Looking back over my year of breakfast sweets, I realized that while I thought I would prefer the quick and easy recipes (this is baking in the morning, after all), many of the recipes that I enjoyed the most were the ones that took a little elbow grease. Maybe it's because I can normally take or leave breakfast, but it's nice to get out of bed when there's something truly special to look forward to. That doesn't mean there weren't some easy, throw-together recipes or even a savory recipe among my favorites. To see them all, scroll on down!
This was my first attempt making challah, and boy did I get hooked. The beautifully golden, shiny braid wasn't difficult to make (thanks, internet!) and the rich, eggy dough is the stuff of my dreams. As I said then, "Challah is a bread badass"—and I stick to it.
Chocolate Walnut Povitica
This traditional Croatian and Slovenian bread is made by thinly rolling dough over a rich filling of walnuts and chocolate. It's a little finicky to make but the visual effect is a stunner. It's also great for eating at both breakfast and as an afternoon snack.
Old Bay Corn Muffins
I grew up on the East Coast and I'm obsessed with Old Bay Seasoning. I'd been thinking about working it into my baked goods for a while, so I was happy when these muffins worked out well. They're moist and savory and just dreamy when served hot, topped with a pat of butter.
Sweet Potato Biscuits With Jalapeño Butter
Here's a lesson I learned in 2013: put jalapeño butter on everything. Here's another one: bake with sweet potatoes. These biscuits are sweet and flakey and....really, really easy to throw together. Make them for a brunch or dinner party, served with this spicy butter alongside, and watch everyone freak out. (Because they probably don't get to yell biscuits! enough).
Date Rum Cake with Walnuts and Coconut
This is one of those sweets that I could have easily taken to my face—but then I would have been really full and kinda drunk. The super moist, super vanilla-y crumb is studded with dates and topped with a sweet, crunchy pecan and coconut layer. A soak of rum makes it for adults only (really happy adults).
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