Sunday December 12, 2010

Merry Cranberry breakfast on Christmas morning

Having a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast on Christmas seems wrong. Christmas morning has a magic all its own; kicking it off with a workweek breakfast smacks of bah humbug. But then again de rigueur “special breakfasts” like French toast or pancakes, while gloriously tasty, lack inherent holiday charm.

In the BraveTart household, Christmas morning centers around brioche in one form or another. From cracquelin and brioche à tête to my particular favorite: debasing the luxurious dough in service of mere cinnamon rolls.

This year, though, I bought a five pound bag of cranberries around Thanksgiving (viva Sam’s Club!) and I have since dedicated myself to finding a use for every ounce.

Cranberry Almond Cinnamon Rolls

You’ll often see cranberries paired with almonds, orange, or white chocolate, so I threw caution to the wind and used all three twirled up into one super festive little roll.

Totally cliché perhaps, but you know what? I don’t want an avante garde breakfast on Christmas morning. I want comforting, familiar flavors, a seasonal splash of color, and the feeling of enjoying a special treat that only comes once a year.

Vanilla bean and honey in the brioche dough amp up its aromatic qualities, chunky roughly chopped almonds add much needed crunch, and a super-rich orange and white chocolate glaze tames the tartness of the poached cranberries. Oh so perfect with a cup of tea or coffee while snuggled up with a blanket in close proximity to a Christmas tree or a roaring fire (ideally contained in a fireplace).

Cranberry roll collage

You can make the individual components (brioche, jam, and glaze) well in advance and leisurely assemble the sweet rolls on the morning you’d like to have them.

Perhaps, though, the best part comes when you make Cranberry Jam to stuff into the sweet rolls. Why? Because as a byproduct of that recipe, you’ll have lovely jar of jewel red cranberry syrup leftover. Kind of a culinary twofer. Spoon a little of the syrup into a glass of Prosecco and suddenly you have fancy holiday Cranberry Sparklers (click to check out pictures of the drink).

Cranberry Sweet Roll

I’ve laid out directions for making Cranberry Sweet Rolls here, or use your own go-to recipe for sweet rolls and fill them with this super easy Cranberry Jam.

Maybe I have a little too much Lucille Bluth in my nature, but sipping a Cranberry Sparkler while nibbling on a cranberry sweet roll sounds very merry indeed.

What kind of Christmas morning traditions do you have in your family?

posted byStellaand filed under:  Fruit  Sideshow Photos  Vanilla

16 comments and counting

Dec 12, 2010 ·  6:48 PM

Our kids always just loved getting fruit and walnuts in their stocking along with lifesaver story books.And a Christmas box of Whitman’s chocolates for everyone to take a bite out of and put back or to squeeze and leave for some unlucky next customer.

 · deadly · 

Dec 12, 2010 ·  8:29 PM

Hahahaha, I forgot about the walnuts. Yeah. It’s not Christmas without a Lifesaver Storybook! As you well know…


Dec 13, 2010 ·  9:00 AM

This flavor combo reminds me of Cranberry Bliss Bars from Starbucks and I love those! These sound great.

Growing up, my family would often have cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. And that’s just what I’m planning to make for my husband and I this year on Christmas!

 · Tiffany @ Conor & Bella ·

Dec 13, 2010 · 10:04 PM

delicious breakfast looks fabulous

 · torviewtoronto ·

Dec 15, 2010 ·  1:52 AM

YES!! I too have leftovers of cranberries in my fridge. These look incredible

 · cathy ·

Dec 15, 2010 · 10:27 AM

Cranberries make everything look right this season. It’s so celebrating and good with anything

 · Tes ·

Dec 15, 2010 ·  5:17 PM

If you don’t mind, i’m totally going to link back to you on my blog Sweet Rolls that Rock… great minds think a like – i just baked cranberry sweet rolls yesterday myself… i paired mine with cran-apple cider and some other goodies, i’ll post the results within the week. Your’s look awesome!

 · Melissa Daams ·

Dec 15, 2010 ·  9:46 PM

Wow! This look truly amazing!

 · Kathleen ·

Dec 16, 2010 · 12:18 PM

Thanks everyone! I wouldn't want those cranberries go to waste.

@Melissa, What a fantastic premise for a blog! I love it, link away, I can’t wait to go check it out. Cheers!


Apr 11, 2012 ·  8:03 AM

This is very close to my Christmas morning breakfast: it HAD to be a fat slice of fruit-studded panettone, toasted and spread with butter. I looked forward to it leading up to the day, as it was unthinkable to have it even one day earlier!

 · Junglegirl · 

Apr 11, 2012 ·  8:53 PM

@Junglegirl, oh man, real panettone is so amazing. I haven’t had any in a loooong time. I’ll have to remedy that in, oh, about eight months.


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