Extra eggs? Make These Winter Comfort Foods!

Four holiday and winter favorites, from breads and rolls to do ahead desserts make good use of extra eggs.

Extra eggs? Make These Winter Comfort Foods!

It’s fun, even after all these years, to go out in the morning to let my “girls” out of the coop and to see who laid what eggs. Some days it’s the Buff Orpingtons who are generous with their eggs, other times the Americaunas make me smile with their pastel-colored eggs. White eggs or brown, pale blue or green, it doesn’t make a whit of difference. All are thankfully gathered to be included in my family’s best recipes, like the ones I’m sharing with you.

These four recipes are perfect for holiday entertaining or a simple family gathering.

The cloud bread is both low-carb and gluten-free. These little gems can be eaten out of hand and are an unusual bread to offer for brunch.

You’ll be happy to have the stir-down roll recipe when guests are coming and time is at a premium. No kneading required!

I haven’t forgotten about dessert during the busy holiday season, either. The chocolate pots de creme are elegant and super easy. Plus they can be done ahead.

My simple lemon cheesecake is a sweet and light dessert. Perfect after a hearty winter meal or for casual entertaining.

Cloud bread, baked

Cloud Bread

These little handheld breads are so much fun to make, especially with the children. The descriptive title tells it all. Each small bread is as light and fluffy as a cloud.

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, separated
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 oz. regular, not low fat, cream cheese, softened
  • A bit of sugar — I used a teaspoon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Beat egg whites and cream of tartar together in a bowl until stiff peaks form.
  • Mix egg yolks, cream cheese, and sugar in a separate bowl until mixture is very smooth and has no visible cream cheese. 
  • Gently fold egg whites into cream cheese mixture, taking care not to deflate the egg whites. 
  • Carefully scoop mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, forming five to six foamy-looking mounds, about an inch apart. 
  • Bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Best eaten as soon as possible.
  • Makes five to six cloud breads.

Tip:

  • Cloud bread can be topped with your favorite pizza sauce and cheese, then popped under the broiler for a quick and tasty gluten-free pizza.
Stir-down rolls baked

Annie’s Stir-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 a holiday celebration or as an accompaniment to a hearty, steaming dish of stew.

These rolls are not hard to make but look like you put a lot of work into them.

The mixture is sticky when you go to put it in the muffin tins, and that moistness makes for a tender yet substantial roll. 

Ingredients

  • 1 package (¼ oz.) active dry yeast (I used regular but fast-acting is okay too) 
  • 1 cup warm water, 105-115 degrees
  • A couple of pinches sugar plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water with a couple of pinches of sugar to feed the yeast. Yeast will foam up fairly quickly. 
  2. Place in mixing bowl.
  3. On low to medium speed, stir in sugar, salt, egg, shortening and 1 cup of flour. Beat until mixture is smooth. 
  4. Stir in rest of flour, again on low to medium speed.
  5. Let rise, covered, till doubled, 30 minutes.  
  6. Stir down. 
  7. Grease or spray muffin tins. (I used melted butter).
  8. Mixture will be sticky. Fill tins about ⅔ full. Let rise again until almost doubled. Dough may rise over the top of the tins somewhat. No need to cover. In my kitchen, this took 25 minutes.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. 
  10. Brush with butter right away (optional but yummy).
  11. Makes 12.

Tips

  • You can make these by hand if you like.
  • I use a small ice cream scoop, which I spray,  to scoop the dough out.
  • These rolls freeze well. 
  • Rewarm them from the frozen or thawed state. 
  • Place on a baking sheet and cover with foil. 
  • Bake until hot in a 325-350 degree F oven. 

Freeze Whites

  • Fresh egg whites are easily frozen.
  • Break and separate eggs. Pour whites into freezer containers and label with the number of whites. I like to freeze each white in an ice cube tray. When frozen, they get transferred to freezer containers.
  • Freeze up to one year.

To use frozen egg whites, first thaw

  • Thaw whites overnight in the refrigerator. You can thaw them on the counter, as well. But they thaw quickly so be aware. 
  • If you’re going to whip the whites, let them reach room temperature for better volume. 
  • Substitute two tablespoons thawed egg white for every large fresh white.

Five-Minute Chocolate Pots de Crème

This is pronounced “po de crem.” Now that’s a fancy name for a silky-textured chocolate pudding that’s super easy to make.

It’s important for the eggs to be room temperature and the coffee very, very hot to cook the eggs to a safe degree without curdling and to make a smooth crème. 

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. favorite good quality real chocolate chips, not chocolate-flavored
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Dash salt
  • 1 cup strong, very, very hot coffee

Instructions

  1. Place the chocolate chips into a blender. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt.
  2. Blend until mixture looks like fine sand so that all the chips are ground up. This takes a couple of minutes but is necessary for a smooth mixture. 
  3. Pour coffee slowly in a thin stream. That way, the eggs won’t curdle. Blend until smooth, about a minute.
  4. Pour into desired containers, cover tightly and refrigerate 4 hours or up to four days. 

This makes a generous four cups or so. You can use ramekins, punch cups, wine glasses, whatever to pour the mixture into.

Tip from Rita’s kitchen:

What do you do if mixture just happens to curdle a bit? Just push it through a strainer. The reason this might happen is that you poured the hot coffee in too fast. 

Vanilla Whipped Cream

This is simply whipped cream with sugar and flavoring. (But I won’t tell if you won’t). This holds up at least several hours in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whipping cream, unwhipped
  • Confectioners’ sugar to taste — start with 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Easy peasy — just beat everything together until stiff.

Simple Lemon Cheesecake

This dessert was a staple in my catering business. It’s everything you want a nice cheesecake to be. Quick and easy to make, the cheesecake is a good keeper in the refrigerator, so it can be made ahead of time with no worries. 

Now, really, the topping is extra but so good. Even served plain with a garnish of a berry and a piece of mint if you have it, this cheesecake is a winner.

Ingredients: Filling

  • 1 graham cracker crust, unbaked 
  • 1 pound regular cream cheese, not low fat or fat-free, cut into chunks and softened a bit
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Ingredients: Sour cream topping

  • 1 cup sour cream, not low fat or fat-free
  • 3 tablespoons sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions: Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Put filling ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. (You can also use a mixer or whisk by hand until smooth). 
  3. Pour into crust. 
  4. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until puffed only slightly in the middle. Don’t overbake. It will set up firm as it cools in the refrigerator.

Instructions: Sour cream topping

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees FWhisk topping ingredients until smooth and then pour onto cheesecake right after you take it from the oven, smoothing the top. 
  2. Immediately put back in oven for five minutes.  
  3. Remove from oven, let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate to chill completely before serving. (Don’t worry if the topping doesn’t look set. It will firm up in the refrigerator nicely). 

Gilding the Lily: Fresh or frozen berry glaze

Raspberries or strawberries work well.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups berries
  • Sugar to taste 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or more to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine everything in a saucepan and cook over medium, smooshing berries down as you go, until sugar dissolves and sauce is hot.
  2. Remove from heat and press through a strainer to remove seeds.
  3. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate, covered, up to four days.

What’re your favorite recipes to make with eggs during the holidays and the long days of winter? 

Originally published in the December 2019/January 2020 issue of Backyard Poultry and regularly vetted for accuracy.

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