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What's Cooking? - Posted December 28, 2012 11:28 a.m.
photos by Shannon Richardson

Brunch Munch

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Take a break from the rat race and savor a homestyle brunch with family and friends. Pile your plate high with waffles, Hash Brown Quiche, and a muffin, too, for good measure. A Brunch Creamsicle with orange juice and amaretto will add a tangy twist to your filling spread.

recipes provided by Joni Prater, Nordic Galley Bakeri

Crispy Hash Brown Quiche
1 (24-ounce) package frozen, shredded hash
browns, thawed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup shredded hot pepper cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup diced, cooked ham
½ cup half-and-half
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon seasoned salt

Press thawed hash browns between paper towels to remove moisture. Press into the bottom of a greased 10-inch pie plate. Brush with melted butter. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle cheeses and ham evenly over baked hash browns. Beat half-and-half with eggs and seasoned salt; pour over cheeses and ham. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 8 servings

Brunch Creamsicle
Orange juice
Amaretto liqueur
Heavy cream

Fill a pitcher about half full with fresh orange juice. Add about a quarter as much amaretto and stir to mix well. Add ice. Pour into wine or martini glasses and top with about a half inch of heavy cream.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Sweet Muffins
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixed with baking powder, then milk, alternating each until well combined. Divide among 12 muffin cups and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes 12 muffins

Jelly Surprise Muffins
Make Sweet Muffins and fill each cup 1/3 full; top with your favorite jam or jelly, and add more batter until cups are 2/3 full; bake according to Sweet Muffins recipe.

Eggnog Muffins
Add a teaspoon of nutmeg to the flour mixture and bake as directed. When muffins are cool, brush the tops with a mixture of 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons light rum.

Stollen Muffins
Make Sweet Muffins beating in 1/3 cup almond paste with the butter and 1 teaspoon almond extract with the vanilla. Brush muffin tops with melted butter and dust with powdered sugar.

Cider Muffins
Make Sweet Muffins replacing the milk with apple cider. Brush warm muffins with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Malt Waffles
1 1/4 cups flour
¼ cup malt-flavored Ovaltine
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon soda
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons butter

Stir first six ingredients together and set aside. Beat eggs together and add sour cream and butter. Add the flour mixture. Cook according to directions on your waffle iron. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup.

Makes 3 to 4 waffles

Chocolate Muffins
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 ¾ cups flour
¾ cup sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt the butter and chocolate chips together in a bowl. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a separate, large bowl. Whisk milk with egg and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture. Stir in the butter and melted chocolate mixture. Divide into 12 muffin cups and bake 25 to 30 minutes

Makes 12 muffins

Black Forest Muffins
Thaw and chop 1 cup frozen, add pitted cherries to the muffin batter and bake as directed.

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to muffin batter. When almost finished baking, top with mini marshmallows and bake another minute until marshmallows just begin to melt.

Nutella Muffins
Make Chocolate Muffins, replacing the bittersweet chips with Nutella. Add ½ cup chopped hazelnuts and bake as directed.

-- the AM Team

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