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Sherry Dryja's picture

A Christmas Morning Breakfast With Beer

Christmas Breakfast With Beer

The lure of presents under the tree gets the kids out of bed on Christmas morning. One whiff of our Holiday Breakfast Menu will have the adults in the house racing for the table, especially when they learn they can pair it with delicious craft beer.

Start with our Hearty Breakfast Casserole. It's exactly how it sounds – packed with soul-warming ingredients like eggs, cheese, potatoes, and sausage. The flavors and aromas of this dish may well evoke happy memories of Christmases gone by. Paired with the right beer, this meal could become your happiest memory yet.

We went two directions when pairing our casserole with tasty brews. There's the traditional "eggs and coffee" combination brought about with a good imperial stout like Evil Twin's More Jesus. And then there's the match of an amber ale that lightens and lifts the more complex flavors of the casserole. Oregon's Full Sail has an amber that did this perfectly.

In the last several years, avocado toast has become a staple at many breakfast tables. We added it to our Christmas line-up to provide an alternative (or addition) to our more conventional holiday casserole. In addition to avocado, our toast is piled with garlic-roasted broccoli, chopped boiled egg, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Our favorite beer pairing was Avery's White Rascal. This beer elevated the earthier tones in the recipe.

According to an informal, unscientific poll we took among friends and colleagues, cinnamon rolls are a Christmas tradition for many American households. Our recipe adds a twist of orange to the dough and glaze. The result is aromatic and happily tempting. An old ale, such as North Coast's Old Stock Ale will appease any sweet tooth at the table. For a more effervescent and sophisticated combination, reach for that amber ale we paired with the casserole. Full Sail's amber provided a bright and delicious pairing.

Finally, our Wintry Mix Fruit and Yogurt Parfait is rich with whole-milk greek yogurt and sweetened with apples, oranges, and dried cranberries. Add toasted pecans and granola and no one will question whether you're eating breakfast. Only you will know it tastes a lot like dessert.

To make it even more like dessert, pair the parfait with a Belgian lambic with apple flavors such as Lindemans Pomme. The combination is crisp and sweet and will make you feel like you're getting away with eating pie for breakfast.

This Christmas, give your adult family and friends a reason to feel like a kid again. Stir up our recipes and pair it with your favorite local brews.

Cinnamon Rolls with an Orange Twist


For Dough:

1 package (2-¼ teaspoon) yeast

1 cup hot water (Hot is about 105°-110°F.)

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar, divided

¼ cup orange juice

2 tablespoons orange zest

2 tablespoons melted butter

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt


For Filling:

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon, or more to taste



In a small bowl, combine the yeast, hot water, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar, whisking to mix. Set aside for 10 minutes, allowing the yeast to dissolve and fully activate.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, orange zest, orange juice, and remaining sugar. Set aside.

Put flour into a large mixing bowl. Add salt to the flour. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour until combined.

Add the yeast to the flour mixture. Mix it all together. Keep everything in the bowl and pull or knead the flour into the mixture with your hands. The pieces at the bottom and along the sides of the bowl will become incorporated into the dough as you work. When those pieces have been incorporated into the dough and you have a firm, smooth dough ball, remove it from the bowl and spray the bowl with cooking spray.

Put the dough back into the bowl and flip it to grease each side of the ball. Cover the bowl with a cloth or plastic wrap and set in a warm place. Let it rise until it doubles in size, about an hour and a half.

Once the dough has risen prepare the countertop by flouring it well where you plan to roll out the dough. Plop the dough onto the countertop and roll it into a large rectangle.


Prepare the Filling:

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter on the stovetop or in the microwave. Pour the melted butter over the dough and spread it evenly.

Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon uniformly across the dough.

Roll the dough lengthwise and pinch it together along the seam and ends.

Grease two 8-inch pans. Cut the dough into 16 rolls. Place in the pans, giving them room to rise. (Use a larger pan if you need to.) Cover with a cloth and allow them to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°F. Once heated, add the pans to the oven and let them cook for about 15 minutes. Turn the heat to 350°F to finish cooking for about 15 minutes. Watch closely to make sure they don’t burn.


Make the Glaze:

2 cups confectioners' sugar

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

1 teaspoon orange zest


In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, and orange zest until smooth. Drizzle over rolls and serve!

Make-ahead tip: Once completely cooled, these rolls can be wrapped in foil and plastic wrap and frozen or refrigerated before glazing. When ready to eat, remove plastic wrap and bake in foil at 350-degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil, prepare and drizzle glaze.

Wintry Mix Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits

Serves 4


½ cup pecan pieces

1 cup favorite store-bought cinnamon granola, such as Bob’s Red Mill

2 red apples (gala, fuji, etc.)

1-2 naval oranges or blood oranges, peeled

1/2 cup dried cranberries

3 cups whole-fat greek yogurt



Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add pecan pieces to the baking sheet and place in the oven until they become aromatic, about 5 minutes.

Once toasted, remove from oven and mix into cinnamon granola. Set aside to cool.

Cut the apples and oranges into bite size chunks and stir together in a medium bowl. Mix in the cranberries.

To serve, alternately layer the fruit, the yogurt, and the pecan granola in 4 parfait glasses or tall glasses. Repeat with a second layer of fruit, yogurt, and granola.

Garlic-Roasted Broccoli on Avocado Toast

Serves 4


1 cup broccoli florets

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1-2 cloves garlic, sliced

Salt and black pepper

2 avocados

1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno pepper (to taste)

1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

4 slices of rustic bread, toasted

2 hard-boiled eggs, diced and crumbly

1 to 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted

¼ cup cilantro, chopped


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Toss the broccoli florets with the olive oil, the garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast about 15-20 minutes, until the edges are crispy and the stems are tender.

While the broccoli is roasting, cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and peel the shells from the flesh. Mash or slice the avocado and then spread onto the toast. Sprinkle with lime juice and the minced jalapeno pepper. Add salt and pepper.

Layer the avocado toast with roasted broccoli and egg. Top with pumpkin seeds and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Hearty Breakfast Casserole

Serves 4


6 to 8 baby potatoes, quartered

1 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 sausage links, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

6 to 8 mushrooms, quartered

½ bunch kale, ribs removed, rough chopped

6 eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ cup shredded cheddar



Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

Add potatoes to a small pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and then lower heat to medium-high and cook for about 12 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain and set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Sear the sausage until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove sausage to a plate.

Set the skillet back on medium-high and add the potatoes and onions to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes start to brown and the onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms and sprinkle in a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the kale and cook until wilted and dark green. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Add the cheese, sausage, and potato mixture to the egg mixture. Stir to combine.

Coat a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the egg-potato-sausage mixture into the dish and make sure it’s fairly even. Bake for 30 minutes or until set and browned.

Photos by Sherry Dryja.

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