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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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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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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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“Mom’s going to love these,” I thought to myself as I whipped up a batch of French Breakfast Puffs. Cinnamon-sugar coats tender, buttery mounds of baked perfection. Although their exteriors are golden, one bite gives way to a moist and tender muffin-like texture. I know my mom will really enjoy nibbling on these while sipping her morning coffee. Serve these delicious morsels at any brunch, but why not plan ahead to Mother’s Day?

French Breakfast Puffs
Recipe from The American Country Inn and Bed And Breakfast Cookbook

Ingredients:
1/3 cup shortening, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
*******************************
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin cups.
2. In a large bowl cream together the shortening, sugar, and egg.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
4. Stir flour mixture into the sugar mixture, alternately with the milk.
5. Fill the prepared muffin cups 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
7. In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon. Roll the warm muffins in melted butter, then in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Serve hot.

Makes 12 muffins.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. If you don’t like the taste of nutmeg, you can leave it out. One time I accidentally left the nutmeg out and the puffs still tasted great. Nutmeg does lend more depth to the overall flavor, though.

2. I melt one cube of butter (8 T) and always barely have enough to coat all the puffs.

Enjoy!

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When people immigrate to a new country, they often carry with them reminders of their homeland and a few cherished belongings. Old family recipes are both  – cherished and reminders of home. Mary Cannici says of her grandmother’s special cake recipe, “This recipe immigrated to this country from Sicily when Nonna was a little girl and her family came to Ellis Island.” The cake is a wonderful combination of a creamy ricotta cake and an egg-rich pudding. Farina, a finely ground cereal grain with a mild taste, is used as the thickening agent. Serve this versatile and easy-to-make cake with fresh seasonal fruit and you have the perfect dessert for brunch or dinner! Easter and Mother’s Day are just around the corner!

Nonna’s Breakfast and Dessert Farina Cake
Recipe by Mary Cannici

Ingredients:
4 cups whole milk
1¼ cups (8¾ ounces) sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup farina
16 ounces (2 cups) whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
2. Bring milk, sugar, and butter to simmer in large saucepan and cook, stirring often, until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Slowly whisk in farina until smooth.
4. Remove saucepan from heat, stir in ricotta and vanilla.
5. Let mixture cool slightly, then stir in beaten eggs until combined.
6. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then serve warm.

Serves 15 to 18

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Farina can usually be found in stores that carry natural foods. Sprouts, Whole Foods, and health food stores often carry farina in the bulk bin section. Cream of Wheat is made from farina.

2. Be careful not to add too much of the farina at one time. Add small amounts of it slowly, stirring constantly, to prevent lumps from forming.

3. Although the egg custard flavor is more pronounced when the cake is served warm (after the 10-minute cooling period), it is trickier to serve warm since the texture is like a rough custard. After the cake sits for a while, it firms up and can be cut into squares.

Enjoy!

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