at medium speed of a mixer until blended. Spoon batter into and 8-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray. Combine reserved 1/2 cup flour mixture, lemon rind, and water; stir with a fork. Sprinkle crumb mixture over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and lemon slices, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings or 8 wedges

Linnell’s Notes:
1. I used butter instead of margarine. Why not splurge on flavor since the recipe only calls for a 1/4 cup of it?

2. I only have a 9-inch cake pan, so the cake would have been taller if I had used an 8-inch cake pan.

3. Using the larger pan, I was careful to check the cake after 20 minutes. It was baked by 25 minutes.

4. To test the cake to see if it is done, gently press on the top of it with your fingers. If it springs back completely when lightly touched in the center, the cake is done.

Enjoy!

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Breakfast Pizza

Pizza for breakfast? Sure, what kid or hungry adult hasn’t eaten leftover pizza for breakfast? But here’s a recipe for a pizza that is covered with ingredients more appropriate for breakfast and is also just as delicious eaten the morning after! This is an easy and wonderful dish to serve at breakfast or brunch, but could be served anytime of the day. The only hard part about this recipe is remembering to defrost the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator the night before!

Breakfast Pizza
Recipe adapted from DHC Fine Foods catalogue

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound purchased pizza dough, room temperature
Flour for rolling the dough
4 ounces ham, thinly sliced
6 asparagus spears, blanched and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 large eggs
1/2 cup Fontina cheese, grated
1/4 Parmesan cheese, grated
2 teaspoons parsley, chopped, optional

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Coat the bottom of a rimmed baking pan with the olive oil.
3. Roll out the dough to a rectangle about 9 x 13 inches. Transfer to the baking pan.
4. Arrange the ham slices evenly over the dough, leaving about a 1-inch border.
5. Scatter the asparagus pieces over the ham.
6. Carefully break the eggs on top of the pizza. (The asparagus will “trap” the eggs and keep them from rolling.)
7. Sprinkle the fontina and parmesan cheeses over all.
8. Bake the pizza for 15 minutes or until browned and bubbling.
9. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley for garnish.

Serves 4

Linnell’s Notes:
1. The next time I make this, I will roll the dough out a little larger and bake it on a shallow rimmed baking sheet instead of a 9 x 13 inch pan. The crust was a little too thick for me when baked as specified.

2. To make it easier to cut the pizza, I cut the pieces of ham into 1/2-inch pieces instead of laying whole pieces of it.

3. An extra egg could have been cracked in the center and would have given more people more egg to eat.

4. Arugula or chopped cilantro would add more dimension to the flavors if sprinkled on top compared to the specified chopped parsley.

Enjoy!

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