Breakfast Specials: Quick Breads and Pastries to Help You Start Your Day
If you generally only indulge on weekends—or when the coffee-shop display proves irresistible—we have a rousing wake-up call: You can make these treats yourself, and most of those indulgent goodies you love can be made any day of the week. Several can be made ahead and frozen, then defrosted overnight and baked off while you shower. Our chocolate-hazelnut take on monkey bread actually tastes better if you make it the night before and leave the yeasted dough in the refrigerator overnight. Next morning, just bring the dough to room temperature and bake.
A couple of these sweets are made using store-bought all-butter puff pastry. It's one of those things our food editors' always keep in the freezer. It works beautifully in sweet breakfasts like our tempting take on that supermarket staple, the toaster pastry (Note: our version is baked in the oven like the rest of these treats.). And store-bought puff pastry is just as stellar in a savory recipe, we use it in our simple, potato-and-feta take on the Turkish turnover, the boreka.
Simple baked goods like scones, muffins, and quick breads (here we mean the all-time favorite, banana bread), don't require a stand mixer, come together quickly and bake up fast. Our new recipes take these easy-going standards to new heights of flavor.
Then there are new hybrids we're sure will become classics over time, for who could resist a streamlined version of the cheese Danish or the sublime baked good created when the biscuit met the jelly roll? Do try these enticing new spins on eight bakery classics, we're sure you'll love them as much as we do.
Streusel Banana Bread
If coffee cake and banana bread sang a duet, the harmonious result would be this moist loaf and its nutty cinnamon-and-brown-sugar topping. The streusel not only caps off the creation, it also winds its way through every slice, for a sweet-salty beat in every bite.
Monkey Bread with Hazelnut-Chocolate Swirl
Leisurely weekend mornings were made for monkey bread. Yeasted dough gets rolled into tiny orbs, then assembled in a Bundt pan, where it rises while you relax with your coffee. (Parents and grandparents note: This is an excellent job for little hands.) The deep chocolate-hazelnut notes come from generous drizzles of Nutella on the bottom of the pan and layered throughout. Prefer to sleep in? Work ahead of time. This recipe actually benefits from an overnight ferment in the fridge, taking on a more robust flavor. The next day, bring it to room temperature and set it in the oven.
While delectable on their own, these cheesy scallion-and-dill-flecked beauties are our food editors' new go-to vehicle for egg sandwiches, elevating a simple scramble into a savory feast. The herbs and sharp cheddar are folded into the crumbly, buttery dough (which comes together in a flash, no mixer required) and showered over the scones before baking to create crisp tops. For a shortcut, slice the dough into squares or wedges rather than cutting out rounds. And for maximum enjoyment, serve with a swirl of butter.
Biscuit-Jelly Roll with Rhubarb and Raspberries
Biscuits get a bold, sweet new look. Our fruit-swirled stunner starts with a classic buttermilk-infused dough that is rolled into a rectangle, blanketed in gorgeous pink filling, and folded into thirds like a letter. Rather than bubbling in a pan on the stovetop, the jammy rhubarb-raspberry mixture is caramelized to perfection on a sheet pan in the oven, a mostly hands-off step that can be done up to five days ahead. Finish with a devil-may-care dusting of sanding sugar to add sweet, sparkly crunch.
Apricot-and-Cream Cheese Squares
Inspired by an old-fashioned brunch favorite—the cheese-and-fruit Danish—our cheerful tray bake skips the fussy, laminated pastry in favor of lower-maintenance focaccia dough. As for the plump apricots, we prefer jarred or canned ones, which have been poached in syrup. They have a mellower flavor and silkier texture than their just-picked counter-parts, and provide the right balance to the tangy cream cheese.
Morning Glory Muffins
We've all met muffins that are actually cupcakes disguised as breakfast. These are not that kind of muffin. This is an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink recipe in the best possible way, the hearty, generously sized muffins burst with grated apples, carrot, and coconut; golden raisins; and—in place of more traditional walnuts—pepitas. That means fewer allergy concerns. Bake-sale volunteers, victory is yours!
Bourekas, or flaky little parcels stuffed with savory fillings, originated in Turkey, but are now a morning nosh in kitchens and cafés all over the Middle East. In our version, store-bought puff pastry speeds things up, as do leftover baked or mashed potatoes, if you have them. Assemble and freeze these ahead of time, then give them a quick egg wash and a scattering of nigella seeds before baking. Black sesame seeds are fine in a pinch, but we highly recommend seeking out the more intense-tasting real deal.
Blueberry "Toaster" Pastries
Beyond an airy crust and a fruity middle, these sweet treats have little in common with their store-bought siblings—though if you fill and freeze a batch in advance, they're almost as convenient on a weekday morning (bake them for 25 minutes while you shower and dress). Packed with a zesty blueberry filling, they're drizzled and coated with a basic confectioners'-sugar glaze; the intense violet hue comes from ground freeze-dried blueberries, found in the supermarket snack aisle. A smattering of sprinkles might be gilding the lily, but trust us—no one will complain.