Breakfast Recipes

Cinnamon Toast… Muffins!

These are divine. A cross between cinnamon toast (which I have newly discovered I absolutely love). This is (with some minor adjustments) a half recipe of the one in Pioneer Woman’s “French Pastry Puffs” recipe. I thought the name Cinnamon Toast Muffins was more descriptive. You be the judge.

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I’ve made these a few times now, but after the initial endeavor (documented by these pictures) I’ve only been dipping the top parts in the cinnamon sugar. According to Neil, this makes for a better “This Side Up” muffin.

Let’s get goin.

Cinnamon Toast Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Coating:
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons  ground cinnamon

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1. Spray your muffin tin just like this. An explosion in the morning is just what you need to wake you up!

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2. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together and set aside.

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3. Now, get out this. This is what will make these muffins fabulous.

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4. Cream together the shortening and the sugar. It will look something like this.

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5. Add in the egg and beat it, just beat it…

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6. Get out your 12 mini muffins, muffin pan (clean off the mess first please) and fill ’em up!

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7. Set in the oven for about 20 minutes, then remove and let them cool just a bit.

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8. Get your dunking stations ready.

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I like to keep the muffins in a little towel just to keep them a bit warmer than they would have been just sitting on a cold counter. These muffins are totally cruelty free.

9. Dunk either the tops or the entire muffin in the melted butter and then roll it around in the cinnamon sugar to coat.

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Eat these immediately! Go.

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Don’t be alarmed if this happens only moments after you’ve set them on the plate. Cinnamon sugar is attractive like that.

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Cinnamon Toast

Growing up, my mom taught us about nutritional balance. She gave us great healthy foods for lunch and dinner and, in return, we got to eat great cereals for breakfast. Great cereals as Lucky Charms, Coco Puffs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I rub this in Neil’s face every chance I get, for his dietitian mom was stricter about the healthy diet thing than my mom ever was.

Despite the massive intake of the cinnamon sugary goodness of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (a close contender to the ever popular Coco Puffs), we never really ventured into having the actual thing. Actual cinnamon toast that is.

So here I am, in my early 20s, never having had actual cinnamon toast, and I stumble upon an article coaxing people to mix their cinnamon and sugar before sprinkling it on toast. ACTUAL toast! The clouds parted, the sun appeared and there was a rainbow of kittens and giggles.

Our household has never been the same ever since. I keep a little bowl of pre-mixed cinnamon and sugar for just this purpose. It’s easy and addicting. You’ll never go back to regular ol’ toast again!

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Here’s what you need:

Bread to transform into toast
Cinnamon
Sugar
Butter, baby!

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I love the cinnamony taste, so I mix my cinnamon and sugar in a 1:4 ratio. For example, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon for every 4 tablespoons of sugar. You can tweak that to your own taste though. Go ahead. It’s a delicious experiment.

While you’re measuring and mixing, toast your bread.

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While the bread’s still warm, slather on your butter. You want it to melt, so please do this in a timely fashion. Thank you.

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Next, sprinkle on your cinnamon sugar! Use as much or as little as you please!

Oh, remember how I told you to butter your bread while it’s hot? It’s so you won’t have clumps of dry cinnamon sugar on your toast like mine. Although still delicious, it could be dangerous if inhaled. So just do as I say. Butter while it’s hot… butter while it’s hot. (Oh pop culture, what have you done?!)

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Oh, isn’t it magnificent???

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Serve with some delicious scrambled eggs and devour immediately.

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Scrambled Eggs

This is how you make scrambled eggs that are delicious. Why? Because eggs are good for you. Duh.

But really, what I want to share with you, dear internet, is this: I had no idea that delicious scrambled eggs held a secret, and I will share this secret with you today.

They’re cooked over low heat.

Shocking, I know. But I honestly had no idea. I thought that the high heat would cook ’em just fine, and cook ’em fast. But contrary to the hard and rubbery gobeldy gook that is the result of my laziness, I’ve recently discovered that the low heat creates a much creamier and less rubbery egg.

Here’s what you need:

Scrambled Eggs, Sexy Style

Some butter
Some eggs
Some salt
Some pepper
Optional: Some heavy cream or milk

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Since this is already a very precise recipe, I will not number the steps to create this egg masterpiece. First, get a hold of your favorite butter. I’ve been favoring this Mediterranean Blend these days.¬† Why wouldn’t I??

In your saucepan, melt the butter over low-medium heat.

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When the butter’s all melted, crack your eggs. Now, I’m weird and I like to tell the difference between the whites and the yolks, so I let the whites set a bit before I break the yolks and start scramblin’.

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Right before your eggs are cooked to your desired consistency, sprinkle on the salt and pepper. I don’t really like pepper on my eggs, so I only do salt. But again, I’m weird.

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Right after the salt and pepper, bring on the cream! 1-2 tablespoons should be sufficient. If you’re watching your figure these days, milk makes a mighty fine substitute.

Toss everything until everything’s nice and smooth and luscious. About 1 more minute should do.

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Serve with Cinnamon Toast. Enjoy!

PS. Cinnamon Toast recipe coming tomorrow!

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Sweet Potato Pancakes

I’ve told you that I love sweet potatoes haven’t I? Well, I do. And I also have a whole lot of it leftover in my fridge.

Mmmmm pancakes

That’s why yesterday I woke up super early to make us sweet potato pancakes. Had I ever made sweet potato pancakes before? No. Did they turn out edible? Yes. Unlike the terribly awful ones I made for Neil the first time I ever made pancakes for him. Oh how I shudder at the memory.

So here’s what you need:

Sweet Potato Pancakes à la Zahra

2/3 cup mashed baked and cooled sweet potatoes (mine were in the fridge overnight)
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat but all purpose is fine!)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 EACH of cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, and ground ginger (aka “pumpkin pie spice” if you’re cool and have that, I’m not)
1 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Optional: about 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Coat bottom of griddle

1. Start by coating the bottom of your griddle VERY LIGHTLY with Canola oil. Really, any type of oil or butter would be fine here. But please please please blot it all (almost) out because you don’t want to fry your pancakes. Trust me, I know from experience. Turn on the heat to medium.

Mix dry ingredients

2. Next, mix all your dry ingredients except for the brown sugar (flour, baking powder and all your pumpkin pie spices)

Mash sweet potatoes

3. Mash your sweet potatoes! Mash ’em good.

Add egg and vanilla

4. Add the sweet potatoes to the dry ingredients followed by the egg and vanilla.

Add brown sugar

5. Dump that brown sugar right in there too. Then add the milk and mix it all together until just combined. Don’t over beat it or you will have flat pancakes.

Use a 1/4 cup

6. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, measure out the batter onto your hot griddle.

Griddle it!

They will look like this.

Adding pecans

7. If you please, and I always do, press some of the chopped pecans into the batter as it’s cooking on one side.

Flat spatula

8. Using a pretty flat spatula, flip the pancakes over when you see bubbles forming on the top.

Nice and fluffy

See how nice and fluffy they get??

Set lowest oven temperature

9. If you’re like me, you hate cold pancakes. So here is what I do. Turn on your oven to the lowest setting possible. I have this WM (I’m guessing “warm”) setting so I always turn it onto that. This is just to keep your pancakes fresh and warm until you’re ready to serve them all at once.

In the oven

My pecan-y pancakes are on the left and Neil’s are on the right. He doesn’t like surprises in his pancakes.

With butter and extra pecans

10. Top with butter and extra pecans and tons of maple syrup and enjoy! I’m not too healthy in the mornings. Butter is delicious.

Last bite

You know when you’re eating and eating and then all of a sudden you run out of steam at the last bite? This happens to me all the time and it’s quite unfortunate. That last lonely and unloved bite just looks at you, wanting to be eaten because it is just as yummy as its earlier bite siblings, but you just can’t do it. That bite usually gets (I am lowering my voice now so my mom can’t hear me) thrown away.

On this morning, though, I took a deep breath, and devoured that bite anyways. Mission accomplished.

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