Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
1 stick unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup milk, divided
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 mini muffin pans with cooking spray.
2. Beat the butter until soft; add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Add about a third of it to the batter and run the mixer on low. Add about a third of the milk and the vanilla and beat again. Add the dry ingredients and remaining milk in 2 more alternating batches, mixing on slow speed after each addition.
4. Spoon by heaping tablespoons into the prepared pans; bake until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 14 minutes. Transfer to a rack placed over a sheet pan to cool and repeat with remaining batter.
5. While the doughfins bake, make the glaze: stir the cinnamon, confectioners’ sugar and water together until smooth. When the doughfins have cooled about 10 minutes, drizzle the glaze over them, allowing it to drip off. Allow the glaze to set 5 minutes before serving. Makes 36 pieces.
Nutritional analysis for each: 71 calories, 1 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 94 mg sodium24-2015
TIP: The doughfins may also be brushed with melted butter and topped with cinnamon sugar; or the glaze may be made without cinnamon and the tops rolled in toasted coconut.
BACON, EGG AND CHEESE STRATA
8 slices bacon
1 cup chopped red onion (1 medium)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups 2-percent milk
8 ounces soft semolina, challah or brioche bread, cut in 1-inch pieces (about 5 to 6 cups)
3 cups shredded Cheddar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 inch-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet; drain on a plate lined with paper towel and crumble when cool. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet, and add the onions and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and combine with the tomatoes.
3. Lightly beat the eggs; stir in the milk.
4. Spread about half the bread in the baking dish. Top with half the vegetable mixture, half the cheese and half the bacon. Top with the remaining bread, vegetables, cheese and bacon. Pour the milk-egg mixture over the casserole and press down lightly on the bread to submerge. Allow to stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center is not wet and the tops are golden, about 45 minutes. Makes 12 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 280 calories, 16 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 18 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 493 mg sodium
OVERNIGHT MAPLE-CINNAMON FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
8 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups 2-percent milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound French baguette, cut in 1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons butter, cut in bits
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Coat a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl; stir in the bread and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bring the casserole to room temperature. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
4. While the casserole bakes, melt the butter in a small saucepan; stir in the maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
5. When the casserole comes out of the oven, poke holes all over the surface with a fork. Drizzle the maple syrup topping evenly over the surface and serve. Makes 12 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 261 calories, 11 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 272 mg sodium