A Happy Holiday Brunch in a Hurry

14 Dec A Happy Holiday Brunch in a Hurry

Happy Holiday Brunch in a Hurry

If you feed them, they will come, or at least that has been my experience. Most people love something fresh from the oven, whether it’s cookies or cake or most recently, coffeecake, the main attraction at a brunch I hosted last week.

A big part of my new part-time job as Building Coordinator at the Early Learning Family Center is to bring people together who are working to best meet the needs of the preschoolers at Skyline.  Throwing a building-wide breakfast seemed like a great way to get people from the various agencies housed under one roof to meet and greet and have a bite to eat before they started their busy day with little ones.

With the holiday season in high gear, keeping things simple seemed like the order of the day. I stuck with a minimal menu consisting of coffeecake and fruit kabobs, both of which were made the night before, easily transported and served at room temperature.  What could be better?

Whether your December entertaining planner calls for feeding family staying with you, a coffee break treat for colleagues at work, something special for Santa on Christmas morning or just getting friends together to celebrate the season, it’s always nice to have a brunch menu with recipes you can prepare ahead of time..

Sending you warm wishes for a joyful holiday season, I give you this week’s Special of the Day: A Happy Holiday Brunch in a Hurry and recipes for Super Simple Streusel Coffeecake and Festive Fruit Kabobs. Happy Holidays!

Recipes and food photography by Sydne George

Festive Fruit Kabobs

Festive Fruit Kabobs

(makes about 50 skewers)
Make the almond syrup:
6 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
In a medium saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium high heat until it boils, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Remove from heat and add almond extract.
Let cool.
Make the melon balls:
3 seedless baby watermelon
2 honeydew melons
Using a melon baller, make melon balls out of the watermelon and honeydew.
Thread three melon balls onto each small skewer, (I found bamboo skewers at Party America), alternating colors.
Place fruit kabobs in a large rectangular glass dish.
Pour  almond syrup over kabobs, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Super Simple Streusel Coffeecake Squares

Super Simple Streusel Coffeecake
(makes one 9 x 9 inch coffeecake)
Spray 9 x 9 inch square baking pan with baking spray (nonstick spray with flour).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make the streusel topping:
1 tablespoon flour
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup chopped pecans
In a medium bowl,  combine dry ingredients until mixed.
Using a pastry blender, cut butter into dry ingredients until crumbly and well-mixed.
Make the coffeecake:
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
Cream butter using electric mixer.
 Add sugar and beat until well-mixed.
Add eggs, one at a time and beat until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla and mix in.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add ¼ of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix just until incorporated.
Add ¼ cup of the sour cream and mix.
Continue mixing in ingredients, alternating ¼ of the dry ingredients with ¼ of the sour cream until all ingredients have been mixed in.
Spread coffeecake batter into prepared pan and sprinkle streusel evenly over batter.
Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, just until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake.
Let cool slightly.
Cut in squares.
Can be served warm or at room temperature.

                Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com .


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