Monday, September 3, 2012

Celebrate National Breakfast Month with Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls, Apple Pie French Toast, & Savory Breakfast Muffins

Most of us really love breakfast, but since our lives are so fast paced,  we seldom get to sit down and enjoy it like we would like too.  In honor of National Breakfast Month, (September), we think it would be a great idea to pick a morning that you have plenty of time to savor the flavors of breakfast and enjoy the meal with your family. Start your day off with a great full blown breakfast and celebrate National Breakfast Month. Scroll down for  some fun facts & a few breakfast recipes to inspire you. Enjoy!

Fact: People who eat breakfast are less likely to over eat at Lunch time. Why? Because their body is not going through those stomach quivers that we get when we are hungry. Those quivers make us over eat.

Fact: Breakfast tells your body to stop the fast and get your motor running. Breakfast gives you energy and gets your brain to functioning.

Fact: Cereal was invented when colonial housewives started serving up popcorn with sugar and cream for breakfast.

Fact: Instant coffee has been in existence since the middle of the eighteenth century.

Fact: Breakfast helps people meet their daily dietary requirements for vitamins and minerals while keeping the amount of fat and cholesterol down. This can help with maintaining a healthy weight, as well as lowering the risk for high cholesterol and heart disease, according to It also improves concentration, productivity, problem-solving, creativity and hand-eye coordination.

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls 


2 cups milk (I actually used almond milk)
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
4 cups flour + ½ cup later
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons melted butter (or more!)
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
½ cup brown sugar, packed
Cinnamon (about 1 teaspoon)
For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Set aside and cool until about 115 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, make sure it’s pretty warm, but not scalding. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk until frothy.
Add 4 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining ½ cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.
To assemble the rolls, on a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.
To make the filling, brush the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar on, then cinnamon (I used about 1 full teaspoon), then the hazelnuts and chocolate. Add more or less of each filling ingredient, the proportions are all up to you!
Beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. Alternatively, used thread or dental floss to cut the slices. You should end up with around 20-25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into round cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.
While the rolls are baking, make an icing. I made a simple chocolate icing by whisking together 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons milk, and ½ teaspoon vanilla.
I think a drizzle of nutella would also make a lovely and simple topping.
Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Enjoy these all to yourself, or better yet, share a pan with some loved ones!

Apple Pie French Toast

serves 3
For Filling:
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons cream cheese

For Toast:
8-10 large slices day old bread
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Apple butter  and cream cheese to spread

In a small saucepan, cook apples, lemon juice and water over medium heat for 5 minutes, until apples are tender. While they're cooking, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and stir out any lumps. Add into the sauce pan along with the cream cheese, turn off heat. Stir well to combine, sauce will thicken as it mixes.

Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on half the bread slices, do the same with apple butter on the other slices. Add a few tablespoons of filling mixture onto the cream cheese side of the bread, top with the apple butter slice, making a sandwich.

Combine eggs, milk, vanilla and butter in a shallow dish and whisk well. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture and cook on a lightly greased griddle over medium heat until golden brown on both sides.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Savory Breakfast Muffins
Makes 15 muffins

12-14 oz. raw breakfast sausage
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup cornmeal
3 eggs
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup minced onion
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste

Line one medium-sized-cup muffin tin with paper liners, spray each liner with a little cooking spray, and set aside. Saute sausage with chili powder, salt, and pepper, crumbling the sausage with a metal spoon as it cooks. Drain excess grease with a wad of paper towels or into an empty aluminium can.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together bisquick, cornmeal, eggs, garlic powder and milk. Add sausage, peppers, onions and cheese. Stir well. Add thyme. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Ladle the filling into the prepared muffin tins, filling almost to the top.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

- Two cups of Bisquick can be substituted by a mix of 2 cups flour, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 tbsp. oil or melted butter.
- Store in the freezer in a large, airtight container or a large Ziploc bag.
- To reheat from frozen, microwave on high for approximately 90 seconds.


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