Savory Bites: Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pan

Savory Bites: Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pan


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Hollis Wilder, the first two-time champion of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars takes the traditional sweet cupcake in a new direction, with fresh flavors and a new savory look. The trusty cupcake pan works just as well for satisfying mini meals as it does for decadent sweets. Small, uniform portions make it easier to avoid overeating, and the meals are perfect for making ahead of time and freezing for the week in single or family-size portions. Hollis provides tips for having children help with the cooking to make a more enjoyable family mealtime. With 100 exciting recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, such as Apple-Sausage Breakfast Cakes, Fig and Blue Cheese Tarts, Pumpkin Risotto, and Curried Chicken with Mango, Savory Bites proves a cupcake pan isn’t just for sweets and is sure to please any palate or budget.

Praise for Savory Bites:

“While Wilder channels her inner Julia Child with updated aspic recipes featuring roasted vegetables, other dishes are simply comfort foods in cupcake tins.” —

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617690198
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 04/09/2013
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 967,942
Product dimensions: 7.98(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Hollis Wilder is the first three-time Cupcake Wars champion and owner of the bakery SweetbyHolly, with locations in Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida. A former L.A.-based private chef, she has appeared on Food Network, the Cooking Channel, CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox News. She lives in Florida.

Read an Excerpt



Apple Sausage Breakfast Cakes Mexican Breakfast Rolls Mushroom & Potato Charlottes Topped with a Fried Egg Savory Pudding Charlottes French Toasters Spanish Tortillas Tomato Basil Charlottes Savory Apple Tarts Three-Cheese Tarts with Pear & Fig Compote Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes Wafflinis Apple Currant Spoon Breads Egg Mini Muffins Biscuits & Gravy

I ALWAYS TELL MY CHILDREN TO POWER UP IN THE MORNING! My husband pulls together breakfast for our family, but I like to help out by having some savory mini meals ready for him to reheat in the oven or bake fresh for the children come morning so that when they wake up, they have a warm, sometimes sweet, sometimes savory meal to start the day on an upbeat note.

The savory breakfast bites that follow are so convenient, you can have them ready within an hour, or even sooner if you bake them the night before and reheat them in the A.M. It beats pulling out the cereal box every morning and gives your family a chance to sit down together before dashing off in different directions. Most of the meals in this book can be prepped the day before and placed in the refrigerator, unbaked, until you are ready to bake them the following day. (I've specified if a meal should not be prepped the night before — some ingredients can get soggy!)

My children love the Apple Sausage Breakfast Cakes (this page) and the Egg Mini Muffins (this page) because they are filled with their favorite flavors. I love them because I wanted to find a simpler way to make breakfast using ingredients already in my pantry and freezer, staples that make meals better, faster, smarter, and tastier.

Many of these dishes can be eaten out of hand, so a good breakfast is still possible on the busiest of days. And you have the benefit of starting your morning with something that doesn't come from a drive-through window. These mini breakfasts are a portable feast! Don't limit these recipes to just breakfast, either. An assortment of these mini meals makes a great brunch for a large gathering of people.

Apple Sausage



OVEN: 350°F (75C) > PREP TIME: 1 hour >

BAKING TIME: 20 to 25 minutes > YIELD: 12 cakes

APPLES AND CHICKEN SAUSAGE in cornmeal cake look so elegant. This mini meal resembles pineapple upside-down cake or apple tarte tatin, but the variety of tastes and textures make it something completely different. Everyone has a favorite apple, but I suggest using Granny Smith because of its firm texture, which is retained after it cooks. As alternatives, use Pink Lady or Honeycrisp apples. The recipe for Maple-Glazed Apples makes about twice as much as you need, so you can bathe the Cornmeal and Currant Cake in as much of it as you like. I also love to use the apples as a topping for waffles or oatmeal, on toast, mixed with yogurt, or even just as a yummy dessert.

1/3 cup (75 ml) pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon brandy
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg Pinch of kosher salt
8 large Granny Smith or other favorite tart apples, peeled, cored,
and cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) dice

1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (80 g) yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup (50 g) dried currants
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) whole-milk yogurt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar
12 ounces (340 g) fully cooked chicken apple sausage, cut into
1/4-inch (6-mm) dice
4 teaspoons maple sugar or brown sugar, plus more for serving
3/4 cup (180 ml) pure maple syrup, warmed, for serving

Make AheadThis recipe can be assembled in the pan the night before, refrigerated, and then popped into the oven in the morning for a freshly baked, hassle-free breakfast.


In a 12-quart (12-L) stockpot, combine 2 cups (480 ml) of water, the maple syrup, brandy, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt, and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, then add the apples. Lower the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. The mixture should be chunky and the apples should hold their shape. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool slightly, about 20 minutes.


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and currants.

In a separate bowl, stir together the yogurt and eggs. Add the yogurt mixture and the cooled, melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a 12-well classic cupcake pan generously with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix the butter with the brown sugar. Spread the butter-sugar mixture evenly in the bottom of each well of the pan. Place 1 tablespoon of the glazed apples on top, then add a layer of sausage, distributing it evenly among the 12 wells. Mound 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the cornmeal batter in each well and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the maple sugar. Bake until cooked through and golden brown around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides of each cake with a table knife and invert the cakes onto a sheet pan. Some of the apples may stick to the pan, but they are easily removed with a small spoon. Plate the cakes individually, drizzled with warm maple syrup and garnished with more maple sugar.

Store the cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat, wrapped in tin foil, for 15 minutes at 350°F (175°C).

VARIATION For a muffinlike dish, mix 3/4 cup (170 g) of the maple-glazed apples and sausage into the batter. Pour the batter into each well of the pan, then top with 1/4 teaspoon of maple sugar. Bake at 350°F (175°C) until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the top comes out with a few moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with a dollop of maple butter: 1/4 cup (1/2 stick / 60 g) salted butter, softened, beaten with 1/4 cup (60 ml) of maple syrup.


Breakfast ROLLS

OVEN: 350°F (715C) > PREP TIME: 40 minutes

BAKING TIME: 45 minutes > YIELD: 24 rolls

MY SAVORY BREAKFAST ROLLS evolved from a childhood love of making cinnamon rolls. My mother had her own special recipe for sweet rolls, and she almost always included me in the process. She'd let me help roll the yeast dough, then sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar. I never have time to make yeast dough now, but I like how well savory ingredients rolled into dough works with the cupcake pan. At my home, this savory roll recipe is a child-friendly adventure in baking, especially since it calls for several store-bought items. Present the ingredients in individual bowls — or in the wells of an extra cupcake pan — to make layering fun and easy for your children.

1 pound (455 g) spicy pork sausage, or turkey sausage, casings removed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound (455 g) frozen hash browns
1/2 teaspoon chili powder Pinch each of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce / 430-g) package ready-made pie dough (2 rounds), at room temperature
1/4 cup (20 g) fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, or 1/4 cup (60 ml) cilantro from a tube
1 cup (225 g) refried beans
2/3 cup (150 ml) ready-made salsa
1 cup (225 g) grated pepper Jack cheese Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

VARIATIONS Filling and rolling up breakfast rolls is a great project for children. You and the children can try these filling variations or make your own signature rolls.

• SAGE BREAKFAST SAUSAGE, sautéed onion with diced apples, and cheddar

• CRISPY BACON, sautéed mushrooms and peppers, tomato sauce, and provolone

• THIN SLICES OF SERRANO HAM, pesto, mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes

• NUTELLA with a layer of your favorite granola, some raisins, and a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar

Make AheadThese rolls should not be prepared the night before and baked the next day — the liquid in the salsa will prevent the pie dough from baking correctly. They can, however, be baked the night before and reheated, wrapped in tin foil, for 15 minutes at 350°F (175°C).

Cook the sausage in a 12-inch (30-cm) nonstick skillet over medium heat, using a wooden spoon to break up the sausage, until it is well browned and crumbled, about 15 minutes. Drain the meat in a fine-mesh colander over a bowl, continuing to break up the sausage in the colander to release additional grease. Transfer to a medium bowl. Wipe the skillet out with a paper towel when cool enough to handle.

Add the oil to the skillet, then add the hash browns in an even layer. Press down firmly with a heatproof spatula, then let the potatoes cook undisturbed over medium heat until they begin to brown on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the hash browns with the chili powder and salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes longer, using the spatula to occasionally scrape the bottom of the pan and turn over the hash browns, until they are browned on all sides. Transfer to another medium bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a 12-well classic cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Unroll one of the rounds of pie dough onto a cutting board large enough to fit the entire round. Leaving a 1/2-inch (1-cm) border, sprinkle the dough with 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, or using a table knife, evenly spread the cilantro paste onto the dough. Top with half of each of the following: refried beans, browned sausage, salsa, hash browns, and grated cheese.

Roll the pie dough into a log, starting on one side and rolling tightly to keep all the filling inside. With a serrated knife, gently slice the log into six 2-inch-thick (5-cm) pieces, making sure not to lose any of the filling as you cut.

Arrange the pieces of filled dough, cut-sides up, in the wells of the pan and press down gently to fill each hole. Repeat the process with the second round of dough and remaining ingredients.

Bake until cooked through and golden brown around the edges, 35 to 45 minutes. Let the rolls cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then loosen the sides of each roll with a table knife and pop them out of the pan. These breakfast rolls can be eaten out of hand, plated with a side of guacamole, sour cream, and additional salsa, or served as a brunch alongside your favorite morning eggs and sliced fruit or a yogurt parfait. My children enjoy them as a meal with a side of beans, guacamole, and a salad of fresh corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Store the rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat, wrapped in tin foil, for 15 minutes at 350°F (175°C).



Topped with a Fried Egg

OVEN: 350°F (175C) > PREP TIME: 1 hour 25 minutes

BAKING TIME: 25 minutes > YIELD: 12 charlottes

LEGEND CLAIMS these traditional baked puddings were named for Queen Charlotte, an eighteenth-century British ruler famous for her love of apples. I love apple charlottes, too, but using savory ingredients instead of sweet is a fun way to update the traditional version. Whichever flavors you choose, it's always a surprise to see the finished creations when they come out of the oven. In this savory rendition, I used fresh shiitake, oyster, and baby bello mushrooms, but a mixture of your favorites would work equally well.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, washed, light green and white parts thinly sliced
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) dice
14 ounces (400 g) mixed fresh mushrooms, such as portobello,
shiitake, morel, porcini, oyster, baby bello, or button, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons snipped fresh Italian parsley or parsley from a tube
1 tablespoon snipped fresh tarragon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) whole milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) salted butter, softened
15 thin slices white bread, such as Pepperidge Farm's Very Thin White Bread Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small shallot, chopped
1 large clove garlic, peeled, or 1 tablespoon garlic from a tube
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
5 fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1 cup (240 ml) half-and-half
1 bay leaf Pinch of white pepper
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup (60 g) grated cheddar

12 eggs, cooked sunny-side up

Make AheadThese charlottes should not be prepared the night before and baked the next day; the bread will get soggy. The mushroom and potato hash, however, can be prepared the night before, refrigerated, and used in the assembly the next day.


In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat; add the leeks and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, using a metal spatula to turn them over when they turn golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Wipe out the skillet and melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine. Add half of the mushroom mixture to the cooled potato mixture; reserve the remaining mushrooms in the skillet. Stir the milk and eggs into the mushroom and potato mixture in the bowl.


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a 12-well classic cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Butter the bread slices on one side with the salted butter, using the entire stick. Cut 3 of the slices into quarters and place one quarter, buttered side down, in each well. Cut the 12 remaining slices in half lengthwise.

Line the sides of each well with 2 halves of bread in cross formation to form a shell. Tuck in the bread to fill the gaps between the bottom and sides of the wells. There may be small spaces where the pan shows through and the edges of the bread may peek over the top of the pan.

Divide the hash evenly among the wells. Place one of the reserved mushrooms on top of each charlotte as a garnish. Bake until cooked through and golden brown on the edges, about 25 minutes.


In the bowl of a small food processor, combine the salt, shallot, garlic, parsley, basil, and thyme; pulse until coarse. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the flour and whisk until a thick paste forms, about 2 minutes. Add the milk, half-and-half, and bay leaf and continue whisking until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved shallot and herb mixture, white pepper, sherry, Worcestershire, and cheese, whisking until smooth. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Cover and keep warm.

Let the charlottes cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then loosen the sides of each charlotte with a table knife and insert the tines of a fork between the pan and each charlotte to lift it out. Gorgeous! Just before serving, fry the eggs and reheat the reserved mushrooms; set the mushrooms aside in a serving dish. Serve the charlottes individually, with Mornay sauce spooned over each. Top each savory bite with a fried egg and serve the mushrooms alongside.




OVEN: 350°F (175C) > PREP TIME: 30 minutes

BAKING TIME: 25 to 30 minutes > YIELD: 12 charlottes

I'VE ADDED SAVORY NOTES to these puddings by incorporating vegetables — onions, asparagus, and mushrooms — instead of fruit. One thing I love about creating savory meals in a cupcake pan is it offers you a beginning and end to the meal in one perfect bundle. At that last bite, you'll be asking yourself when you can have another.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups (125 g) fresh mushrooms, any type, chopped into medium pieces
1/2 bunch thin asparagus, ends trimmed, sliced crosswise into
1/2-inch (1-cm) pieces
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1/2 stick / 60 g) salted butter
12 thin slices white bread, such as Pepperidge Farm's Very Thin White Bread
1/2 cup (50 g) grated Parmesan
2 cups (225 g) mixed grated cheese, such as any combination of provolone, Swiss, Jack, Parmesan, or Gouda
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup (240 ml) half-and-half or whole milk
3 tablespoons snipped chives

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a 10-inch (25-cm) sauté pan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté until the onions are softened and moisture has been released, about 10 minutes. Add the asparagus and sauté until bright green, about 3 minutes more. Stir in the oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper; turn off the heat.

Butter each of the bread slices on one side with the salted butter, using the entire 1/2 stick. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan onto the slices and gently press the cheese so it sticks to the butter. Line the wells of a 12-well classic cupcake pan with the slices of bread, buttered side down. Firmly press the bread into the wells and tuck in any edges that still poke up, so that when you fill the wells with the egg mixture, all of the bread will be soaked.

Top the bread in each well with 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixed cheese. Evenly distribute the vegetable mixture among the wells, and then add another heaping tablespoon of cheese. Whisk the half-and-half into the beaten eggs, then pour about 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the egg mixture into each well, pushing the bread down a bit as you go to make room. Sprinkle the tops of the charlottes with the chives.

Bake until puffed on the top and golden brown around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the charlottes cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then loosen the sides of each charlotte with a table knife and insert the tines of a fork between the pan and each charlotte to lift it out. The bottoms will be soft like pudding and the tops will be golden and crispy.


Excerpted from "Savory Bites"
by .
Copyright © 2013 Hollis Wilder.
Excerpted by permission of Abrams Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Chapter One BREAKFAST,
Chapter Two EGG & CHEESE,
Chapter Three PASTA & RICE,
Chapter Four VEGETABLES,
Chapter Five SEAFOOD,
Chapter Six POULTRY,
Chapter Seven MEAT,

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