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Next-Level Brunch Recipes to Feed Your Soul

When it comes to incredible meals, there’s no one better than our resident recipe expert and pickle connoisseur, Kim Lehr. While it might not feel fall-like in the Inland Northwest, we are still technically in fall. And honestly, I can eat apples and onions (not together!) in all seasons. So whether you’re still fully embracing fall, wishing the snow would go away, or just looking for something new and delicious to add to your brunch repertoire, keep reading below for these next-level brunch recipes!

We are currently in my favorite time of year in the PNW/INW, when cooler temperatures mean all things cozy are happening! I don’t usually want to brave the cold to go to brunch… my little family wants to stay in more often on those chilly mornings, and have something that fills our souls, and makes our little hearts happy, not just our tummies. So, in preparation for this month’s recipes, I have a serious question for you.  

Are you team sweet, or team savory? Because we are talking cozy fall brunching at home this month! Curling up to read the news, drink a nice warm cuppa, and enjoying a slow morning in your favorite PJs is always made better by some comfort brunch. This month I have two family favorite brunches that are perfect for making ahead, aren’t too complicated, and are absolutely delicious. One is a savory option, and one is a sweet…so you don’t have to choose! 

Next-Level Salted Toffee Apple Pie Rolls 

When I think of fall, I think of apples and spice. I like Pumpkin Spice (I am, after all, only human), but for me there is something totally comforting and appealing about the smell of apples and cinnamon. Maybe it’s the Wenatchee girl in me…? Or how the smell reminds me of my grandma cooking applesauce before cooling it on our front porch woodpile? Either way, these family favorites make the entire house smell dreamy and feel every so cozy. 

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I love to bake these off the evening before so I can wake up, heat them up, and really maximize the laziness. These little beauts are so wonderful to wake up to, and are absolutely AMAZING when served with warm comfy socks, your coziest jammies, and a really good cup of coffee. 


For the dough:

  • ¾ cup warm milk-heated to no more than 110°F (whole or 2% preferably)
  • 2 ¼ tsp quick rise or active yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup melted butter (I use salted butter, but to each their own!)
  • 3 cups AP flour, plus more for dusting
  • ¾ tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 7-8 apples peeled and diced small
  • 1.5 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 TBSP butter 
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • Pinch of sea salt

For the Salted Toffee:

  • Equal parts dark brown sugar and butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • Sea Salt


  1. Once milk is warmed, transfer the milk to the bowl of a stand mixer, or into a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast, sugar, egg and yolk, and melted butter. Mix well to combine, then stir in the flour and salt. Stir mixture until a dough begins to form. 
  2. Using the dough hook on the stand mixer, knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes. The dough should form into a ball easily, and will be slightly sticky. If you need a little more flour to be able to handle the dough, just add a tablespoon at a time until the dough becomes easier to handle.
  3. If you don’t have/use a stand mixer, kneading by hand is totally fine too!
  4. Transfer the dough ball into a nicely oiled/buttered large bowl, and allow to rest for 60-90 minutes or until the dough doubles in size. While the dough is rising, we can make our apple pie filling.
  5. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, and add the butter. Allow butter to melt, then add apples and cinnamon. Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring often, add flour and stir to coat the apples. Add the remainder of the ingredients, stir, and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool while we make our toffee sauce.
  6. Heat a saucepan over medium, and add equal parts butter to dark brown sugar. Whisk well to incorporate the two ingredients, and allow to come to a strong simmer for 5-7 minutes. Whisk again, and add 1 cup heavy cream. Continue simmering for another 15 minutes, then remove from heat and add sea salt to taste. I LOVE a good savory sweet moment, so I add a bit more than the average gal. I use around a teaspoon, and LOVE the Flaky Pacific Sea Salt from Spiceology
  7. Time for assembly! After your dough has doubled in size, and your prep is done, transfer your dough to a well floured surface, and roll out into a roughly 14×9 inch rectangle. 
  8. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a little space on the far side of the dough. Tightly roll the dough up from the narrow edge and place with the seam side down, making sure to seal the seam as best you can. 
  9. Trim the ends off of the roll, then slice into 1-1½”  pieces. Pour half of the slightly cooled toffee sauce into the bottom of the baking dish, and place rolls on top. Cover with plastic wrap or beeswax cloth, and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  10. Reheat the remaining toffee sauce by placing back on the stovetop over low and stirring often.  Preheat the oven to 350°, and bake rolls for about 20-30 minutes or until they’re a nice golden brown on the edges of the rolls. Pour remaining toffee sauce over the top, and allow to cool a little before serving. 

Savory Strata with Caramelized Onion, Cremini Mushroom, and Gruyère


  • 1.5 cups of caramelized onions (see tips below)
  • 1 pint Cremini or shrooms of choice. Clean, slice and saute for the last few minutes with the onions
  • 1 loaf of bread of choice, sliced sandwich style (I use Costco Country Loaves available in the bakery)
  • 1/2 lb of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 TBSP fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to season


1: Butter a casserole dish well. I used a smaller round one, but you can use any size baking dish and adjust the amount of ingredients you need accordingly.

2: Mix eggs, cream, salt and pepper, and thyme in a large bowl. Whisk really well to combine and set aside. 

3: Begin with a layer of bread in the bottom of the buttered baking dish, then a layer of the onion and mushroom mixture, then bacon, then Gruyère. Repeat until the baking dish has about a 1” headspace, ending with a cheese layer. 

4: Carefully pour the egg mixture over the top of the layers, making sure to cover evenly. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours, although I prefer to chill it overnight and bake it off in the morning. You really want to make sure to give it time to allow the bread to soak up the custard mixture. 

5: Once you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°. Bake for 30-40 minutes covered, then finish baking uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes to crisp up the top and get that cheese all melty, then allow to rest for another 10-15 before serving. 

This is a dish my mom would make every Christmas morning when we were kids, and I still make it every year! It’s super versatile and reheats beautifully from the refrigerator…and makes for a VERY cozy brunch. Happy Brunching! 

Caramelized Onions:

The key to delicious Caramelized onions is patience and time. Here are a few tips to help you nail them!

*Thinly slice the onions to help reduce cooking time. 

*Use a good quality ghee, olive or avocado oil, as using butter may result in some burning. Butter has a lower smoke point in its unrefined state.

*It takes time to develop the natural sugars in onions, so make sure to pay attention to them as they cook so as to not burn them. 

*Stir often! 

Kim Lehr

Kim Lehr is a bar/restaurant industry veteran who owns The Accompaniment Co. and is obsessed with all things pickled. Most importantly? She’s a wife and mom who wants to feed her family more healthful, wholesome, flavorful, and creative meals. Join her to share some of those meals and her small batch, local products with your family’s table.

read all of kim’s articles here.

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