Breakfast

Carrot-Coconut Muffins

Carrot-Coconut Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s hard to believe we’re already four muffins into the year! It seems like just the other day that I was making the Food Network’s Pomegranate Orange January Muffins and here we are in April. Time flying by is fine by me until we start getting some nice summer weather in Boston. Then it better slow down!

Carrot-Coconut Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

The muffins for April from the Food Network Magazine’s Muffin of the Month are carrot muffins with a coconut twist. Very fitting since Easter was this month (just barely) and carrot cake seems to be the official dessert of the Easter Bunny.

Carrot-Coconut Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m going to be honest about these muffins since authenticity is very important to me here at Lemon & Mocha. They tasted like really good carrot cake muffins, but with all the specialty ingredients listed, from the coconut oil to the macadamia nuts to the crystallized ginger, I was expecting a wow factor. I wanted the coconut and ginger flavors to punch my taste buds! Unfortunately the coconut seemed to mostly be coming from the flakes sprinkled on top and the spicy ginger-ness was very mild.

Carrot-Coconut Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

I am going to make these muffins again at some point, but I’m going to recipe-test and adapt them to make perfect muffins. Not just really good muffins. I’m thinking continuing with the island theme of the coconut and macadamia nuts, but adding more pronounced flavor and some pineapple. Yum!

Carrot-Coconut Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you tried the April muffins, what did you think?

Carrot-Coconut Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Carrot-Coconut Muffins
 
Yield: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups grated carrots (about 3 carrots)
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut, plus more for topping
  • ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • ¼ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt. Make a well in the center.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, yogurt, melted coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into the well of the flour mixture and stir until combined. Add the carrots, coconut, macadamia nuts, and crystallized ginger then fold until combined.
  4. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared lined cups. They should each be about ¾ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the muffin is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. While the muffins are cooling, make the glaze. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl then add the milk. You want it to be thin enough to drizzle, but thick enough so it won’t just run off the muffins. If it is too thin, add more powder sugar. If it is too thick, add more milk. When the muffins are completely cool, spoon a little glaze onto the top of each muffin and immediately sprinkle with the shredded coconut. The coconut will make the glaze spread out even more.

 Recipe from January/February 2018 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Strawberry Dutch Baby

Strawberry Dutch Baby  |  Lemon & Mocha

Yes, this recipe has a funny name, but I will get to that in a minute. For now, let’s focus on how absolutely delicious and stunning it looks. Beautiful! The enormous pancake is light and bursting with vanilla and cinnamon-sugar flavors. Crispy puffed pockets and softened doughy pillows cradle the syrupy strawberries and the whipped cream. Are you dreaming in your bed or did you actually just make this in no time at all with a blender and cast iron skillet? Since I just posted it you probably are dreaming, but you could be the later and be the hero of brunch this weekend.

Strawberry Dutch Baby  |  Lemon & Mocha

I had seen these Dutch babies on Instagram and cooking shows for a while now, but I never actually read through a recipe. I assumed to look so impressive that they must be complicated. I apologize to the last five years of my life for never reading a recipe because it is the opposite of complicated. Complicated doesn’t even exist on the same continent! The eggs are beaten until frothy then the rest of the ingredients are dumped in for some more mixing. I used a blender to do this to make it even easier. The mixture is poured into a cast iron skillet that’s been getting hot on the stove-top with melted butter. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet any oven safe skillet will work. Into the oven it goes! When it is done in the oven it gets sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar, loaded with syrupy strawberries, and dolloped with whipped cream. In come the brunch eaters with their forks to savor the puffiness until the puff deflates, but the Dutch baby stays just as delicious.

Strawberry Dutch Baby  |  Lemon & Mocha

I came across this recipe when I was brainstorming for Christmas morning. I wanted something that would be minimally hands-on while also looking impressive. That’s hard to come by in the realm of brunch food. Thank the breakfast heavens for these oddly-named Dutch baby things. I did a bit of research, aka read Wikipedia, about the name and it turns out that this cross between a pancake and a popover isn’t Dutch at all. It is an American food and name said to be coined by a family cafe in Seattle, Washington in 1942. It seems to be their version of the German-style pancakes known as pfannkuchen, which look like slightly thicker crepes and are topped with fruit and sweet toppings. They speculate the Dutch part of the name came from the German word deutsch, which means German, but no word on where the baby part came in. My guess is that it is so delicious when you eat it that your speech becomes incoherent like a baby’s.

Strawberry Dutch Baby  |  Lemon & Mocha

Part of the Strawberry Dutch Baby’s deliciousness is that it has the perfect amount of sweetness. Even though the actual Dutch baby has no sugar in it, all the sweetness is coming from the cinnamon-sugar sprinkled on top and the syrupy strawberries. So stop dreaming and start planning when you’re going to make this impressively easy popover pancake!

Strawberry Dutch Baby  |  Lemon & Mocha

Strawberry Dutch Baby
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, tops removed and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Whipped cream, for serving
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Blend the eggs until frothy and pale in a high-speed blender, about 1 minute. Add the milk, flour, cinnamon, and salt then continue to blend until combined.
  3. Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, or an oven safe skillet. Once melted, remove from the heat and quickly pour in the prepared batter. Place right into the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and the pancake has puffed, about 18-22 minutes.
  4. While the Dutch baby is baking, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of the cinnamon-sugar (reserving some for the Dutch baby) over the sliced strawberries then stir to coat and let sit until the Dutch Baby is ready.
  5. When the Dutch Baby is done, remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle it with the cinnamon-sugar. Don’t be shy about it! Add the strawberries and whipped cream. Serve sliced with the extra strawberries and whipped cream.
Notes
If you do not have a blender, you can use a stand mixer or hand mixer.

Recipe slightly adapted from Joy the Baker.

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing  |  Recipe at lemonandmocha.com

I owe you all a huge apology. It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know that I kept this savory, tangy, and unbelievably tasty cast iron home fries recipe from you all for two years. I legitimately have no excuse and won’t even try to make one up, so I am sorry. But now that I’ve apologized we can all move on and focus on how these Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing need to be at your next brunch. Or weekend breakfast. Or breakfast for lunch, because who says brunch food has to be either breakfast or “breakfast for dinner”?!

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing  |  Recipe at lemonandmocha.com

When my brother-in-law gave me the Brunch at Bobby’s cookbook I immediately gravitated towards this recipe in the side dish section. Something about the colors of the dish and the crispiness of the potatoes made me want to make (and eat) it ASAP. I’ve had a lot of home fries over the years, but never one with a dressing. Genius! The dressing allows the potatoes to have so much more flavor and really pack a punch.

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing  |  Recipe at lemonandmocha.com

This side dish could easily be made into the star of brunch by serving it with poached or fried eggs. The thought of the runny yolks mixing with the creamy dressing is causing my brain to overload with excitement right now. Deep breaths. Phew.

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing  |  Recipe at lemonandmocha.com

I originally made these potatoes to go with the Eggs Benedict over Cheddar Scallion Waffles with Crispy Chorizo, Smashed Avocado, and Green Chile Hollandaise I made for a Southwestern themed brunch. The boldness of these potatoes held up to the outrageous-ness of the eggs Benedict perfectly. I adjusted a few things from the original recipe to save some time and fit my personal preferences, including roasting the garlic for the dressing to add a more mild and caramelized flavor. Enjoy!

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing  |  Recipe at lemonandmocha.com

Cast Iron Home Fries with Creamy Garlic Dressing
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
for the garlic dressing
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves of roasted garlic (see note)
for the home fries
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, about 3 large potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 bell pepper, I used ½ red & ½ orange for some variety
  • 1 small head radicchio
  • 3 scallions
Directions
for the dressing
  1. In a small bowl, mash the roasted garlic. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard then whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper then let sit for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to settle. If you will be letting it sit for more than 30 minutes, cover the bowl and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
for the home fries
  1. Scrub then clean the potatoes. Pierce them each 5-6 times with a fork then place the potatoes on a microwave safe baking dish and cook in the microwave for 5 minutes. Carefully flip the potatoes over then microwave for another 5 minutes. You should be able to poke a fork or paring knife into the potato with no resistance. Add more cooking time if needed, or alternatively use the “potato” setting on your microwave. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle cut them into a 1-inch dice.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, prep the rest of the vegetables. Removing the seeds, cut the bell pepper into a thick dice. Halve the radicchio then thinly slice. Thinly slice the scallions, discarding the dark green parts.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced bell pepper and cook until the pepper starts to soften. Add the remaining oil then the diced potatoes. Spread the potatoes so they are in a single layer and cook until they have begun to get crispy on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Carefully toss them and continue to cook until crispy, about 5 more minutes. Add more oil or increase the heat of the stove if needed. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. Move the potatoes and bell pepper to a large bowl or serving dish. Add the sliced radicchio, dressing, and scallions then carefully stir to combine. Feel free to not use all the dressing depending on your personal preference. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve while warm or at room temperature.
Notes
- To roast garlic: preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Leaving the skin on the garlic bulb, cut the top off the head of garlic so that almost all the tops of the cloves are exposed. Take a small piece of tinfoil big enough to wrap the garlic in. Place the garlic in the center and partially fold up the sides. Drizzle the exposed garlic with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Seal the foil to make a little packet of the garlic and roast for 35 minutes. Once it’s cool enough to handle, you can squeeze out the roasted cloves.
- To prep ahead: roast the garlic, make the dressing, microwave the potatoes, and prep the vegetables. Then in the morning you will only have to deal with the cast iron skillet portion of the recipe.
- Cooking the potatoes: the original recipe from Bobby Flay called for the potatoes to be boiled whole for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through. I went with the microwave method to save time, but feel free to boil the potatoes if you prefer.

Recipe adapted from Brunch at Bobby’s.

Irish Cheddar, Bacon & Potato Muffins

Irish Cheddar, Bacon & Potato Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Normally when I think of muffins my mind goes to sweet baked goods. Cinnamon-crumbed, definitely chocolatey, maybe even citrus-infused, but definitely not savory. Until March. Now I am fully on-board the savory muffin train, even if it’s just to make these Irish Cheddar, Bacon, and Potato Muffins over and over again. Yes, these muffins are that amazing.

Irish Cheddar, Bacon & Potato Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

The smell when they came out of the oven was so hypnotizing that Matt and I each ate one as soon as we could get the muffin paper liners off without burning ourselves (or at least until it was just minor pain). Then, the flavor was so outrageous that we were each forced to have a second one. It wasn’t our fault; we were hypnotized!

Irish Cheddar, Bacon & Potato Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I first saw the March muffins in the Food Network Magazine’s Muffin of the Month article, I thought they sounded heavy, but instead they are light and fluffy, while still being loaded with gooey cheese and bacon. Bacon doesn’t need a descriptor; everyone knows how bacony delicious bacon is.

Irish Cheddar, Bacon & Potato Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

In addition to the cooked bacon, there is a very small amount of bacon grease in the actual muffin batter so it helps bring that bacon flavor to every bite. I cooked a package of bacon on the griddle on a Sunday, which gave Matt and I some bacon for breakfast (a treat since we don’t cook bacon that often!), the three slices of bacon and one tablespoon of bacon grease I needed for this recipe, as well as cooked bacon for sandwiches and salads for lunches throughout the week.

Irish Cheddar, Bacon & Potato Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Perfect as a grab and go breakfast, these Irish Cheddar, Bacon and Potato Muffins are even better after being warmed briefly in the microwave. Please do yourself a favor and make these muffins! Then do me a favor and bring them to my house so I can eat them with you! Enjoy!

Irish Cheddar, Bacon & Potato Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Irish Cheddar, Bacon & Potato Muffins
 
Yield: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato (8 ounces)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked with 1 tablespoon bacon grease reserved
  • 4 ounces Irish cheddar cheese, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives (about ½ a bunch)
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Cook the potato in the microwave. Poke the potato 5-6 times with a fork and wrap in a damp paper towel. Cook until the potato is just cooked through, about 4-5 minutes, being sure to turn it once during cooking. Let the potato cool. Once you can handle it carefully peel off the skin and grate the potato. Lightly season the grated potato with salt and pepper; toss to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, egg, and tablespoon of bacon drippings. Pour the mixture into the well of the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Carefully fold in the grated potato, bacon, cheese, and chives.
  5. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared paper liners. The batter should fill each to the top. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the top of the muffin is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to completely cool.
Notes
Every time a recipe calls for buttermilk, I use this trick instead: Put a tablespoon of lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup. Add milk until the desired amount of buttermilk is reached (in this case 1¼ cups). Let sit 5 minutes. You can use whatever kind of milk you have in your fridge - I use nonfat milk. If the recipe calls for more than 1¼ cups buttermilk, you will need to use a little more lemon juice.
I used Kerrygold Dubliner cheese.
I had a hard time getting the paper liners off of these muffins. It was definitely worse when they were hot, so let them cool completely before eating. I plan to experiment during future baking of these muffins to see if I can adjust the recipe to get them to stick less or if it would be better to bake them directly in the pan with cooking spray. I will keep you all posted!
To fully savor these muffins, reheat them in the microwave for 15-30 seconds before eating.

Recipe from January/February 2018 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy February! If you missed the last post, I am baking, photographing, eating, and posting each of the Food Network Magazine’s 12 Months of Muffins. February’s muffin does not disappoint: Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins. Yup, you read that correctly. Chocolate and caramel – life is so sweet.

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate muffins are basically cupcakes disguised as acceptable breakfast food so I was ecstatic to see some chocolate muffins in the monthly muffin list. Not that I don’t consider cupcakes acceptable breakfast food, but I need to keep up appearances. The cupcake, I mean muffin, batter is chocolate with chocolate chips in it, hence the “double chocolate.” The muffin is moist with little pockets of gooey melted chocolate chips.

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

What takes these muffins over the top is the dulce de leche in the center. The recipe name says “Salted Caramel” because I wanted to stay true to the original Food Network wording, but what we really have here is some smooth and heavenly dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is sweetened milk that has been slowly cooked until it caramelizes. In my opinion it tastes much creamier than regular caramel sauce because of the milk. You can buy or make your own for this recipe. I made my own because I didn’t want to go to the store and I already had a can of sweetened condensed milk, which is all you need to make some!

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

The dulce de leche is dolloped right in the center of the half baked muffins. My muffins developed a little air pocket in the center, which was from some of the dulce de leche getting absorbed into the muffin after it was done baking aka making it super moist and decadent. I hope you enjoy these muffins for breakfast, dessert, and everything in between!

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins
 
Yield: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup thick dulce de leche
  • Flaked sea salt
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips (leaving 3 chips aside) and stir to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk and vegetable oil then whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Evenly pour the batter into the prepared paper liners. Each muffin cup should be filled ⅔ to the top. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the muffins have started to set, but the center of each muffin is still liquidy. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and working quickly, dollop 1 heaping teaspoon of dulce de leche into the center of each muffin. Return the pan to the oven. Continue to bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Make sure to insert the toothpick into the muffin itself and not the dulce de leche.
  5. As soon as the muffins are out of the oven, use a grater or microplane to grate the chocolate chips you set aside over the tops of the muffins. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with the flaked sea salt. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move the muffins to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
Notes
The batter is supposed to rise and bake over the dulce de leche. Some of my dulce de leche stayed on the top of my muffins because I probably let them cook too long before dolloping on the dulce de leche. They taste delicious either way so don’t worry too much about it.

 Recipe from January/February 2018 issue of Food Network Magazine.