Breakfast Feed

Perfect Popovers with Strawberry Butter

Perfect Popovers basket

This "perfect" recipe is from the December / January 2009 issue of Cook’s Country magazine, and they really are spectacular. I’ve added an easy recipe for strawberry butter, because if you’ve had had the popovers at Neiman Marcus, you know that is how they are always served. The batter is easy to throw together, and they are great for a Sunday brunch.

Download Perfect Popovers Strawberry Butter recipe

Vegetable shortening, as needed

3 large eggs

2 cups low-fat milk, heated to 110 degrees

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 cups bread flour (all-purpose will also work)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Strawberry Butter

1 stick butter, softened

1/3 cup best quality strawberry preserves

*Note: Greasing the pans with shortening ensures the best release, but cooking spray may be substituted; do not use butter. To gauge the popovers’ progress without opening the oven door, use the oven light during baking. Bread flour makes for the highest and sturdiest popovers, but an equal amount of all-purpose flour may be substituted.


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Grease interior of 6-cup popover pan with shortening, then dust lightly with flour. Whisk eggs until light and foamy in medium bowl. Slowly whisk in milk and butter until incorporated.
  3. Combine flour, salt, and sugar in large bowl. Whisk three-quarters of milk mixture into flour mixture until no lumps remain, then whisk in remaining milk mixture. Transfer batter to large measuring cup, cover with plastic, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour. (Alternatively, batter can be refrigerated for 1 day. Bring to room temperature before proceeding with recipe.)
  4. After batter has rested, whisk to recombine, then pour into prepared popover pan (batter will not quite reach top of cups). Bake until just beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Without opening oven door, decrease oven temperature to 300 degrees and continue to bake until popovers are golden brown all over, 35 to 40 minutes longer. Poke small hole in top of each popover with skewer and continue to bake until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer popover pan to wire rack. Poke again with skewer and let cool 2 minutes. Turn out popovers. Serve.
  5. Make Ahead: Once popovers have cooled completely, they can be stored at room temperature in zipper-lock bag for 2 days. To serve, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat popovers on rimmed baking sheet until crisp and heated through, 5 to 8 minutes.

For the Strawberry Butter

  1. Beat the butter with electric mixer for 1 minute until fluffy, add strawberry preserves and beat until combined. Serve at room temperature, refrigerate leftovers.

Perfect Popver Strawberry Butter
Perfect Popver Strawberry Butter

Best Blueberry Whole Oat Buttermilk Pancakes

Best Blueberry Whole Oat Buttermilk Pancakes

These pancakes might be my favorite – fluffy, tender, flavorful, satisfying, and somewhat healthier than most recipes. It is from a great cookbook called Nutritious Delicious which features a collection of “bright, fresh-tasting dishes that takes healthy cooking to a new level” and promises to “leave everyone at the table satisfied".

Download Best Blueberry Whole Oat Buttermilk Pancakes recipe

Makes about 16 four-inch pancakes (or you can easily cut recipe in half to serve 2)

2 cups buttermilk, plus extra as needed

1 cup (3 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats (Bob's Red Mill Oats)

1½ cups (4½ ounces) oat flour

½ cup (2½ ounces) all-purpose flour

2½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

7½ ounces (1½ cups) blueberries


Bob’s Red Mill Oat flour works best here, as it has a very fine grind and creates the most fluffy pancakes, but you can make your own in a pinch: Grind 1½ cups (4½ ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats in a food processor to a fine meal, about 2 minutes; note pancakes will be denser if using ground oats. Do not use toasted oat flour, or quick, instant, or thick-cut oats in this recipe. Serve with maple syrup and additional blueberries if desired.

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Combine 1 cup buttermilk and oats in bowl and let sit at room temperature until softened, about 15 minutes.

2. Whisk oat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg together in large bowl. In separate bowl, whisk remaining 1 cup buttermilk, eggs, 3 tablespoons oil (or cooled melted butter), sugar, and vanilla together until frothy, about 1 minute. Whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Using rubber spatula, fold in oat-buttermilk mixture.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat until shimmering, 3 to 5 minutes. Using paper towels, wipe out oil, leaving thin film in pan. Using ¼-cup measure, portion batter into pan, spreading each into 4-inch round using back of spoon. Sprinkle each pancake with 1 tablespoon blueberries. Cook until edges are set and first side is golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Flip pancakes and cook until second side is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve or transfer to wire rack in oven. Repeat with remaining batter, whisking additional buttermilk into batter as needed to loosen, and adding remaining oil to pan as necessary.

Best Blueberry Whole Oat Buttermilk Pancakes ingredients

Fluffy Fiber Rich Blueberry-Oat Pancakes

Fluffy Blueberry Oat Pancakes

Pancakes are traditionally an indulgent weekend option, but often are made with simple carbs that leave you feeling hungry in no time. I’ve tried a few multi-grain “healthy” recipes, but the pancakes were typically heavy and dense. I found this recipe in an America’s Test Kitchen magazine called “Super Food” recipes, and as usual with their recipes – perfection! Fluffy, tender, flavorful pancakes packed with fiber that tasted great. I’ve used buttermilk and clabbered milk and both work just fine. I find that the pancakes cook more evenly without the blueberries in the batter, so I generally serve the blueberries on the side.

Download Fluffy Blueberry-Oat Pancakes

2 cups buttermilk, or clabbered milk (Mix 2 cups of whole milk mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and let rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken slightly)

1 cup (3 ounces) old fashioned rolled oats

1 ½ cups (4 ½ ounces) oat flour

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons oil

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

7 ½ ounces blueberries ( about 1 ½ cups)


  1. Combine 1 cup of buttermilk and oats in a bowl and let sit at room temperature to soften, about 15 minutes.


  1. Whisk oat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl. In separate bowl whisk eggs, 3 tablespoons oil, sugar, vanilla and remaining 1 cup of buttermilk until frothy, about 1 minute. Whisk buttermilk-egg mixture into flour mixture, just until smooth. Using rubber spatula, fold in oat-buttermilk mixture.


  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12 inch nonstick skillet (or griddle pan) over medium heat until shimmering, 4-5 minutes. Using papertowels, wipe out oil, leaving thin film in skillet. Using ¼-cup dry measuring cup (or large cookie scoop) portion batter into skillet; spread each portion into 4-inch round using back of spoon. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon blueberries. Cook until edges are set and first side is golden, 2-3 minutes.


  1. Flip pancakes and cook until second side is golden, 2-3 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with maple syrup and butter. Makes about 18 pancakes. (To serve all at once, keep finished pancakes warm in a 200 degree oven on a wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet)


100 Percent Whole-Wheat Pancakes

100 percent whole wheat pancakes 2018 

As with most recipes from Cook’s Illustrated, these are fool proof pancakes that are super easy to prepare. I sometimes cut the recipe in half for just two people, or you can refrigerate leftover better in a sealed container, and make a few more the next day. An electric griddle - set at 350 degrees -  can be used in place of a skillet. If substituting buttermilk powder and water for fresh buttermilk, use only 2 cups of water to prevent the pancakes from being too wet. To ensure the best flavor, use either recently purchased whole-wheat flour or flour that has been stored in the freezer for less than 12 months. Great with fresh berries or bananas, and pure maple syrup.

Download 100 Percent Whole-Wheat Pancakes recipe



2 cups (11 ounces) 100% whole-wheat flour (preferably King Arthur)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

2 ¼ cups buttermilk

5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 large eggs


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Spray wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray; place in oven.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, 5 tablespoons oil, and eggs together in second medium bowl. Make well in center of flour mixture and pour in buttermilk mixture; whisk until smooth. (Mixture will be thick; do not add more buttermilk.)
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Using paper towels, carefully wipe out oil, leaving thin film on bottom and sides of pan. Using 1/4-cup dry measuring cup or 2-ounce ladle, portion batter into pan in 3 places. Gently spread each portion into 4 1/2-inch round. Cook until edges are set, first side is golden brown, and bubbles on surface are just beginning to break, 2 to 3 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  4. Serve pancakes immediately or transfer to wire rack in oven. Repeat with remaining batter, using remaining 1 teaspoon oil as necessary.

100 whole wheat pancakes griddle

Old Fashioned Coffee Cake Thick Crumb Topping

Crumb cake piece 

This recipe for "New York-Style Crumb Cake" from Cook's Illustrated reminded me of my years in NYC where you could find big squares of thick crumb coffee cake in nearly every corner deli. It's also reminiscent of Drake's Coffee Cakes - a primarily east coast product made even more famous by a Seinfeld episode. Cook's Illustrated makes it clear not to be tempted to use all-purpose flour in this recipe, the cake flour is essential to producing a fine tender crumb. If you don't have buttermilk, you can substitute an equal amount of plain, low-fat yogurt. When topping the cake, take care to not push the crumbs into the batter. This recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. If doubling, increase the baking time to about 45-50 minutes. Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.


Crumb Topping


1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon  

1/8 teaspoon table salt  

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and still warm 

1 3/4 cups cake flour (7 ounces) 




1 1/4 cups cake flour (5 ounces) 

1/2 cup granulated sugar (3.5 ounces) 

1/4 teaspoon baking soda  

1/4 teaspoon table salt  

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool 

1 large egg  

1 large egg yolk  

1 teaspoon vanilla extract  

1/3 cup buttermilk  

 Confectioners' sugar for dusting 



1. FOR THE TOPPING: Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.


2. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 16-inch length parchment paper or aluminum foil and fold lengthwise to 7-inch width. Spray 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and fit parchment into dish, pushing it into corners and up sides; allow excess to overhang edges of dish.


3. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.


4. Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer. Using both hands, break apart the crumb dough, rolling the broken dough between your thumb and forefinger to form crumbs about the size of large peas. Continue until all the dough has been broken down into crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over the cake batter, breaking apart any larger chunks, beginning with edges and then working toward center. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.


Crumb cake prebake


Crumb cake baked  

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns3


There are many stories regarding the history of Hot Cross Buns. One interesting one comes from Alan Davidson's "The Oxford Companion to Food". He says that the Saxon invaders in Britain chomped on buns adorned with impressions of crosses in honor of the pagan goddess of light, Eostre, from whom the name Easter is derived. Today they are traditionally served at Easter and there is a superstition that Hot Cross Buns baked on Good Friday never became moldy and in the past, one Hot Cross Bun would be saved as a good luck charm until the next year's buns were made. Whatever the history, these sweet tender buttery buns are a delicious treat and should be enjoyed all year long. This is adapted from a Cook’s Country recipe for Sweet Dough.


Download Hot Cross Buns Recipe


3/4 cup buttermilk, warmed (around 110 degrees)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), melted and cooled until warm 

3 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten 

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour  

2 teaspoons ground spices, optional (if using, try this mixture - 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg)

1/4 cup sugar  

1 envelope instant yeast or rapid-rise yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) 

1 1/4 teaspoons table salt   

Extra flour for the counter 

1 large egg, lightly beaten 

1 tablespoon water  

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar  

1 tablespoon milk  

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract  



1.    Whisk the butter, buttermilk, and eggs together in a large liquid measuring cup. Mix 4 cups of the flour, the sugar, yeast, spices (if using) and salt in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 1 minute.


2.    Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (If, after five minutes, more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clears the side of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.


3.    Turn the dough out onto a clean counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball, about 1 minute. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.


4.     Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and divide into 12 even pieces. Roll the pieces of dough into tight balls. Arrange the balls in a greased 9 by 13-inch metal baking dish and wrap tightly in greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until the rolls have nearly doubled in size and are pressed against one another, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


5.    Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut an X through the top 1/4 inch of each bun. Whisk the egg and water together and brush over the buns. Bake until golden and puffed, 25 to 30 minutes.


6.    Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar, milk, and vanilla together and drizzle in an X into the cut grooves of the buns. Serve warm or let cool completely.

Hot cross dough

Hot cross dough balls
Hot cross dough rise
Hot cross buns baked 

Hot cross buns iced1

Weekend Golden Puff Pancakes

Puff pancake 2

When I was growing up, the mother of a good friend used to make this every weekend, mostly because of our collective pleading. She would throw it together in minutes and shortly later pull out the most impressive golden brown, billowy pancake that seemed scientifically impossible. There are lots of similar recipes – Dutch Baby (usually with served lemon juice and powdered sugar), German Pancakes, a Bismarck, or Swedish Puffs. This one is the most basic and generally uses ¼ flour and ¼ milk per egg – so feel free to double the recipe and use 9x13 pan for baking.


2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup milk

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces


1. Place a 10” cast iron skillet on the center rack of oven and preheat to 450° F. (about 15 minutes)

2. In a bowl, beat the eggs, flour, milk, and salt together with a whisk – about 1 minute

3. Toss the butter into the hot skillet and let it melt. Quickly pour the batter into the skillet and return it to the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the pancake is puffed and golden brown. Cut in half and serve immediately (the pancake will deflate quickly) with warm maple syrup and fresh berries.

Puff pancake batter1a

Puff pancake 1a1

Caramelized Vanilla Spiced Grapefruit

Broiled grapefruit 

A friend of mine recently brought me a bag full of grapefruit picked from her tree in Palm Springs. There’s nothing like fresh grapefruit and this recipe takes it to a new festive level. Broiling grapefruit is quick and easy and can be increased to accommodate any number of servings which makes them a great brunch option. Serve them warm or at room temperature with some Greek yogurt and granola.

Download Caramelized Vanilla Spiced Grapefruit recipe

Serves 4.

2 large grapefruit

2 tablespoons  maple syrup or honey

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cardamom (optional)

1. Position an oven rack about 4 inches below the broiler and heat the broiler on high. With a serrated knife, cut the grapefruit in even halves. Using a small paring knife or a grapefruit knife, cut each section away from the surrounding membrane. Set the grapefruit halves in a shallow broiler-safe pan or a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet). If necessary, trim a thin slice off their bottoms so they sit level.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the pure maple syrup or honey, brown sugar vanilla extract and spices. Drizzle the mixture over the grapefruit halves. Broil until bubbling and lightly browned in spots, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  Broiled grapefruit 2a

Quick and Easy Puff Pastry French Palmiers

Palmiers 2 

This is a classic French cookie, found in almost every patisserie in Paris. They are super easy to make at home with the help of store bought puff pastry. Pepperidge Farm will work, but try find Dufour or Trader Joe’s Artisan puff pastry which I think has a much more buttery flavor.  The rolled dough will keep in the freezer until you’re ready to slice and bake the Palmiers, so it’s also a great “make-ahead” recipe. Makes 24 Palmiers.

Download Quick and Easy Puff Pastry French Palmiers recipe 

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cardamom

⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

2 sheets puff pastry, thawed (Dufour or Trader Joe’s Artisan Puff Pastry work best)


1. Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and salt and sprinkle 1/4 cup of the mixture on a clean work surface. Unroll 1 sheet of puff pastry and lay on sugared surface and sprinkle top with 3 tablespoons of sugar mixture. Top with second sheet of puff pastry and sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture. Using a rolling pin, gently roll pastry sheets into a 10x12” rectangle.

2. Roll both short sides of dough toward the center until they meet in the center, making sure to roll tightly and evenly. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Remove dough from freezer and slice half of the dough into twelve 3/8” pieces using a thin sharp knife. Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1 ½ inches apart. Wrap remaining dough in plastic and freeze until ready to bake next batch. 

5. Bake until Palmiers begin to turn brown, about 14 minutes. Using spatula, flip cookies over, then rotate sheet and continue to bake until golden brown and crisp, 4-6 minutes longer. Quickly transfer Palmiers to wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough to make 12 more Palmiers.

Palmiers pastry sheet sugar 

Palmiers rolled pastry 

Palmiers sliced sheet1 

Palmiers 3 

Palmiers baked sheet

Sour Cream Apple Crumble Coffee Cake

Apple Crumble Coffe Cake square


This rich, moist coffee cake is quick to make and also works well peaches, apricots, and even frozen blueberries. 

Download Sour Cream Apple Crumble Coffee Cake recipe

Streusel Topping

½ cup flour

½ cup brown sugar 

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ cup chopped nuts (optional)


Coffee Cake

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs

¾ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 medium sized apples, peeled, cored and diced


Streusel Topping:

Mix flour, sugars, spices and salt in the bowl of food processor or Cuisinart Mini-prep and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse just to combine. Add nuts and pulse 3-4 times; set mixture aside.

Coffee Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and adjust oven rack to center position. Grease and flour and 9” square pan, or springform pan.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Beat the butter for 1 minute in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed. Gradually add the 1 cup sugar and beat on medium high speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat for about 20 seconds eggs. Add vanilla and beat for 10 seconds.

4. Remove bowl from mixer stand and add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/3 of the sour cream and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Repeat twice, being careful not to overbeat mixture.

5. Spread batter into prepared pan. Scatted diced apples over top over batter. Sprinkle streusel topping over apples, pinching pieces together to form small clumps.

6. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Apple Crumble Coffe Cake batter
Apple Crumble Coffe Cake apples
Apple Crumble Coffe Cake topping
Apple Crumble Coffe Cake baked