Recipes for an elegant New Year's brunch

Dec 27, 2011 at 12:58 p.m. ET

Whether you have overnight guests or would like to host a New Year's meal, it’s fun to get together with loved ones over an elegant brunch.

Classic eggs Benedict

For a lot of the year, breakfast and lunch are all about convenience and speed. It's finally the holiday season when we get to relax over our festive feasts. Consider hosting an elegant brunch to bring in the New Year. It's easier than you think and just about everyone loves brunch! It's a great way to start your day and your year gathered with friends and family. These are some favorite SheKnows brunch recipes that will help you along!

Classic eggs Benedict recipe

This is a traditional and tasty dish perfect for brunch. If you prefer to serve this recipe without the Canadian bacon, simply replace it with a thick-sliced tomato round.

Serves 4


  • 4 slices Canadian bacon (or thick-sliced tomatoes for a vegetarian option)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 English muffins, split and toasted


  1. In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, fry the Canadian bacon on both sides. Set aside.
  2. Using a large saucepan, fill it with about three inches of water. Bring it to a simmer. Add the vinegar to the water. Carefully break the four eggs into the water. Cook the eggs until the whites set (about three minutes). Carefully remove the eggs with a large slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a small pan. Remove the pan from the heat before the butter browns. Using a food processor, blend the egg yolks, heavy cream, cayenne pepper and salt until everything is smooth. In a thin stream, add half the hot butter slowly. Add the lemon juice in a thin stream. Add the remaining butter the same way.
  4. Place the toasted English muffins onto a serving platter. Top each of the four halves with the Canadian bacon and then the poached egg. Drizzle the cream sauce on top, reserving a bit for the other four halves of the muffins, and serve immediately.

Kale and toasted almond quiche recipe

Seems like kale has been the "it" vegetable of the year (with good reason -- it's really good for you, versatile and delicious), and quiche is an easy dish to make. Give this quiche recipe a try to celebrate.

Serves 8


  • 1 cup whole toasted almonds
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup crunchy almond butter
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 8 eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, blanched, chopped, squeezed well to remove excess liquid
  • 4 ounces provolone slices, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom of pan with a circle of parchment paper and spray paper with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. To make the crust, grind almonds in a food processor until fine. Add flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pulse to blend. Add almond butter and 1/2 cup cream and blend until a dough comes together. Dump onto a lightly floured surface and form into a flat disk. Use a rolling pin to roll out to about a 9-inch circle.
  3. Carefully lift dough (it won't hold together like a pastry crust) and place in the bottom of the prepared pan. Use the bottom of a flat glass as well as your fingers to press dough onto sides and bottom of pan. Make sure it comes two inches up the sides.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, remaining one cup cream, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and nutmeg until well-combined. Stir in kale and pour into pan, making sure liquid does not exceed the top of the sides of the crust. Sprinkle with sliced almonds, if using.
  5. Bake one hour or until filling is set and crust is a golden brown. Filling will be a bit puffed when it comes out of the oven but will deflate upon cooling. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Remove sides of tart pan, slice and serve.

Nutty pumpkin granola recipe

This is a wonderful idea to serve at brunch because it can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container. Serve it with yogurt or warm milk for a seasonal treat.

Yield 2-1/2 cups


  • 1-1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw or slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries


  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil.
  2. Place the rolled oats, almond, walnuts, pepitas, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice into a bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla, maple syrup and cranberries to the oat mixture and stir well until thoroughly combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet, spread into an even layer and then place in the oven for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Walnut-pear coffee cake recipe

A sweet treat to serve with your coffee or tea, this delicious coffee cake is impressive, yet easy to make. Perfect for a busy day with family and friends.

Serves 8-10


  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pear, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts


  1. Combine flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt; set aside.
  2. Beat egg, yogurt, vanilla and applesauce. Blend flour combination into egg mixture. Fold in pear and two tablespoons walnuts. Pour batter into a greased 8 x 8-inch baking dish.
  3. Mix together remaining brown sugar and walnuts; sprinkle over top of cake batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

Strawberry-stuffed French toast recipe

This version of French toast is lovely for a holiday special occasion. The added cream cheese and fruits makes it festive and indulgent!

Serves 8


  • 8 slices white or wheat bread, cut 1-inch thick
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons strawberry preserves
  • 1-1/3 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries


  1. Cut each bread slice in half crosswise. With a sharp knife cut a horizontal slit in each half slice to make a pocket.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and preserves. Spread 1/16 (approximately) of the mixture inside each bread pocket. Pinch edges of bread together to hold filling.
  3. In a shallow bowl, whisk together milk, egg, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
  4. Dip filled bread slices in egg mixture to coat. Cook about six minutes or until golden brown, turning once.
  5. Top with strawberries and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Fresh cranberry pear Bellini recipe

This is an elegant drink to serve for a holiday brunch! If you prefer to make a non-alcoholic version, simply substitute sparkling white grape juice for the Prosecco.

Yields 8 glasses


  • 1 bottle Prosecco (or sparkling white grape juice for a non-alcoholic version)
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 cup pear juice
  • 1/2 pear, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries


  1. Mix juices together and pour into Champagne flutes, about 1/4 full. Top with Prosecco and garnish with fresh fruit.

So much of the holiday season involves loved ones gathering and sharing a holiday meal. Brunch is a fun and festive time for such a gathering!

More brunch recipes to try

Low-fat veggie and cheddar cheese frittata
Chocolate pancakes
Deluxe hash browns
Sausage muffins