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  • Mary Kay

After Christmas Croissant Brunch Bake for a Crowd – big or small

Wow your family and friends with this delicious After Christmas Croissant Brunch Bake with sausage and ham or sausage and turkey.

Wow them even more when you serve your favorite salsa, olives and sour cream on the side!

Using buttery croissants, sausage, ham and your choice of veggies, the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, heavy cream and eggs make this a delicious brunch bake. It’s also a great dish to add that leftover ham (or even turkey) from a holiday dinner.

Make this the day before and refrigerate overnight to pop in the oven for a delicious Christmas Croissant Brunch Breakfast. It’s tasty, filling and full of buttery croissants! You can even freeze leftovers to eat another day.

Pick up your favorite bakery croissants (or make your own). Leave them out for a day to get nice and crispy on the outside. You don’t want them soft and doughy for this dish. I stick them on a plate in my cupboard the day before I want to assemble and bake this hearty brunch bake.

You can make this recipe according to my recipe for 2-4 people in a 9” x 6” oblong ceramic casserole dish. Or double the recipe for a larger 9”x 13” casserole dish.

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees about 10 minutes before you’re ready to put your brunch bake in the oven.

Prepare your pan:

Lightly oil an 8”x 5” ceramic casserole dish which is oven safe as well as microwave and freezer safe. Make sure it’s a good 4” high so you can cover the dish with aluminum foil without touching the cheese. I don’t like to rip off all that wonderful melted cheese when I uncover the baked dish.

NOTE: I also prefer to use my thick ceramic pan rather than a metal pan. It can burn on the bottom too easily in a metal pan.

Gather up your Ingredients for the meat mixture:

4 Croissants, each about 4-5” long, day old

1 T Olive oil, extra virgin

¼ # Italian sausage

1 C Ham, cooked and cubed (or turkey, rough chopped)

½ Onion, medium, diced

2 Kale leaves (or ½ C Broccoli), rough chopped

½ Red bell pepper, cleaned and diced

2 Mushrooms, medium, diced

3-4 oz Cream cheese, soft

1 C Cheddar cheese, freshly shredded, separated

Gather up your Custard Ingredients:

4 Eggs, lightly beaten

5/8 C Heavy cream (do not use milk)

1 T Dijon Mustard

2 t Everything Bagel Seasoning

Pinch of Pepper, black

Mix up your Meat Sauce and set up in the baking dish:

- Heat up a fry pan on medium heat on your stovetop, heat up 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

- Sauté the sausage.

- Add the diced onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms and kale. Cook until just starting to soften so they are still bright in color. Do not overcook since they will cook more in the oven.

- While the vegetables are cooking, slice the croissants lengthwise and place the four bottoms (cut side up) in the ceramic baking dish which has already been lightly brushed with extra virgin olive oil. You could, instead, brush the pan liberally with butter if you like. Set the tops aside.

- Add the softened cream cheese to the meat and veggie mixture and stir in thoroughly.

- Add the cubed ham (or turkey) and thoroughly stir together.

- Take the fry pan off the burner and stir in ½ cup of the freshly shredded cheddar cheese. Here is where you could add a gruyere cheese if you prefer it to cheddar cheese. Don’t let the cheese completely melt, just stir it in.

- Immediately spoon the meat mixture onto the bottoms of the croissants in the ceramic baking dish.

- Cover the 4 croissant bottoms with their tops. Set the baking dish aside while you make your custard filling.

- Make sure your oven is preheating to 375F degrees.

Make your Custard Filling:

- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs lightly until the yolks and whites are incorporated. Make sure the yolks and whites are well mixed.

- Add the heavy cream, mustard and seasoning, stirring thoroughly. (Do Not use milk in place of the cream or the mixture will stay soupy.) Now is the time to add a little hot sauce or hot seasoning if you like, about a teaspoon. I don’t add any salt to this dish since there is so much sodium already in the ham and sausage.

- Save 3 tablespoons for brushing on your croissants for the baking process.

- Pour the egg custard mix over and around the croissants in the ceramic baking dish. You’ll want at least an inch of space above the croissants and cheese for the baking process. Otherwise it's easy for the cheese to stick to the foil.

- Cover and refrigerate the entire dish for at least one hour or overnight.

Get ready to bake:

- Take your Christmas Croissant Brunch Bake out of the refrigerator and uncover.

- Brush half of the custard mixture you saved earlier, onto the tops of the croissants.

- Sprinkle a little more of the Everything Bagel Seasoning on top.

- Sprinkle the rest of the freshly shredded cheese (1/2 cup) over the croissants.

- If you want to add a little more color, garnish with another small chopped up Kale leaf or sliced green onion tops or a few diced up broccoli florets.

- Cover so the foil is not touching the cheddar cheese in the baking dish, or it will stick to the foil when you uncover it. I tent the foil and wrap it tightly on the sides to avoid touching the cheese.

- Bake at 375F degrees for 25 minutes with the aluminum foil cover on top.

- At the 25-minute mark, take the aluminum foil off the dish and lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees.

- Brush the last of the egg mixture on the croissants.

- Bake for another 15-20 minutes. If the tops of the croissants seem to be getting too dark, tent the dish with the foil before you continue to bake. Don’t wrap it tightly.

- The dish is done when the egg is no longer liquid. It should be firm all throughout the dish. If the egg is too wiggly and wet in the middle, keep the foil tent on it and bake it another 3-5 minutes before checking it again.

- Serve your Christmas Croissant Brunch Bake right out of the ceramic dish. It’s as easy as that! Accompany your brunch bake with fresh croissants, butter, flavored cream cheese and jam, hot sauce, fresh fruits, coffee and Mimosas. It’s a delicious breakfast or brunch all in one.

- This is a dreamy dish to make for any family or company brunch. It’s easy and quick to make ahead. Just let it set in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight before you bake. It’s also easy to customize with the meat of your choice along with your favorite veggies. However you end up making this Christmas Croissant Brunch Bake, “Bake your own Memories!” with family and friends.

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