By Katie Jacobs
The celebrations surrounding a wedding are memorable occasions that not only honor the bride and groom, but also praise loved ones the couple holds dear. Bridal showers are the perfect opportunity to up the girly factor and choosing a theme is imperative. A bridal brunch or afternoon tea is a perfect get- together for ladies to socialize and shower the bride with love and gifts.
Brunch is an especially easy affair to pull off. Putting together a menu of brunch favorites like scones, waffles and donuts is fun. Guests are usually available and happy to attend an event in the late morning and they won’t arrive starved (like if you were having lunch).
When my cousin Julianna got married, we threw her a bakery-themed bridesmaids’ brunch decorated with hot pink bakery boxes and garden roses. Because the brunch was limited to bridesmaids (twelve guests total), we were able to do over-the-top invitations: hand delivered tiny bakery boxes filled with cupcakes and mini macaroons with the brunch invitations attached. A little taste of what was to come!
For the party, we decorated a long farm table with pink bakery boxes, vintage cake stands and hot pink garden roses. Height and drama was added with two 36”white balloons anchored by satin ribbon. The cake stands were adorned with brunch favorites - a huge tower of waffles, homemade biscuits with jam, and a big stack of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
Brunch consisted of ham and cheese croissants, mini frittatas and fruit-and-granola parfaits served in pink depression glass. Guests enjoyed homemade cranberry-orange and cheddar-dill scones with mimosas, tea and coffee as they arrived. We used the bakery boxes that had been used as decorations to pack up the left over baked goods to send home with guests as favors.
CHEDDAR DILL SCONES
4 cups, plus 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour 2 Tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
3/4-pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup heavy cream
1/2-pound extra-sharp yellow Cheddar, small-diced
1 cup minced fresh dill
1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water or milk, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 400 ̊F. Combine 4 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and heavy cream together. Add it all at once to the flour-and-butter mixture and mix until just combined. Toss together the cheese, dill, and 1 Tablespoon of flour and add them to the dough. Mix until they are almost incorporated. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it for 1 minute, until the Cheddar and dill are well distributed. Roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. Cut into 4-inch squares and then in half diagonally to make triangles. Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outside is crusty and the inside is fully baked. Makes 16 large scones.
HAM AND SWISS CROISSANTS WITH POPPY SEED MUSTARD
3/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 1/2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
1 pound thinly sliced deli ham
1 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 350 ̊F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of butter, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Slice the croissants, separating the tops from the bottoms. Layer ham onto the bottom of croissants. Arrange the Swiss cheese over the ham. Slather the slice-side of each top with mustard sauce and place the tops of the croissants onto the sandwiches and place onto the baking sheet (the croissant sandwiches can be put close together on the baking sheet, even touching). Pour the remaining melted butter evenly over each croissant and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake in the preheated oven until the croissants are browned and the cheese has melted, 10 to 12 minutes. If tops start to get too brown, cover with aluminum foil. Serve warm or at room temperature.