I’m not sure about you, but Christmas morning at my house is utter mayhem. With two eager boys wanting to see what Santa brought and what Grandma sent, breakfast is the last thing I can focus on. In fact, it’s the last thing the boys think about. To them, their fine eating Lifesavers and summer sausage for breakfast. However, the good mom in me knows better. They’re going to be ripping through the neighborhood with their new toys and playing outside at Granny’s. They need to eat breakfast. Not to mention, Christmas lunch isn’t until 1, so breakfast is a MUST!
Several years ago, I set out on a mission to cook or at least prep breakfast the night before. While they’re watching Rudolph, I get Christmas morning breakfast ready. I’ve tried various things over the years, but here are our favorites…
Mixed Berry Old Fashioned Tea Ring
*Think uncut cinnamon rolls with fruit inside. Warm up a slice in the microwave…OMG! My husband licks his plate!
1 c. scalded milk
¼ c. shortening
¼ c. sugar
1 tsp salt
4 c. all purpose flour + extra for kneading
1 egg, beaten
1 pkt quick rise yeast, dissolved into ½ c. warm water
½ c. margarine (1 stick softened)
4 TBSP ground cinnamon
Place shortening, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Pour hot milk over and allow shortening to melt. Add beaten egg and yeast-water mixture. Stir to combine. Add flour. Stir vigorously to combine. Cover and allow to rise for 2 hours. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes. Allow to rest/relax for 10 minutes. Roll dough out into a rectangle of about ¼ – ½ inch thickness. Spread softened butter over the tea ring. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Then, spread cooled mixed berry mixture over the entire surface. Roll up as you would a jelly roll. Place on a pizza pan or cookie sheet. Form into a circle/wreath and tuck ends together. Using kitchen shears, snip 1” cuts around the entire ring. Using your fingers, turn each dough cut under to expose the fruit layer. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan. Allow to cool before frosting.
2 c. powdered sugar
1 TBSP meringue powder
4-6 TBSP milk
Mix ingredients in a bowl. Pour icing into a piping or Ziploc bag. Snip the end and drizzle over the entire tea ring.
*Option 1 BAKE the night before and microwave slices on Christmas morning.
**Option 2 Get everything mixed, rolled, and ready. It can rise overnight; then, bake while the kids are opening presents. When they’re done, it’s done…and HOT!
Mixed Berry Filling:
1 bag frozen mixed berries, 1 c. sugar, 2 TBSP cornstarch
Cook over medium heat until thick. Use a whisk to stir and mash berries. Remove from heat and allow to cool before using. Spread over cinnamon-sugar-butter coating. Roll up tea ring and bake as usual.
Crock Pot Casserole
1 bag frozen hashbrowns–shredded or cubed
1 lb. sausage–smoked or pan (if using pan, brown it first)
1/2 c. onion–chopped
1/2 c. bell pepper–chopped
1 c. milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 c. shredded cheese
In a bowl, mix together hashbrowns, sausage, onions & peppers. Pour into a crock pot that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl (use the same bowl–less mess), whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pour over potato mixture. Using your spoon, press everything down to make sure everything has been soaked with egg. Bake on low for 4 hours. An hour-30 minutes before serving, sprinkle with shredded cheese and let it melt.
*Option 1 Set your alarm clock for 3 hours before the kids wake up. (In my house that’s 7am, so I get up at 4 am.) Turn on the crock pot and go back to bed. This guarantees nothing over cooks
*Option 2 Get a crock pot with a timer that will turn itself on 3-4 hours before you wake up.
*Option 3 Turn on the crock pot before you go to bed and set the timer to turn off in 4 hours.
*Option 4 Stay up late; turn on the crock pot before you go to bed, and deal with crunchy edges the next morning.
Ham & Cheese Waffles
*Only attempt this if you have an extra 30 minutes on Christmas morning. I mix the waffle batter the night before.
2 c. waffle/pancake mix (yes, I cheated, but at least my eggs are fresh from my own chickens)
3 TBSP oil
2 c. water
2 c. shredded Colby-jack cheese
½ lb. chopped ham
Combine all waffle ingredients in a large bowl. Scoop approximately ½ c. batter onto hot waffle iron. Cook until waffle iron indicated “done”. Batter should make 4-6 waffles