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Our Editor’s Breakfast Is the Key to A Jolly Holliday

This breakfast combo causes less stress in the morning for a magical day.
Holiday Family celebrate December 2023

Christmas memories are about much more than twinkling lights and presents under the tree. The sounds, the tastes, and even the smells of holidays are all part of the magic that creates that special cozy feeling. Everyone has their own traditions and memories during the holidays, whether big or small, which makes them truly special in their own way. As digital editor for Savory, I’m excited to share one of mine with you. 

 I grew up in a pretty large family with both my maternal and paternal grandmothers being one of thirteen, so the holidays were a time for everyone to get together and connect. This was especially true for relatives who didn’t live close by and international friends who couldn’t travel back home over the holidays. In other words, festivities on Christmas morning would kick off with a bang.  

 As long as I can remember, there has always been coffee cake on Christmas morning. If we weren’t already up trying to catch Santa sneaking up the chimney after getting zero sleep from excitement, we were sure to wake up from the aroma of my mom’s coffee cake fresh from the oven. There was nothing that could beat the robust smells of fruit, sugar, and cinnamon caramelizing in a baked good that would make anyone an early riser.  

 When I was younger, I thought this coffee cake was just a long-lasting tradition that’s been going on for over 30 years. I’ve come to realize my mom, like most, was juggling last-minute gift wrapping, entertaining, and, as a big foodie herself, making the holiday dinner. Dessert was her bread and butter. She LOVES this coffee cake because it is easy to make and OMG good.  

 Having a grandma who used to always have a line of desserts on her credenza during the holidays, you can say sweets were kind of a big deal, and this big-flavor coffee cake always hits the sweet spot. You might think of coffee cake as a regular Sunday brunch item, but it can also be a standout star during the holidays. Delicious warm from the oven, at room temperature, or even cold the next day, coffee cake is the ultimate enjoy-it-when-you-want-it treat. It’s the perfect celebratory bite to have in the morning with tea or eggnog as you start to open gifts, but light enough to snack on while cooking a Christmas feast all day to hold you over until dinner.  

 Our Christmas-worthy version bakes in a Bundt pan with dark pitted cherries on the bottom, so when it’s served it resembles a wreath crowned with red jewels. You can also substitute the cherries with plums and apples when in season. A quick dusting of confectioners’ sugar finishes this baked beauty that’s perfectly at home to create a winter wonderland. Did I mention this aromatic cake flavored with almond and cinnamon is ready to bake with just 10 minutes of prep? That’s a better gift than any stocking stuffer.  

 No cold-weather breakfast is complete without a hot, steamy beverage, and eggnog was always a must on Christmas morning. The first sign of eggnog in the grocery store got us singing ‘All I Want for Christmas is You.’ Simply combine warm, frothy eggnog and milk with hot cocoa mix for a decadent creamy eggnog hot chocolate. I was never one for a boozy eggnog, but for those who partake, try adding a splash of bourbon or dark rum. Mini marshmallows, whipped cream, and a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon are all tasty options to up the festivity factor even further.  

Cue the carols, light the tree, connect with your loved ones, and savor the last moments of the holidays. This might just be the perfect pairing to start the day for dare I say… a stress-free holiday from our home to yours. 

Get the recipes: Cherry Coffee Cake and Hot Chocolate Eggnog

Amanda Williams is the digital content manager at Savory. She called Boston and Atlanta home before settling in New York where she has been working in the culinary industry for the past 10 years. Her favorite seat at a restaurant is the chefs counter, and you are most likely to find her eating carbs. 

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