Homemade Bread Recipes For The Holidays

Homemade Bread Day Is November 17

November 17th is National Homemade Bread Day.  So, I thought I’d share with you some of my very favorite holiday bread recipes.  These are all quick breads – meaning they don’t require yeast or hours of waiting for dough to proof.  In every instance, the batters can be used to make mini-loaves (or even muffins) to give out a gifts.

Every bread here has been tested by me personally.  If you click through to see a recipe, please be sure to read the notes so you know exactly what to expect.  Happy holiday baking!

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Cranberry Sauce For Breakfast

Cranberry Sauce For Breakfast

It’s there for every Thanksgiving dinner and it’s there after every Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s the one holiday staple you can count on being in your refrigerator the next day.  The concept of having cranberry sauce with meat and potatoes is cemented in our holiday traditions.  It’s on the table.  It’s pretty.  But, it’s often unused.  Maybe it’s a matter of tradition not keeping up with tastes.  I’ll have gravy on my turkey and potatoes for Thanksgiving.  If I want a berry compote with my meat, I’ll go to IKEA later.

You know what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving? Leftover cranberry sauce!  I’ve begun watching it during holiday dinners – eyeing it like the last piece of of chocolate in the box – hoping that nobody takes too much.  Because I know… cranberry sauce is better for breakfast than it is for dinner.  There are few hard truths you can rely on in this life.  That’s one of them.

So whether you’re reading this the day after a holiday or you’re finally ready to use that can that’s been in your cupboard for two years… get ready.  These are the 10 best ways to use cranberry sauce for breakfast.

Cranberry Sauce In Oatmeal

#1. Swirl it into your oatmeal.

Cranberry Sauce On Pancakes

#2. Put it on pancakes. (Recipe: Cranberry Sauce Pancake Topping)

Cranberry Sauce In Pancakes

#3. Put it in pancakes. (Recipe: Cranberry Sauce Pancakes)

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Red, White And Blue Breakfast Ideas

Red, White And Blue Waffle

Happy Independence Day!  Today’s ideas are all about adding some red, white and blue flare to your morning meal.  If you have some berries and bananas, you have the power to transform an ordinary breakfast into an All-American Fourth of July Spectacular Breakfast.  Add some whipped cream or yogurt and the patriotic possibilities are endless.

The easiest (and maybe most fun) thing you can do is arrange berries to make an American flag pattern on waffles, pancakes or French toast.

4th of July Waffles

Here, you can see combinations of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, banana slices and whipped cream.  Those are Apple Cinnamon Waffles in the pictures.  The warm apple pieces in the waffles tasted amazing with the fresh berries on top.  For standard waffles, I’d recommend the following recipes: Best Waffles Ever (quick waffles without yeast) or Overnight Waffle Batter (yeast waffles from a batter that needs to rest at least 7 hours).

American Flag Toast

In a matter of seconds, you can turn ordinary toast into USA-mazing toast.  A spread of cream cheese gives you a white canvas to work with.  Strawberry jam is used to make the red stripes of the flag which are offset by banana pieces to make the white stripes.  I especially love this idea because it’s so kid-friendly. Wee ones will have a blast making a flag out of a piece of toast.  You don’t really need a recipe for this, but here’s one anyway:  American Flag Fruit Toast.

Fourth of July Berry Bites

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Bailey’s Irish Coffee Donuts

Bailey's Irish Cream Donuts

This donut was a huge success last St. Patrick’s Day.  All year whenever I told friends I was thinking of making donuts, they’d say, “You should make the ones you made for St. Patrick’s Day again.”

This recipe uses my proven, kitchen-tested, yeast-raised donut base (which you can use for a multitude of different donuts).  The topping is a chocolatey, coffee-infused mocha icing and the filling is a vanilla buttercream that’s been transformed into a taste of the Emerald Isle by a shot of Irish coffee liqueur.

Irish Cofee Donuts

There’s an old Irish proverb that says, “Hunger is a tasty topping.”  That may be true, but I think you’ll prefer this mocha icing.

Bailey's Irish Cream Donuts

To Make The Yeast-Raised Donuts:

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Strawberry Valentine’s Day Donuts

Strawberry Valentine's Day Donuts

This year’s featured Valentine’s Day recipe is for heart-shaped, yeast-raised donuts with strawberry buttercream filling and vanilla icing.  The secret ingredient is… as usual… love.  I decorated some with sprinkles and others with a decorative pink icing that I made by simply combining the leftover filling with the leftover icing.

I won’t sugar coat it.  Raised donuts take time.  All together, you’re into it for at least 3 hours, probably 4.  Much of that is just waiting for dough to rise, but you can’t really hurry the process.  Don’t be fooled by TV shows like “Donut Showdown” where gourmet filled donuts are made in under an hour.

If you have the time, these donuts are actually fun to make – especially during the decorating phase.  If you have someone special to make them with, all the better.  For as great as they are to make, they’re 1,000 times more fun to eat.  Let’s get to work…

Strawberry Buttercream Donut

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Christmas Cake Donuts: Reindeer, Snowmen & Wreaths

Christmas Cake Donuts: Reindeer, Snowmen And Wreaths

Yikes! Christmas is coming too soon!  Where did the time go?  Eek!  No time for a flowery introduction.  Gotta make the donuts!  Let’s jump right in.

The decorating techniques shown here can be applied to any donut with a hole… baked, raised or cake.  I went with cake donuts.  Here’s the recipe:

Donuts Ready To Be Decorated

Basic Cake Donuts

  • 2 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup mashed potato
  • canola oil for frying

This recipe makes about 20 donuts.

Sift the flours, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together into a medium bowl.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the shortening and the sugar.  Mix on slow until the mixture resembles coarse sand.  Add the egg and mix on slow until well combined and uniform in color.

Add the potato, a third of the flour mixture and a third of the milk.  Mix on slow until just combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.   Continue adding the flour and milk in intervals.  Stop when just combined. Try not to over-mix.

Transfer to a shallow casserole dish that’s been coated with cooking spray.  Press the batter down to an even layer.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Heat 3 inches of canola oil to 360 degrees in a fryer or a heavy pot.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Sprinkle the top lightly with flour.   Pat the dough down to a ½-inch thickness.  Cut out donuts and donut holes.  Gather dough remnants into a ball and pat down again to make more donuts.

Carefully slide 2 or 3 donuts at a time into the oil.  As soon as the donuts float, flip them over using two chopsticks.  Cook until the underside is lightly browned (about 40 seconds).  Flip and cook the other side to golden brown (about 30 seconds).

Transfer completed donuts to stacked paper towels.

Be sure the oil is at 360 degrees again before frying another batch.

Make sure all donuts have cooled to room temperature before icing.

This recipe explains the homemade donut making process in rather simple terms.  Refer to the end of this article for more detailed instructions.

Snowman Cake Donuts

Snowmen Donuts

For these snowmen donuts, I used a simple vanilla icing.  You can get the recipe for that (and some icing tips) from a post I did a couple weeks ago called Christmas Cake Donuts: Chocolate With Crushed Candy Canes.

The mouth and eyes are chocolate chips and the nose is a Reese’s Pieces candy.

I made snowman faces.  If you wanted to make a full snowman body, just ice 2 donuts with no other decoration and use those to make a body for your snowman face.

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Eggnog For Breakfast: 7 Holiday Recipes

Eggnog For Breakfast

In this era of extreme political correctness, one is never sure when it’s okay to say “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays”.  Thankfully, there is one holiday greeting we can all agree on… Joyous Eggnog Season! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I always get excited when my local grocery stores start stocking eggnog in late fall.  That first swig of the year is liquid magic.  The creamy, rich taste of the holidays puts a smile on my face.  And you should see how happy I look when I add brandy.

When it comes to cooking with eggnog, we become like Santa Claus in the the kitchen.  You know those cartoons where he wrinkles his nose and a regular space becomes a holiday wonderland?  That’s what eggnog does to ordinary recipes.  It’s like adding a pinch of Christmas to whatever you’re making.  In most cases, all you need to do is replace the milk in a recipe with eggnog.

These are some of my favorite breakfast recipes that use eggnog as a key component.

Have a very Joyous Eggnog Season!

Eggnog Panccakes

Eggnog Pancakes – This is a recipe is for making pancakes from scratch. They come out very flavorful and surprisingly fluffy considering eggnog’s thicker-than-milk consistency.

Here’s a quick tip: You can take commercial pancake mixes and replace the milk or water in the instructions with eggnog…. Easy Eggnog Pancakes!

Eggnog Smoothe

Eggnog Smoothie – Blending eggnog with a banana (or other fruit of choice)  is a fun way to turn an indulgent holiday treat into a (mostly) healthy holiday treat.  Add a shot of rum or brandy and it’s even more fun!

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Christmas Cake Donuts: Chocolate With Crushed Candy Canes

Christmas Donut

Happy holidays!  These are homemade chocolate cake donuts with vanilla icing and crushed candy canes.  When you read the name of this recipe, it sounds like I’ve just strung all the best words in the English language together:  Chocolate Christmas Candy Cane Cake Donuts. If you’re looking for something to leave for Santa instead of milk and cookies… try these. You’ll probably get a lot more presents.

I’ll post complete recipes for the donut and icing below, but first… some advice.  Larger candy cane pieces make for great photos, but they’re not so great for eating.  If they’re too large, they have a distracting crunch.  I recommend pulverizing your candy canes until they’re near dust with just a few small chunks.

When I make donuts, I always use two not-so-common ingredients.  If you have it, replace 2 Tablespoons of the all-purpose flour in the donut recipe with soy flour.  It will help deter oil absorption when they’re in the fryer.  I also add a pinch of meringue powder to my donut icing.  That helps the icing firm up faster and results in more of a shell on the surface instead of a frosting texture that never really hardens.

Chocolate Cake Donut With Crushed Candy Cane Icing

For best results when making cake donuts, chill the dough for a couple hours and work in two batches so some of the dough remains in the fridge while you’re working the first batch.  This makes the dough easier to cut and work with.  When the dough is too warm, it becomes sticky and sloppy.

I won’t lie.  Anytime you’re making donuts, it’s an involved process.  By the time you make the dough, chill the dough, cut the donuts, fry the donuts and ice and decorate the donuts, you’re into it for several hours.  Personally, I love it.  I say put on some holiday music and make it a special time with family and friends.  Who knows?  Maybe it will be your new holiday tradition.

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