Deb Wise

This gluten-free pizza crust will fool everyone at the table with its crispy, crunchy edges that mimic the original. Use the crust recipe as the base for your favorite pizza toppings, or go forth with our suggested cheese-and-tomato variety, which features two kinds of cheese and is topped with cherry tomatoes for a pop of sweetness. If you don’t have a pizza pan, use this trick for the crispiest crust: invert a rimmed baking sheet and let it heat up in the oven. Then, place the baking sheet with your pizza dough on it onto the hot baking sheet. Genius? We think so.
By Deb Wise
They’re nutty and earthy, and not too sweet. Banana flavor hits you first, and then you appreciate the crunchy topping made from chopped dried banana chips and walnuts. A lot of the unusually rich flavor comes from the kamut flour, made from ground up kamut wheat, an ancient relative of modern day wheat which has a buttery, rich flavor. It’s a whole grain that’s a great source of fiber. Find it in the baking aisle next to other specialty flours (Bob’s Red Mill makes one that we love). The recipe is pretty straightforward; coating the inside of the muffin liners with cooking spray keeps the batter from sticking.
By Deb Wise
Meet the child star, all grown up. She’s just as loveable, but so much more sophisticated. She’s shed her plain sliced bread and is sporting a flaky, golden-brown outfit made from braided puff pastry. On the inside she’s still the same, with a thick layer of creamy peanut butter and one of strawberry preserves. Make sure you use jam or preserves as filling, and not jelly, which will thin out and start leaking when you bake the dessert. And, a note on baking the pastry: use the bottom rack in the oven to ensure the bottom is as golden as the top.
By Deb Wise
A great combination of bacon, egg, cheese, and golden brown pastry, this festive creation makes a wonderful breakfast for guests. Look for crescent dinner rolls in the refrigerated section of the grocery store (they come in a can). Use any cheese you prefer, such as cheddar, Jack, pepper-Jack, gouda, or Swiss. You can also substitute chopped deli ham for bacon if you have that on hand, or even add jalapeño to the pepper mix for a spicy wreath. In other words, it’s easy to tailor this savory pastry to your tastes. A quick tip: when you’re beginning to assemble the dough, pencil a circle on the parchment paper to use as a guide.
By Deb Wise
Moist with a crunchy walnut-brown sugar topping, this cake packs just the right amount of tart raspberry flavor—although if raspberry isn’t your jam, you can use any flavor of preserves you desire. After you blend together the cake batter, there’s a step that asks you to combine some of it with the preserves. This is a neat trick that prevents the defined layer of raspberry from sinking to the bottom of the cake. Make sure your pan is well greased and floured for easy removal. Serve big slices of the warm cake with milk or coffee.
By Deb Wise
Why not take the salty, crunchy, umami-filled topping on everything bagels and apply it to another breakfast favorite? This scone recipe walks you through how to make the everything bagel mix: it’s just a couple teaspoons each of sesame seeds, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion, and poppy seeds. You can also buy the mix to shave a couple minutes off prep time: King Arthur Flour makes one, as does Trader Joe’s. Be sure to handle the scone dough as little as possible so it stays tender. Serve this treat with warm butter and honey—or even a smear of cream cheese.
By Deb Wise
You may ask yourself, what’s the point of homemade English muffins? The store-bought ones are pretty darn delicious. But this recipe makes English muffins that are twice as delicious. You cook each muffin in a skillet (we recommend cast iron) until its deep golden brown. The results are tender but toasted, full of good wheat flavor and cloud-like pockets for melted butter to pool in. Be sure to split the muffins with a fork and not with a knife to keep the nooks and crannies open. Serve with plenty of butter and your favorite jam.
By Deb Wise
If you like sweet breakfasts, rejoice. This recipe makes a sticky bun that’s filled with shredded coconut, roasted almonds, and chopped semisweet chocolate. A.k.a. it tastes like an Almond Joy. For the most tender results, use the highest quality pizza dough you can find (some pizzerias will even sell you their dough if you ask) and handle it as little as possible. While you’re rolling out the dough, it might spring back; if this happens, let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before continuing to roll into a rectangle.
By Deb Wise
Don’t be intimidated by the word popover. This recipe is easy to pull off—and you can make it in an official popover pan or a regular old 12-cup muffin tin. The batter comes together in a blender and you can make it several hours before baking. Impressive to serve at a breakfast or brunch, they’re downright mouthwatering any time of day. Think: crisp outsides with fresh herb flavor plus tender, cheesy interiors.
By Deb Wise
It’s totally acceptable to eat this cake for breakfast because it’s just cornbread, right? Cooking the “cake” in a large cast iron skillet imparts super crusty delicious edges and prevents the blueberries from sinking in the batter. Speaking of blueberries, if you’re making this cake during the wintertime, frozen blueberries can be substituted for fresh. A note on compound butter: if you have leftovers, transfer it to a sheet of wax or parchment paper, shape it into a log, and roll it up. You can store it in the fridge and cut off slices when you need it.
By Deb Wise
An adorable take on the classic Greek dessert, these two-bite pastries consist of coiled puff pastry filled with a mixture of sweet and citrusy spiced nuts. You’ll be building your nests in a greased muffin tin. The only real trick to working with the puff pastry is to work quickly. You need the puff pastry to be thawed but still cold; since all doughs are slightly different, we recommend thawing according to package directions and time it accordingly. Make sure you buy shelled pistachios for the nut filling to cut down on prep work. Your baked artwork will be equally fantastic on a brunch spread with fruit or on the go.
By Deb Wise
Rum cake for breakfast? Don’t worry, the rum flavor is subtle and simply imparts a sweet spiciness to the tender pound cake. But for a non-alcoholic version, it’s okay to substitute the rum for an equal amount apple cider. Soaking the raisins in the warm rum plumps them, and piercing the bottom and top of the warm cake infuses the insides with the rum syrup. If you don’t have dark brown sugar on hand, the recipe also works with light brown sugar. The cake can be made a day ahead of time, just wrap it tightly and store at room temperature.
By Deb Wise
These chocolatey muffins are just the thing to jump start a true chocoholic’s morning. You'll find pockets of melted chocolate throughout, and with the addition of a crumbly cookie streusel, you might confuse them with dessert. But don’t be fooled, these are a real breakfast treat. Oh, who are we kidding? We don’t care what time of day you eat them. Try one in the morning with a hot cup of black coffee, in the afternoon all by itself, or as a late night snack with a glass of ice cold milk. You can even freeze these for later. Wrap the muffins individually then place in a resealable plastic bag. To defrost, unwrap and microwave in 20 second bursts until defrosted and warmed through.
By Deb Wise
What’s better than a classic whoopie pie made from tender chocolate cake and pillowy cream filling? What about a doubled down chocolate on chocolate sandwich made with decadent cakes and a tangy chocolate cream cheese frosting? We thought you might like that. If you have a cookie or truffle scoop, use it to divide up the batter into even mounds. Just keep a glass of hot water next to your work station and dip the scoop in it from time to time. A quick rinse will keep your scoops tidy. Use a resealable plastic bag to make piping on the filling extra easy.
By Deb Wise
We came up with another excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast. Classic oats, nuts, and sweetened coconut get mixed with a cocoa-honey syrup before baking in the oven. Tossing chocolate covered raisins, almonds, and cranberries with the warm granola transforms the humble oat mixture into decadent clusters. The almonds make it a little sophisticated, but we wouldn’t complain about a handful of chocolate-covered peanuts thrown in the mix. We like to snack on it between meals (don’t tell mom!) but it makes a pretty great snack at the movies, too. For the ultimate treat, eat it with a splash of whole milk or—if you’re feeling naughty—a little half-n-half.
By Deb Wise
Say goodbye to the cold toaster pastries of your youth and a big hello to these double chocolate hand pies. We made a chocolate pastry dough by substituting some of the all purpose flour with cocoa powder and used coffee in place of the water to highlight those chocolatey flavors. If you have kosher salt, you can use it in place of the table salt, just increase it to 1½ teaspoons. To finish them off, we made a simple glaze of powdered sugar and a splash of water, but if you love that coffee-chocolate combination try using a tablespoon or two of cooled coffee instead of the water for a mocha-inspired treat.
By Deb Wise
The addition of peanut butter makes these flapjacks rich and delicious but an extra helping of baking powder keeps them light. Whenever you make pancakes, let the batter rest for about 10 minutes. This gives the mixture time to relax so the pancakes stay fork tender. The recipe calls for chocolate chips but we like to use chopped chocolate too: those little shards of chocolate strewn throughout ensure there’s melty bits in every single bite. We’ve been known to really go for it and serve these with whipped cream and chocolate sauce but we wouldn’t be opposed to serving a stack with a scoop of vanilla—or chocolate—ice cream.
By Deb Wise
When you make this recipe, you really want to have all of your ingredients ready to go. Here’s why: The key to these cookies is a technique called ribboning. You’ll beat the eggs and sugar together until they’re lighter in color and about doubled in volume. This adds air and lightness to the cookies, but if you don’t use it right away the eggs can deflate and your cookies will be flat. So be ready to go when the eggs are. Measure out all of your ingredients and read through the recipe in its entirety first. We promise it’ll be worth it when you taste the finished results.
By Deb Wise
Though its peak season is summer, zucchini is available year-round—just be sure to pick out the best-looking squashes. They should be firm (not spongy), vibrant in color, and free of blemishes. Cooking the squash before stirring it into the egg mixture helps eliminate some of the moisture, and adds a nice crisp-tender texture to the creamy eggs and cheese. Though it bakes primarily in the oven, finishing the frittata under the broiler gives the top and outer edges a bit of crispness. Serve the dish with toast and fruit for breakfast, or with sautéed mushrooms for dinner.
By Deb Wise
Thanks to a generous amount of melted butter in the batter, these waffles are extra crispy and buttery, and fluffy in the middle. The batter itself isn’t too sweet, so pile the cooked waffles high with fig preserves (our favorite), blueberry jam, maple syrup, powdered sugar, or even a smear of peanut butter. Here’s another tip: Heat up the waffle iron while you’re making the batter so you can start cranking out waffles as soon as the batter is finished. Not only does this lead to instant gratification, it ensures the waffles don’t lose their ability to rise.
By Deb Wise
The addition of fresh orange zest really makes this French toast pop, so don’t skip it. (We considered making it an optional add-in, but taste-testers insisted it be a must-have for this recipe.) You can find whole loaves of challah in most large grocery stores, but a loaf of brioche will work just as beautifully. And while you may be used to simply dipping your bread into the egg custard, you’ll want to be sure to let the slices soak in the liquid. This makes the toast creamy in the centers and crispy on the outside.
By Deb Wise
These breakfast muffins are packed with fresh blueberry flavor, and they’re not too sweet (so they won’t get confused with dessert). If you like an extra crunchy muffin top, add more oats to the cinnamon-sugar streusel. Not a fan of almonds? Any nut, such as walnuts or pecans, will be just as tasty in the topping. While these are great as a grab-and-go breakfast, they’re especially tasty warm—consider whipping them up if you’re having guests over for brunch. To maintain a white batter, be gentle when stirring in the berries. If too many break and the juices mix in, the batter becomes gray or purple.
By Deb Wise
No more searching for your favorite pancake recipe. These buttery pancakes will win the taste-test every time, thanks to their fluffy texture and incredible flavor. Buttermilk adds just a little bit of tang, and will make your family wonder, “What IS it that makes this taste so good?” For perfectly golden brown pancakes, make sure your griddle is hot. A non-stick skillet will work great, too. In fact, you can pour the batter straight into the skillet, as they will brown more evenly without oil or butter. Warm syrup and crispy bacon are the perfect accompaniments—as always.
By Deb Wise
What’s better than a cup of steaming spiced hot cocoa? One that’s ready and waiting for you after a long afternoon of sledding or skiing. We slow-cooked a batch of subtly sweet cocoa sweetened with both powdered sugar (because it melts evenly) and molasses (for a rich base note). Traditional gingerbread spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves make it smell like you’ve been baking all day when you’ve actually been out playing in the snow. If you have cheesecloth, bundle the spices inside of a square and secure it with kitchen twine. That way you won’t have to strain. Here’s an idea: use any leftover hot cocoa as a milk substitute in your morning coffee.
By Deb Wise
We love a meticulously decorated holiday cookie as much as the next gal but sometimes (all of the time?) we just don’t have the time. So we developed the easiest icing yet, no careful dipping and drying required. Instead, you just whip up a batch of this one bowl icing, pour it over your cookies, e voila! For ultimate success, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil (for easy cleanup) and set a rack inside of it. Arrange your cookies on the rack about 2 inches apart so they have plenty of room to dry without sticking together.
By Deb Wise