Christmas Morning Magic
A leisurely brunch is the best present. Check it off your list ahead of time.
A make-ahead brunch means more time for family, presents and celebrating.
Eggs Benedict Toast Cups
When I was growing up, we had a family tradition of having eggs Benedict with champagne and orange juice for our Christmas breakfast. But now that I’m cooking, a fussy breakfast isn’t my style. I wanted to come up with a dish I could make ahead that would mimic the flavors of traditional eggs Benedict and would also freeze well. Friends, all I can say is, this one fits the bill! —Lyndsay Wells, Ladysmith, BC Prep: 30 min. • Bake: 10 min. Makes: 1 dozen 6 English muffins, split
1 envelope hollandaise sauce mix 12 slices Canadian bacon, quartered 1 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
6 large eggs
1 Tbsp. butter
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Flatten muffin halves with a rolling pin; press into greased muffin cups. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare hollandaise sauce according to package directions; cool slightly. Sprinkle the bacon with pepper. In a large skillet, cook bacon in oil over medium heat until partially cooked but not crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. Divide bacon among muffin cups. Wipe skillet clean.
3. Whisk the eggs and ¹₂ cup cooled hollandaise sauce until blended. In the same skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture; cook and stir until eggs are thickened and no liquid egg remains. Divide egg mixture among muffin cups; top with the remaining hollandaise sauce.
4. Bake until cups are heated through, 8-10 minutes. Serve warm.
Overnight option: Refrigerate the unbaked cups, covered, overnight.
Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes.
Freeze option: Cover and freeze the unbaked cups in muffin tins until firm. Transfer to an airtight container; return to freezer. To use, bake cups in muffin tin as directed, increasing cook time to 25-30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if needed to prevent overbrowning.
1 toast cup: 199 cal., 11g fat (5g sat. fat), 114mg chol., 495mg sod., 15g carb. (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 9g pro.
Monte Cristo Casserole with Raspberry Sauce
My husband is a big fan of Monte Cristo sandwiches, so I came up with a casserole based on the classic recipe. —Mary Steiner, Parkville, MD Prep: 20 min. + chilling
Bake: 30 min. + standing
Makes: 10 servings (13/4 cups sauce) 1 loaf (1 lb.) French bread, cut into 20 slices
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard 1/2 lb. sliced deli ham 1/2 lb. sliced Swiss cheese 1/2 lb. sliced deli turkey 6 large eggs
11/2 cups whole milk
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract TOPPING 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/4 cup butter, softened 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
RASPBERRY SAUCE 1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch 1/4 cup cold water 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup maple syrup 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1. Line a greased 13x9-in. baking dish with half of the bread. Spread the mustard over bread. Layer with ham, cheese, turkey and remaining bread (dish will be full).
2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla; pour over top. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 375°. Remove casserole from refrigerator while oven heats. In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients; sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown, 30-40 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water, lemon juice and maple syrup until smooth. Add raspberries. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly.
5. Let casserole stand 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with sauce.
1 piece with about 3 Tbsp. sauce: 476 cal., 17g fat (8g sat. fat), 167mg chol., 906mg sod., 55g carb. (29g sugars, 3g fiber), 25g pro.
Guests often remark that this cheesy egg dish is so tall, light and fluffy. It’s a crowd-pleaser every time! —Judy Reagan, Hannibal, MO Prep: 15 min. • Bake: 45 min. + standing • Makes: 6 servings 7 large eggs 5 large egg yolks 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1 cup half-and-half cream 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese 2 Tbsp. finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
11/2 tsp. salt-free seasoning blend
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine eggs, egg yolks, whipping cream, half-and-half, mozzarella cheese, ¹₂ cup cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, tomatoes, seasoning blend and basil; pour into a greased 9-in. deep-dish pie plate. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese.
2. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Freeze option: Securely wrap individual portions of cooled quiche in plastic and foil; freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap quiche; reheat in oven until heated through and a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165°.
1 piece: 449 cal., 37g fat (21g sat. fat), 524mg chol., 316mg sod., 5g carb.
(3g sugars, 0 fiber), 22g pro.
Festive Cranberry Fruit Salad
This colorful salad is a tradition on my Christmas table each year. It’s quick to make—a major plus on such a busy day. —Rousheen Arel Wolf, Delta Junction, AK Takes: 25 min. • Makes: 14 servings 1 pkg. (12 oz.) fresh or frozen cranberries 3/4 cup water 1/2 cup sugar
5 medium apples, diced 2 medium firm bananas, sliced 11/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed 1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, undrained 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, halved
1. In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, water and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until berries pop, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; cool slightly.
2. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add cranberry mixture; stir gently. Refrigerate until serving.
3/4 cup: 105 cal., 0 fat (0 sat. fat),
0 chol., 2mg sod., 27g carb. (21g sugars, 4g fiber), 1g pro.
Christmas Morning Sweet Rolls
These make-ahead rolls have been a holiday tradition for years. The eggnog in the frosting makes them extra special on Christmas morning. —Kimberly Williams, Brownsburg, IN Prep: 45 min. + chilling • Bake: 20 min. Makes: 1 dozen 1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°) 1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp. salt 4 to 41/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup canola oil 1 large egg
FILLING 1/3 cup sugar
11/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 3 Tbsp. butter, softened FROSTING 21/2 cups confectioners’
5 Tbsp. butter, softened 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 to 3 Tbsp. eggnog
1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, 1 cup flour, oil, egg and the yeast mixture; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
2. Do not knead. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
3. For filling, in a small bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Punch down dough; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 18x8-in. rectangle. Spread with butter to within ¹₂ in. of edges; sprinkle with sugar mixture.
Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 slices.
4. Place in a greased 13x9-in. baking pan, cut side down. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool slightly. Beat the confectioners’ sugar, butter, cinnamon, vanilla and enough eggnog to reach desired consistency; spread over warm rolls.
1 roll: 424 cal., 13g fat (5g sat. fat), 37mg chol., 267mg sod., 72g carb. (39g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g pro.