This past weekend, we had some friends over for a casual brunch and play date. While Noah and I have many play dates during the week, it's nice to get together with our friends on the weekends where the dads can also be there. Since the point of getting together is for the kids to play and the adults to catch up, I like the keep the food part simple yet delicious. I don't want to be cooking while my guests are here, so I prefer to serve things that can be prepared ahead of time. And while we often just pick up bagels, here are two of my favorite brunch recipes to make when having company over.
First up are these delicious Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Scones. I originally found this recipe on Cupcakes and Cashmere and they have easily become one of my favorite sweet treats! I have to admit, that before I made them, the idea of making my own scones scared me a little. Kind of like how I'm nervous to make my own crepes or custard. I did have to buy a pastry cutter, but once I did, these are super simple to make! My friend's husband had no clue he was even eating a scone... he thought it was just a "super delicious cookie" :)
Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Scones
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
1 ½ - 2 cup heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
⅓ cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
Next add 1 ½ cups of heavy cream. Fold everything together being careful not to overwork the dough. If it’s not quite sticking together, add a little more cream. Fold in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
Form 12 medium sized mounds out of the dough. Arrange them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for 16-20 minutes, or until the top just barely turned golden brown. Mine were perfect after 17 minutes.
Now that you have that sweet part taken care of, it's time to make something savory. I am a huge fan of this Egg and Sausage Breakfast Casserole. A friend of mine gave me the recipe a while ago and it's definitely my favorite go to brunch recipe. I love it because it's super easy to prepare, with minimal prep that you can do the night before. This past weekend, I decided to halve the recipe (using a smaller square casserole dish), since there would only be 4 of us eating it. It was such a hit that we ate the entire thing!
Egg and Sausage Breakfast Casserole
6 slices of white bread
Butter for spreading, it will be easier if softened
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb breakfast sausage
7 eggs (beaten well)
1-1 1/2 cup of milk
Grease a 13x9x2 pan with cooking spray. Butter both sides of the bread, stack and cut into 12 squares per slice. Add the bread to the greased pan. Take the sausage out of its casing and crumble on top of the bread. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top next. Mix the eggs and the milk in a separate bowl and then pour the mixture over the pan evenly. You want to cover the bread completely, so this determines how much milk you will use.
Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 3-6 hours. I like to make the night before and bake right before serving. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. I prefer to bake it for the first 30 minutes covered in aluminum foil and finish the last 10 minutes uncovered.
While we enjoyed the casserole and the scones, I made some pancakes (from a mix) for the kids. I recently discovered Krusteaz pancake mix when a friend made some for Noah and me. Noah gobbled them up (on two separate occasions) so I knew I had to get some of our own! While I linked to Amazon, they carry it at Costco and it's WAY cheaper!!! And while I worried that Noah might not like them as much at our own house, I was thrilled to see Noah eat 3 entire pancakes this weekend :) The rest of the time, the kids happily played. They played grocery store (where Noah bought Chase), made pizza, and went down the roller coaster.
What is your favorite brunch recipe?
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I'm linking up with some of my dear friends today for "Foodie for a Year".