I’m a big fan of brunch as one of the most fun times to invite friends over for a meal. It always feels way more laid-back than a dinner party, and everyone arrives feeling relaxed and happy after sleeping in that morning. For the first post in our series with Blue Diamond Almonds, I decided to organize a Waffle Bar Brunch for a few pals, complete with lots and lots of coffee and all the toppings we’d need to make our own indulgent creations. Since there’s really no “cooking” involved, this is a party that anyone can feel comfortable hosting… and prep time is less than an hour. Click through for all the decadent details on throwing your own Waffle Bar bash!
photos by Kate Zimmerman.
*this post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds – thanks for supporting our partners!
First things first: you’ve got to have great waffles as your base. I made two kinds that guests could choose from: a plain whole-wheat, and an orange-cinnamon-almond waffle (the clear winner.) Waffles are one of those things that I don’t usually make from scratch — there are some mixes out there that are just too good! My advice is to pickup a high-quality mix, and make two batches in two separate bowls. Leave one bowl as-is for your plain waffles, and then for the other batch…
Fold in the ingredients of your choice for the doctored up version! I decided to go with an orange-cinnamon-almond waffle, and folded in the zest and juice of one orange, along with a handful of roughly chopped Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Cinnamon Almonds. It was such an easy way to make the waffles feel really special!
This party concept is perfect for entertaining since guests can adapt their waffle toppings to their own dietary preferences. My waffle iron makes really big waffles, so I planned for one waffle per person, and it was plenty. This model makes 2 waffles at a time (it flips over and opens up on the other side), but if you have a really big group, you might want to borrow a waffle iron from a friend so you can make multiples at once.
Since waffles are best served hot off the iron, I manned the waffle station, then brought each waffle out as it was ready and let the girls go crazy with toppings.
My biggest tip for making this party easy breezy? Prep your ingredients in advance! If you dish out all your toppings into their serving pieces the night before, just stash them in the fridge and it’ll make your prep time the next morning nearly nada. Here’s are the toppings I set out for the ultimate waffle bar:
- almond butter
- cherry & blueberry jam
- fresh blueberries & blackberries
- coconut flakes
- maple syrup
- raspberry sauce
- whipped cream
- fresh mint
- Blue Diamond Almonds (toasted coconut & oven-roasted sea salt)
Kelly designs her tropical-inspired treat with lots of berries, coconut flakes, and a handful of totally addictive Toasted Coconut Blue Diamond Almonds.
The quickest way to make this raspberry “sauce”? In a bowl, combine a pint of fresh raspberries with a teaspoon of sugar, then use a fork to mash it up to a chunky paste. Done!
The great thing about this waffle “recipe” is that you can create your own waffle flavor by folding in whatever ingredients you happen to love. Instead of using orange zest and cinnamon almonds like I did, here are a few other great combos using my favorite Blue Diamond Almond flavors to get your creative juices flowing:
- oven roasted sea salt almonds with banana slices
- blueberry almonds with coconut flakes
- mocha almonds with chocolate chips
In case you were wondering, real maple syrup is the only option here. Adam is always trying to convince me to buy those big “fake” bottles of syrup when I go to the grocery (maybe it reminds him of when he was a kid?), but I refuse to give in — there is nothing like the complex sweetness of real maple!
I set our table in fresh shades of blue, pink, white, and red. The basic white plates are from Crate & Barrel, striped runner and flatware is from Anthropologie, and those gorgeous floral napkins are by Pehr Designs. I used mismatched jam jars for serving all the toppings, and placed small bunches of lilies, snapdragons and freesia in more jars around the table.
I kept drinks simple with coffee and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.
How fun would it be to kickoff the July 4th weekend with a patriotic brunch? Bowls of fresh berries with whipped cream are all you need to deck out your table in the colors of Old Glory, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the long holiday weekend than with good friends and endless waffles!