Christ­mas Morn­ing Magic

A leisurely brunch is the best present. Check it off your list ahead of time.

Taste of Home - - Contents -

A make-ahead brunch means more time for fam­ily, presents and cel­e­brat­ing.

Make-ahead

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.

Three-cheese Quiche

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’

sugar

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.

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