Sweet Breakfast Treats for Family and Guests


For holidays or special celebrations, having a few delicious breakfast treats baked ahead of time can be helpful, particularly if we have house guests of various ages and sleeping schedules. The following recipes can be made in advance and are as delicious a day later as they are fresh-baked from the oven. In your times of celebration, we hope they please the guests while they also take pressure off the host and hostess.

Apple Upside-Down Biscuit Cake

For topping:
3 T. unsalted butter
2 T. maple sugar
1 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges

For cake:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 T. maple syrup
1 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
½ t. cinnamon
5 T. cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 F.
For topping: Heat butter in an ovenproof 10-inch heavy skillet (preferably well-seasoned cast-iron) over moderate heat until foam subsides. Stir in maple syrup and remove from heat. Spread mixture evenly in skillet and arrange apples, overlapping in one layer.

For cake: Blend flour, syrup, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl and add buttermilk, stirring just until mixture is moistened. Drop batter on top of apples and gently spread, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge of the skillet so cake can expand. Bake cake in middle of oven until golden brown and firm to the touch, 20¬25 minutes. Cool cake in skillet on a rack 3 minutes, then invert onto a platter. Replace on the cake any apples that stick to the skillet. Serve warm with crème fraiche or sour cream.
Source: Ellen Arian

Breakfast/Snack Raisin Squares (18-24 squares)
Filling:
3 cups seedless raisins
1 ½ cups filtered water
1 cinnamon stick
3 T. fresh lemon juice
¼ cup kuzu or arrowroot, dissolved in 2 T. water

Crust:
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
¼ t. salt
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup maple syrup or barley malt

Filling:
Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
Discard the cinnamon stick. In a blender or food processor, puree the raisins and return them to the saucepan. Add the dissolved kuzu and cook over high heat, stirring until thickened and clear; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil a 9-by-14 inch cake pan.

Crust:
Place the oats, flour, and salt in the container of a food processor. With the machine running, drop in the pieces of butter, one at a time, until well mixed (Or, cut the butter into the flour in a bowl, using 2 knives until the mixture is crumbly.)
With the food processor still running, slowly pour in the syrup or barley malt (or stir it into the flour in the bowl) until well mixed and you have a soft dough. Divide the dough in half.
Roll out one-half between two pieces of wax paper, to fit the cake pan. Remove the top paper. Invert the dough into the pan and carefully peel off the bottom paper. Gently press the dough into all the corners of the pan, then fold over or press down the edges so that the crust is flat with no border. Spread the filling evenly over the crust, smoothing with a rubber spatula.
Break up the remaining dough between your fingers until crumbly. Sprinkle the crumbly dough evenly over the raisin filling, covering it completely. Press down lightly.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Let cool, then cut into squares.
Source: The Natural Gourmet

Banana-Nut Muffins (Makes 12 Muffins)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup butter or ghee, melted and cooled slightly
¾ cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 small or medium bananas, about 2 cups, well mashed
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. fine sea salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with parchment paper liners.
Place the nuts on a cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes (about 4 minutes for pecans). Cool, chop and set aside .
In a large bowl, mix together the butter or ghee, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla and bananas.
Over a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, adding the nuts as you stir. Be careful not to over-mix.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each about ¾ full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins feel well set. Turn the muffins out of the tin and cool on a rack.
Source: Ellen Arian

Blueberry Muffins (10-12 muffins)
8 tablespoons butter at room temperature
3/4 cup plus
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup whole milk (or 1/4 cup buttermilk + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda)
2-1/2 cups organic blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place parchment liners in muffin cups.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer. Add the maple syrup and continue creaming until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Then add them alternately with the milk to the butter-maple mixture. Mix only until just combined.
In a small bowl, crush a handful of the blueberries with a fork and mix them into the batter by hand, along with the remaining blueberries.
Source: Ellen Arian

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