A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Maple-Pecan Coffee Cake Orange & Ginger Oatmeal with Toasted Walnuts Brown Sugar Breakfast Tarts Spinach & Sausage Bread Pudding   Maple-Pecan Coffee Cake Yield: 6 servings. CRUMBLE ½ cup dark

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Maple-Pecan Coffee Cake Orange & Ginger Oatmeal with Toasted Walnuts Brown Sugar Breakfast Tarts Spinach & Sausage Bread Pudding   Maple-Pecan Coffee Cake Yield: 6 servings. CRUMBLE ½ cup dark

A Merry Little Breakfast: 4 Recipes for Christmas Morning


Maple-Pecan Coffee Cake

Yield: 6 servings.

½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup pecans, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup pecans, chopped
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon maple extract (can be found at specialty kitchen stores)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces sour cream, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the crumble: In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, pecans, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well using a fork. Use fork to stir while you pour in melted butter until a crumb-like texture forms. Break up any large crumbs with fork.

For the coffee cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare an 8-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and pecans. In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup, vegetable oil, milk, eggs, and extracts. Stir the sour cream into the wet ingredients until combined.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour in the wet ingredients. Gently stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the crumble. Spread the remaining batter over the crumble. Sprinkle with the remaining crumble.

Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes.

For the icing: In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and maple syrup until a thick, pourable icing forms. Drizzle icing over warm cake. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers, covered, at room temperature for up to 4 days.

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Orange & Ginger Oatmeal with Toasted Walnuts

Yield: 4 servings.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup milk (low-fat, whole, or almond milk)
2 ½ cups water, plus more as needed
1 cup steel-cut oats
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest, plus more for garnish
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add chopped walnuts and stir until evenly coated in sugar mixture. Reduce heat and continue stirring walnuts until they begin to smell toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine milk and 2 ½ cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir the oats and salt into the boiling water. Return mixture to a steady boil, then reduce heat to low or simmer.

Gently simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. For softer, creamier oats, continue cooking for 5 to 10 additional minutes, stirring every few minutes. If the oatmeal becomes too thick, add water or milk to thin it out to desired consistency.

Remove oatmeal from heat and let sit a few minutes to thicken. Stir in orange zest, ginger, and cinnamon. Serve oatmeal with additional orange zest and the toasted walnuts. Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Brown Sugar Breakfast Tarts

Yield: 6 tarts.

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

½ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons maple syrup

1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk

For the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and sugar. Using two forks or a pastry cutter, cut butter and shortening into the flour mixture. After a few minutes, the flour will resemble a sand-like consistency with a few medium-size lumps.

Add in 2 tablespoons of ice water and combine using a rubber spatula. Gently mix in 2 more tablespoons of ice water. The dough should come together and form a mass, but still easily fall apart. It’s ready when the dough starts to stick to the spatula.

Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a rectangular shape and cut in half. Wrap each half separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

After dough has chilled, take one half out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. On a floured surface, roll dough out to about 9 x 13 inches and ⅛-inch thickness. Using a pizza cutter, slice six 3 x 4-inch rectangles and transfer to a small tray lined with parchment paper. Place in the fridge and repeat for the second half of dough for a total of 12 rectangles.

For the filling: In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and preheat oven to 350°.

Take 6 of the dough rectangles out of the fridge and place them, evenly spaced, on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add 1 tablespoon filling to the center of each rectangle. Spread it evenly, leaving about ½ an inch around the edges.

Take the remaining 6 rectangles out of the fridge and use a toothpick to poke 6 to 7 holes into each. Set aside.

Dab the edges of the filled rectangles with cold water and place the perforated rectangles on top. Gently press the edges to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork, then bake for 25 to 28 minutes. They should come out dull on top with a slightly golden edge. Cool tarts on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

For the icing: In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix until smooth. Spoon into the center of the cooled tarts and gently spread toward the edges. The icing will be thin enough to run down the sides. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar, if desired.

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Spinach & Sausage Bread Pudding

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

1 loaf brioche bread
1 pound ground breakfast sausage, cooked and drained
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups onion, chopped
3 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups Gruyère cheese, grated
12 large eggs
1 ½ cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Tear brioche into large chunks and place in dish, overlapping to cover the bottom. Sprinkle cooked sausage on top of bread and distribute evenly.

In a skillet, melt the butter on medium heat and add chopped onions. Cook onions for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add spinach to pan and cook until spinach is just wilted. Pour cooked onions and spinach over top of sausage. Top with grated cheese.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and half-and-half. Add mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove casserole from fridge, preheat oven to 375°, and place rack in middle position. Remove plastic wrap and cover baking dish with foil. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until top is slightly puffy and center is set, about 30 minutes more.

Let cool for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

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This story was published on Nov 10, 2021

Lynn Wells

Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.