reading time: 6 Session minutes
It’s fun, even after all these years, to go out in the morning to get my “girls” out of the barn and see who laid the eggs. Some days the Buff Orpingtons are generous with their eggs, other times the Americaunas make me smile with their pastel colored eggs. White or brown eggs, pale blue or green, it makes no difference. They are all happily collected to be included in my best family recipes, like the winter desserts I share with you.
These four recipes are perfect for holiday entertaining or a simple family gathering.
Cloud bread is low carb and gluten free. These little gems can be eaten out of hand and are an unusual bread to make for brunch.
You’ll be happy to whip up a quick recipe when guests come over and time is at a premium. No need to knead!
I didn’t forget dessert during the busy holiday season either. Chocolate de creme pots are so elegant and easy to make. In addition, it can be carried out in the future. My Simple Lemon Cheesecake is a sweet and light dessert. Perfect after a hearty winter meal or for casual entertaining.
This portable mini bagel is a lot of fun, especially with kids. The descriptive title says it all. Each small bread is light and fluffy like a cloud.
- 3 large eggs, room temperature, separated
- A tablespoon of cream of tartar
- 2 oz. Plain, non-low fat, cream cheese, soft
- A little sugar – I used a teaspoon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put parchment paper on the baking tray.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar together in a bowl until stiff peaks form.
- Mix the egg yolks, cream cheese, and sugar in a separate bowl until the mixture is very smooth and no cream cheese appears.
- Fold the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, being careful not to deflate the egg whites.
- Carefully scoop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, forming five to six foamy mounds, about 1 inch apart.
- Bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. It is best eaten as soon as possible.
- Makes five to six cloud breads.
- Cloud bread can be topped with your favorite pizza sauce and cheese, then placed under the rotisserie for quick and delicious gluten-free pizza.
Annie Steer Down Rolls
This recipe is from friend and colleague Anna Mitchell. “These have been in my family for years and are a must at family dinners,” she said. Perfect for celebrating holidays or as an accompaniment to a spicy bowl of soup.
These lists are not hard to make but it looks like you put a lot of work into it.
The batter gets sticky when you go to put it in the muffin tins, and that moisture makes for a soft yet substantial roll.
- 1 package (¼ ounce) active dry yeast (I’ve been using regularly but fast acting is OK too)
- 1 cup warm water, 105-115 degrees
- A few pinches of sugar plus two tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- Dissolve the yeast in warm water with a little sugar to feed the yeast. The yeast will multiply fairly quickly.
- Place in a mixing bowl.
- On low to medium speed, add the sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 1 cup of the flour. Beat until the mixture becomes smooth.
- Stir in the rest of the flour again on low to medium speed.
- Leave covered until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- flip over.
- Grease or spray muffin tins. (I used melted butter).
- The mixture will be sticky. Fill cans about ⅔ full. Let’s go up again until it almost doubles. The dough may rise over the tins somewhat. No need to cover. In my kitchen, this took 25 minutes.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Brush immediately with butter (optional, but tasty).
- makes 12.
- You can do these by hand if you like.
- I use a small scoop of ice cream, I sprinkle it on, to scoop out the dough.
- These rolls freeze well.
- Rewarm them from the frozen or thawed state.
- Place on a baking tray and cover with foil.
- Bake until hot in a 325-350°F oven.
- Fresh egg whites are easily frozen.
- Break and separate the eggs. Pour the whites into freezer containers and label the number of whites. I love freezing every bit of white in an ice cube tray. When they are frozen, they are transferred to freezer containers.
- Freeze for up to one year.
To use frozen egg whites, thaw them first
- Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. You can defrost them on the counter, too. But they do melt quickly so be aware.
- If you are going to beat the eggs, let them come to room temperature for better volume.
- Substitute 2 tablespoons of thawed egg white for each large egg white.
Chocolate pots Five minutes of cream
This is pronounced “bou de creme”. Now that’s a great name for a silky chocolate pudding that’s so easy to make.
It is important that the eggs are at room temperature and the coffee very hot to cook the eggs to a safe temperature without curdling and to make a smooth cream.
- 12 oz. Good quality real chocolate chips are preferred, not chocolate flavored
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- salt dash
- 1 cup of very hot, strong coffee
- Put the chocolate chips in the blender. Add eggs, vanilla and salt.
- Mix until the mixture is like fine sand until all the flakes are pulverized. This takes a few minutes but is necessary for a smooth mixture.
- Pour coffee slowly in a thin stream. This way, the eggs will not curdle. Mix until smooth, about a minute.
- Pour into desired containers, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to four days.
This makes a generous four cups or so. You can use bowls, drinking glasses, wine glasses, and anything you pour your batter into.
Advice from Rita’s Kitchen:
What do you do if the mixture happens to curdle a little? Just push it through a strainer. The reason this happens is because you poured hot coffee too quickly.
Whipped vanilla cream
This is simply whipped cream with sugar and flavor. (But I won’t say if you won’t). This holds at least several hours in the refrigerator.
- 1 cup of unwhipped whipping cream
- Confectioners’ sugar to taste – start with 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Very easy – just whisk everything together until stiff.
Simple lemon cheesecake
This dessert has been a staple in my catering business. It’s everything you want a cute cheesecake to be. Quick and easy to make, this cheesecake is a good fridge saver, so it can be made ahead of time without worry.
Now, really, the toppings are extra but very good. Even served with a garnish of berries and a dash of mint if you have it, this cheesecake is a winner.
- 1 graham cracker crust, not baked
- 1 pound plain cream cheese, not reduced-fat or fat-free, cut into pieces and lightly softened
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- Half a cup of sugar
- Half a cup of lemon juice
ingredients: Sour cream topping
- 1 cup sour cream, not low-fat or fat-free
- 3 tablespoons of sugar, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put the filling ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. (You can also use a blender or whisk by hand until smooth.)
- Pour into crust.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until slightly puffy in the center. Do not overcook. It will set firmly when it cools in the fridge.
instructions: Sour cream topping
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk the ingredients until smooth and then pour over the cheesecake right out of the oven, smoothing the surface.
- Immediately put it in the oven for five minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely cooled before serving. (Don’t worry if the topping doesn’t look set. It will set fine in the fridge.)
Lily gilding: A glaze of fresh or frozen berries
Raspberries or strawberries work well.
- 4 cups of berries
- sugar to taste
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, or more to taste
- Combine everything in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, steeping the berries as you go, until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is hot.
- Remove from heat and strain through a sieve to remove seeds.
- Cool to room temperature and refrigerate, covered, for up to four days.
What are your favorite egg recipes during the holidays and long winter days?
Originally published in the December 2019 / January 2020 issue of Backyard Poultry and has been regularly checked for accuracy.