In our pre-quarantine existences, breakfast sometimes (okay, often) took the form of cold cereal eaten at our desks, a banana lathered in peanut butter on our way out the door, or a quick cup of coffee from Dayglow, one of our office's favorite places to get caffeinated. Now that traffic-ridden commutes and makeup routines have become distant memories, we've come to savor this lovely thing called "extra time" before the work day begins. A novel concept indeed! While we have each been utilizing these extra few moments in a number of different ways—reading the entire newspaper instead of a news briefing, learning to make barista-grade coffee, going for a walk with our canine friends, or, heck, sleeping in!—all of us have felt a noticeable upgrade in our breakfast game. The following are our favorite tried and true breakfast recipes, and a few new ones that we can't wait to make in the coming weeks. Because why not make the most important meal of the day a delicious one?
Among the many qualifications required for working at cupcakes and cashmere, a firm belief in always ordering "pancakes for the table" carries a lot of weight in the interview process. While we're only semi-kidding (we really are proud pancake people!), Emily's all time favorite Cook's Illustrated pancake recipe, once reserved for weekend mornings, is now a weekday staple in our respective kitchens. Nothing like checking Slack messages with a side of syrup, amiright? P.S. Here are a few tips for making perfect pancakes every time. No buttermilk needed!
Call it Shakshuka, Moroccan Baked Eggs, or Eggs in Purgatory; if it's a spicy tomato-based sauce nestled around poached eggs and served with crusty bread on the side, we're down. While we could easily go on for the remainder of this post listing all of the reasons why this pantry staple dish should become the star of your breakfast rotation (delicious for anytime of day, affordable, high presentation points, utilizes leftovers, etc.), you'll just have to trust us on this one and make it yourself.
If you're interested in making your house smell like a little slice of heaven (while also baking a satisfying breakfast in under 30 minutes!), allow us to introduce you to our good friend, homemade granola. We think the two of you will get along real well! This "healthified" granola recipe is extremely adaptable to whatever you've got lying around in the pantry, and tastes just as delicious sprinkled on a bowl of Greek yogurt as it does atop ice cream. Plus, now that you have all of these rolled oats hanging out in your kitchen, you should maybe, probably, definitely make Kate's blueberry baked oatmeal. It just seems like the natural thing to do!
If you've ever had the pleasure of visiting Big Sur, one of Leslie's favorite places in the world, then you're probably already well-versed in the wonders of the Big Sur Bakery. It is the kind of place you go out of your way, knowingly tacking on a few extra hours of traffic, to experience. If you haven't yet had the chance to visit, or are just longing for some relaxing vacation feels, these blackberry scones will quickly transport you to the rustic, roadside spot in no time. Enjoy with a cup of coffee, light this candle (now on sale!), and ease into the morning California-style.
Nothing will ever taste more distinctly of a Sunday morning than a fully-loaded, cured fish laden bagel...at least for us! Though traditional lox is slightly more complicated to make, involving a cold smoker, her equally cool cousin, gravlax, is shockingly easy. All you need is some salt, weight, and time! Use this recipe as your baseline to make any number of delicious flavor combinations (oh hai, pastrami gravlax!) you'll be enjoying all week long. And while you're at it, read this nostalgic article about one of our favorite LA deli's (now, unfortunately closed) and consider making homemade bagels, too!
Family and friends are wonderful and all, but if we could pick one person with whom to shelter in place, it would be the Queen of the Quarantini herself, Ina Garten. It just seems like nothing could really go wrong with Ina and Jeffrey by your side and a nice helping of challah french toast on your plate. Traditionally a weekend dish built with leftover Shabbat challah in mind, Ina's French toast was the first cookbook recipe I ever made as a kid, and quickly became a Saturday morning staple growing up. It's decadent, comes together in a flash, and provides a great reason to make challah during the weekdays (as if I needed one!). To quote the Contessa, "How bad could that be?"
Whether chalky and overcooked in a buffet hot plate or far too watery and bland made in a morning rush, we've all eaten bad scrambled eggs. Put the dry, the undercooked, and the ugly behind you and behold the perfect, French slow scrambled eggs that will never let you down! From breakfast sandwiches to a rich, dinner-sized portion of scrambies, Romilly's methodology is sure to leave the ghost of bad scrambled eggs past exactly where it belongs... far from your plate!
Though the jury's still out on whether or not a cinnamon roll is a breakfast or a dessert (we don't believe in mutually exclusive pastries, for what it is worth), there is no doubt that a morning bun is absolutely a breakfast food. It's preferred consumption time is in the damn name! Inspired by Tartine Bakery's version, these Bon Appetit morning buns are sweet, but not too sweet, buttery without being overkill, and just the right size that you hardly realize you've eaten six in one sitting. Keep in mind that the brioche-style dough is high hydration, making it extremely difficult, though certainly not impossible, to mix without a standing mixer and dough hook attachment. My pathetic biceps learned this the hard way.
For many of us, cocktail hour has taken on a new meaning (and frequency) in the last few weeks. Hey, so long as you're drinking responsibly, you do you! But let's face it, we've all woken up on a weekday morning before work feeling a little fragile as a result of the previous night's festivities. On those mornings, there is only one solution and it is this chilaquiles recipe. Top with as many eggs as you need to get you through that upcoming Zoom meeting, and consider doubling the sauce recipe for future enchiladas, crispy fried eggs, and pretty much everything else in between.
P.S. If you're using tortilla chips instead of fresh tortillas, here are our team's favorites!
You might be asking yourself, "Self, what the heck is a frittata again? Isn't it just a crustless quiche?" And you'd be partially correct! A frittata is in fact crustless, but it is also so much more! It's a sneaky way to get a few servings of veggies in before 10AM. It's the simplest meal prep of your life, given a second life for dinner served alongside a bright salad or as lunch sandwiched between well-buttered baguette halves. It is delicious, inexpensive, and fuss-free! Still not convinced or overwhelmed by the endless flavor possibilities? Check out this vegetable frittata recipe, which just so happens to features five great variations to get you started!
As far as we're concerned, there is only one right way to eat a muffin: tearing off the bottom first, saving the top for last. But why waste all of this energy and batter on a bottom we are only lukewarm about eating anyways? Enter: Dada Eats Morning Glory Muffin Tops. They happen to be vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and refined sugar free, but we promise you that you won't notice as you inhale these ~glorious~ bites. Looking for another muffin top recipe to keep things interesting? Samah's one-banana-only chocolate chip muffin tops are also a favorite in our office.
We'll be honest, when the BA Test Kitchen staff started posting smoothie tips and recipes, we had some reservations. How much of a difference could a few sprinkles of salt, a dash of vanilla, or a couple fewer ice cubes really make? It turns out, quite a lot! Even if you're sure that your smoothie skills are full-on Jamba Juice level, give some of these tips a look to help make the most of your morning shake!
If it isn't extremely obvious, we are an office of dedicated breakfast burrito lovers (s/o Cofax and Great White for some of our absolute favorites here in L.A.!). Gaby's version is as classic as it comes and, like every recipe she develops, highly addictive. Consider yourself warned, once you make her homemade chipotle salsa, you will never look at the stuff from the jar the same way again. Serving a quarantine crowd or feel passionately about corn tortillas? This recipe lends itself extremely well to a breakfast taco bar for an easy variation.