Vail Daily column: Holiday mornings call for breakfast treats
Vail, CO Colorado
Holiday mornings are a time for decadent treats. Whether you’re waking up early to see what Santa brought or sleeping in for a well deserved day off, cinnamon-scented breakfast pastries are a perfect indulgence.
Mark Metzger, pastry chef at Larkspur Restaurant, offers six tips for making special- yet-easy holiday breakfast sweets:
1. Use puff pastry dough from the freezer section of the grocery to make quick croissants, cinnamon rolls or fruit-filled strudel.
2. Quick breads like cranberry or banana can be made ahead and frozen. Then just thaw, warm and serve with butter and jam.
3. Bake extra quick breads to give as gifts – make ahead, wrap tightly in plastic, and tie a big festive bow around each loaf.
4. A dozen muffins can be made from scratch in about 30 minutes, just assemble ingredients the night before.
5. Use leftover eggnog in place of cream or milk in recipes – scones, pancakes, waffles, muffins or coffee cakes.
6. Use the “shortcut” dulce de leche recipe below for a great doughnut dipping sauce.
Can’t bear the thought of missing out on a morning outdoors? Breakfast pastries make great chairlift snacks!
Buttermilk cake donuts
Canola oil, for frying
2 Tablespoons shortening
2 Tablespoons Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Powdered sugar, to garnish
Place canola oil in fryer and preheat fryer to 375°.
In a medium sized bowl, cream together shortening, mascarpone and sugar. In a measuring cup mix together buttermilk, egg, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Slowly beat in egg mixture. Once well blended slowly add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Roll dough out on a floured surface until 1/3-inch thick. Punch out doughnuts with a 1 1/2-inch biscuit cutter or donut cutter. Let stand 10 minutes. Fry until golden. Remove from fryer and dust with cinnamon sugar. Serve warm with dulce de leche.
Yield: 1 dozen.
Dulce de leche
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Pierce the top of the can with a bottle opener and remove paper from can. Cover top of can tightly with aluminum foil. Place in a sauce pan, submerge in water to 1-inch from the top. Boil over med-low heat for four hours. Open lid of can and place contents in a serving dish.
Cinnamon swirl coffee cake
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups butter, room temperature
1 cup margarine
3 cups sugar
3 cups sour cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease and flour two tube pans (preferably with removable bottoms). Mix streusel ingredients and set aside. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl and toss to combine. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, margarine and sugar. Add eggs one by one, mixing to incorporate. Mix in sour cream and vanilla. Add dry ingredient mixture, and mix till fully combined. Spread half of batter between the two pans and spread to cover bottom of pans. Sprinkle each pan with a layer of streusel. Spread remaining batter over streusel in each pan. Top with remaining streusel.
Bake approximately one hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.
Yield: 2 coffee cakes.
Sue Barham is the marketing director for Larkspur Restaurant and Restaurant Avondale. Larkspur, (larkspurvail.com) at the base of Vail Mountain, has been serving American Classics with a fresh interpretation since 1999. Avondale, (avondalerestaurant.com) opened in September 2008 in the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa and features a West Coast inspired, market driven menu.
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