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A Christmas-breakfast tradition

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Emily Robinson

CHRISTMAS MORNING Cooking Buzz contributor Emily Robinson says one of her family’s traditions is to have a big Christmas breakfast together, with dishes such as Sausage Cheese Pie, Gingerbread Pancakes and Holiday Coffee. (Photo courtesy of The Junior League of Houston)

Cooking Buzz is produced in partnership with the Junior League of Houston, a women’s charitable and education organization founded in 1925.

There is nothing like waking up Christmas morning filled with excitement, wearing matching pajamas, and being with family. One of my family’s Christmas traditions is to have a big breakfast together. The smell of coffee and pastries fills the air. It is one of my favorite things.

Since the holidays are always busy, and Christmas morning is no different, we like to use recipes that are easy to make ahead and fun for the whole family to help create.

Start your morning with the Holiday Coffee from Peace Meals while you cook. The Sausage Cheese Pie from The Star of Texas Cookbook is a great savory entrée to accompany the Gingerbread Pancakes from Peace Meals. (If you don’t want to make the sausage pie, you can buy it from The Pantry at the Junior League of Houston, at 1811 Briar Oaks Lane near San Felipe and Loop 610. It is great to have stocked in your freezer for visitors.)

If you have kids, making the Gingerbread Pancakes is a fun way to get them involved. They can mix the batter and watch the pancakes bubble. Top the warm pancakes with fresh berries and Maple Butter from Peace Meals

Holiday Coffee

From Peace Meals

¾ cup (6 ounces) peppermint schnapps
½ cup (4 ounces) crème de cacao
8 cups hot, strong coffee
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup crushed peppermint sticks

Stir together the schnapps, crème de cacao and coffee in a carafe. Whisk the cream in a small chilled bowl until slightly thickened. Pour the coffee mixture into coffee glasses or mugs, top with the cream and sprinkle with peppermint. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Sausage Cheese Pie

From The Star of Texas Cookbook

½ pound sausage, cut into ¼-inch slices
1 8-inch pie shell, partially baked
½ pound grated Cheddar cheese
3 eggs, slightly beaten
½ cup milk
2 Tablespoons bourbon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
½ Tablespoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook sausage slices until browned. Drain well and spread over bottom of pie shell. Cover with grated cheese. Beat eggs with milk, bourbon, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and pour into pie shell. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serves 6. 

Gingerbread Pancakes 

From Peace Meals

1 Tablespoon instant-coffee crystals
¾ cup warm water
3 eggs
¼ cup of firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 cup buttermilk
2½ cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons pumpkin pie seasoning
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
4 Tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted

Stir the coffee into the warm water until dissolved; set aside. Mix the eggs, brown sugar and molasses in a large bowl until well combined. Stir in the buttermilk and the coffee mixture. In another large bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until just combined; stir in the melted butter. Lightly oil or butter a griddle or heavy skillet and preheat over medium. Pour ¼ cup of the batter onto the griddle for each pancake and cook until little bubbles break around the edges; flip and cook until golden brown. Serve immediately with Maple Butter.

Maple Butter

From Peace Meals

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup maple syrup

Combine the butter and the syrup in a bowl and beat until smooth. Transfer the maple butter to a small bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top the warm Gingerbread Pancakes with a dollop.

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