Christmas Breakfast and Brunch Ideas

Breakfast, Brunch, Christmas / Thursday, December 20th, 2012

It’s Christmas morning! The presents have been opened. The stocking are unstuffed. The kids’ joy is at its zenith. And now it’s time for the Most Wonderful Breakfast of the Year!

No pressure.

Here are some of my favorite Christmas breakfast and brunch recipes. Most can be made ahead, so on Christmas morning, you’ll have breakfast in the bag like Santa, you jingling rock star. 

Make-Ahead Casseroles

Who wants to take individual egg orders? You’re not a short-order cook! Just throw together this sausage, egg and cheese Christmas Breakfast Casserole the night before, and slide it into the oven on Christmas morning. Easy and crazy-good.

This is Virginia Willis’ Overnight French Toast Casserole. Sweet goodness. Imagine a big dish full of buttery bread moistened with eggs, whole milk, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger and then studded with chopped pecans. So good on its own, you don’t really even need the syrup. And I love syrup.

Here’s my sister Jennifer’s Hashbrown Casserole. If you’ve ever been to a Southern Baptist potluck (or breakfast at Cracker Barrel), you know the power of this baked cheesy-potato goodness. No one can resist it.

Bready Things

This Cherry-Cream Cheese Coffee Cake is so pretty in person; people might think you ran to the bakery. It’s a buttery, almond-scented cake topped with layers of cream cheese, cherry pie filling, streusel and slivered almonds that give every bite a nice crunch. (But if cherries aren’t your thing, go for this Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar-Pecan Streusel. It’s amazing.)

Oh, how I love Nigella Lawson’s Christmas-Morning Muffins. They’re made with freshly-squeezed clementine juice, dried cranberries and chocolate chips. Easy and delicious.

I haven’t met the man who could resist these Peppery Bacon and Cheddar Scones. They are easy to make and so incredibly good. Plus, you can bake them the day before and warm them up in the oven. Hold me.

Christmas ain’t Christmas without Sausage (or ‘Sawmill’) Gravy. This is my brother-in-law’s recipe. He knows what he’s doing.

I’m so crazy about these Double-Cheddar Holiday Biscuits. It really is hard to grab just one. Or two. Or three. Don’t judge! They’re especially good split and filled with country ham or sausage. Or sawmill gravy.

This Cranberry-Orange Bread with Grand Marnier Glaze tasted exactly how I wanted – sweet and moist, singing with orange sunshine and sweet-tart cranberries. It’s more like a pound cake than a quick bread. The glaze seeps deep down inside the loaf and crusts a little on top, so you get the slightest sugary crunch when you take a bite, like stepping onto fresh snow.

Everyone loves Monkey Bread. Just quarter some canned biscuits, dip them in butter, roll them in cinnamon sugar, and bake them in a bundt pan. It even LOOKS like a wreath. Perfect!

Do you have a panettone that needs a purpose? Make this Panettone Bread Pudding with Warm Amaretto Sauce! The recipe is simple, but the results are decadent. With a capital “D.”

Fruity Things

I’ve been making this Orange Yogurt with Honey and Pecans for years now. First, you strain the yogurt overnight (not difficult at all) and replace the liquid with orange juice. Then you stir in lots of good things – like orange segments, chopped pecans, raisins, honey and vanilla. I always love citrus this time of year, and it’s nice to have something healthier on the table.

Sweet mercy, you know how much I love Strawberry Pretzel Salad. It’s a Jell-O salad with a sweet-and-salty pretzel crust, a creamy layer of  Cool Whip and cream cheese and a fruity layer made with strawberries, pineapple and strawberry Jell-O. Most people make it for Easter, but it’s red, so it totally passes my Christmas test.

Special Drinks

Your heart will grow three sizes bigger after this Candy Manor Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Not only is the hot chocolate flavored with peppermint, so is the whipped cream. And it’s topped with crushed peppermint candies. Garnish each cup with a candy cane, and people will be wondering who let Martha in.

This Holiday Hot Chocolate is a luxuriously silky, cinnamon-spiked hot chocolate laced with honey, brown sugar and vanilla. Add a little rum, if the spirit moves you. My spirit usually does.

I’m usually not big on pomegranate, but the pear nectar in this Pomegranate-Champagne Punch smooths its edges, so you get a drink that’s frighteningly sippable. And it’s as red as Rudolph’s nose, so you can totally get away with serving it before noon. Absolutely.

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