I propose that ‘high coffee’ be the new ‘high tea.’ On new year’s day, my parents treated my hubby, sister, and me to a lovely high tea. Full of delightful pastries, finger sammies, and fancy teas, it was a luxurious and decadent way to ring in the new year. Honestly, I was slightly hungover and as much as I love tea, I could have really used a huge cup of coffee to help perk me up. That’s when D proposed that ‘high coffee’ should be a thing. And I couldn’t agree more.
So we decided to host a ‘High Coffee’ at our place for some good friends and put out a massive spread. I admit I went a little overboard. The great thing about hosting a high coffee/tea/brunch is that you can totally do a combo of store-bought and homemade treats and keep it low effort/cost and stress-free. It’s generally more relaxing to have brunch at home where instead of trying to flag down a waiter for coffee refills, you can just keep the caffeine and mimosas flowing. And at our place, we always serve mimosas for brunch. Why? Because brunch is great and all, but mimosas make it a better brunch.
Also, if my guests are gluten-eaters, I tend to do more gluten-y items than gluten-free. I just adapt whatever I’m serving to suit my own dietary restrictions. So I just made gluten versions of the chive cream cheese/cucumber/chicken open-face sammies by swapping the bread for a gluten-free rice tortilla. Same for the smoked salmon cream cheese Montreal bagel. Also, swapped cream cheese for dairy-free Tofutti version. Easy pea-sy dairy-free cream cheese-y.
I also try to get as much of the prep done the day before. So, plan plan plan. Prep the veggies, condiments, fruit platters, set the table, and have a list of what you need to do the day of. This makes it a breeze to put together and allows you the time and energy to actually relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour. These muffins were baked a day ahead and so were the mini potato crusted quiches we served. So next time you’re thinking of hosting a brunch, try delightful finger sammies, and sweet bite-sized treats. And try these tasty chocolate pear muffins that are healthy and will help minimize the chances of getting a muffin top.
‘High Coffee’ spread. Did I mention this is for only 4 people? I say ‘Let them eat cake (and muffins)!’
Chocolate Pear Muffins
- 2 cups bob’s red mill GF all purpose baking flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tsp xanthum gum
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup coconut oil (melted or canola oil)
- 2/3 cup agave nectar
- 2/3 cup unsweetened soy or rice milk
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pears cut into 1/2” cubes
- ½ dark cup chocolate chips (gluten free, vegan)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthum gum, and salt. Add the oil, agave, milk, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until batter is smooth. Add the pears and chocolate chunks and stir to combine.
- Pour 1/3 cup batter into each muffin tin cup. Bake on the center rack for 22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The muffins are done when a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean.
- Let muffins stand for 15 minutes in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or refrigerate for up to 1 week.