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Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Sweater-Inspired Kits

It has been a mere four days since we celebrated Thanksgiving and already I see Christmas and Chanukah decorations all over New York City. Yes, it is that time of the year and it is time to start thinking about how we will be decorating for the holidays! Melangerie NYC sent me this awesome (and very affordable) do-it-yourself holiday sweater-inspired party decoration kit that is perfect for an intimate holiday party. It is a pdf file so purchasers will have to print, cut, and assemble the decorations. But have no fear, we've checked out the kit and even the novice diy'er can easily put this together. For just $10, the kit includes a PDF file for invitations, a garland, centerpieces, cupcake towers, placemats, gift wrap and much more. See the whole collection at their Etsy shop here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm cooking and baking with my family today, but wanted to stop for a second and wish all my wonderful readers a very Happy Thanksgiving. My house is filled with laughter from lots of kids running around (the cousins are here entertaining my kids - whew!), and I am reminded how thankful I am. I am thankful for my family, great friends, health, and for all of you who support me. I wish you a wonderful and festive holiday!

Photograph from our Thanksgiving Buffet by Allan Zepeda for Mel Barlow Photography.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Burnt Butter Pumpkin Pound Cakes

We had many inquiries about the burnt butter pound cakes that we created for our Thanksgiving dessert buffet. We used one of the last recipes from the wonderful Gourmet Magazine. It is a good old fashioned pound cake recipe, and we spiced it up by baking them in mini pumpkin pans and adding tinted vanilla glaze.

* 2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
* 2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle. Butter and lightly flour these mini pumpkin pans.

Heat butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until milk solids on bottom are a dark chocolate brown. Transfer to a shallow bowl and chill in freezer until just congealed, about 15 minutes.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Beat together brown butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just incorporated.

Transfer batter to mini pumpkin pan, smoothing top, then rap pan on counter to settle batter. Bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 45 minutes - 1 hour. Cool in pan 30 minutes, then invert cake onto a rack and cool completely, right side up, 1 hour.

When completely cool, place two pumpkin halves together to create one pumpkin.

2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. butter, melted
3-4 tbsp. milk or heavy cream

In bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, butter and milk until mixture has the consistency of a glaze. Tint with orange and green food gel. Pour glaze over mini pumpkins.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More Pictures of our Thanksgiving Dessert Buffet

It seems like everyone enjoyed our Thanksgiving post so I'm including some more pictures! I hope this gives you some inspiration as you head into the kitchen for Thanksgiving!

Our cute pilgrim hats!

Corn-husk cookies

Burnt Butter Pumpkin Pound Cakes

Mini Mayflower Boats with Corn Candies

Chocolate Leaves

Acorn cookies, Pumpkin Figs, and Apple Cider with Cinnamon Sticks

Leaf Cookies

Leaf Crust on our Marshmallow Sweet Potato Pie

Caramel and Sugar-dipped Seckel Pears

More Mayflower Boats with Jelly Beans

More Pilgrim Cupcakes

Our Adorable Turkey Cookies - we love these guys!

Lots of Treats!

Apple Basket and Scarecrow Cookies

Another Pic of our Turkey Cookies

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving Dessert Buffet

Thanksgiving is hands-down my favorite holiday. Growing up, Thanksgiving was the big holiday in our house and it still is to this day. There is something about the holiday that makes me giddy with excitement. Time stands still on Thanksgiving weekend and my family and I eat, talk, eat, talk, and eat and talk some more well into the night! For me, the holiday evokes memories of marshmallows bubbling on sweet potatoes, my mom’s amazing onion & mushroom stuffing, and of course our delicious turkey in the oven. My mom used to start prepping our turkey on Thanksgiving Eve, and my brother and I would awake to the aroma of gravy simmering on the stove. This year, I am hosting Thanksgiving and am having my whole family over for Thanksgiving in my home. I have so much to be thankful for and will relish every moment during this holiday.

Since Thanksgiving is this week, we decided to mock up a dessert buffet with lots of Thanksgiving goodies that you can create at home for your own Thanksgiving holiday. Some highlights are mini mayflower boats filled with candy, pilgrim hat cupcakes, turkey window favor bags, and apple cider with cinnamon sticks. We hope you enjoy it!

Photography by Allan Zepeda for Mel Barlow Photography.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ticings Edible Icing Sheets

Mia from Ticings sent me over these edible icing sheets last week and they are fantastic. Ticings are edible icing sheets with modern designs that can dress up any cake, cupcake, cookie, or brownie. Amateur bakers can create beautiful desserts by simply peeling and pressing the edible icing sheets on their frosted dessert of choice. Ticings has a range of designs, including designs that are perfect for a wedding cake (like the wedding cake above) to kid-friendly circus cupcake designs. You can even send Ticings an image and they can create a custom edible icing sheet for you. This product is an easy and inexpensive way to give your homemade desserts a quick makeover.

Friday, November 13, 2009

More Pictures of our Pink and Yellow Diamond Dessert Table

Mel Barlow captured our pink and yellow eye candy so beautifully that we couldn't resist sharing some more pictures with you. We hope this color palette leaves you in a bright and cheery mood for the weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pink and Yellow Diamond Dessert Table

A few weeks ago, I posted about a pink project that we were working on at Amy Atlas Events. We were lucky enough to have the uber-talented Mel Barlow capture some of the details! Wedding blog guru Abby of Style Me Pretty featured the table on her blog this morning.

The design of the dessert table was a geometric diamond motif, and was largely inspired by a rug pattern. I always say that you can take your inspiration from anywhere! We thought that bold colors like bright pink and yellow would complement the pattern.

For desserts, we created mini cherry ice cream cupcakes with EDIBLE pink chocolate cupcake wrappers, which you may have seen us making here. These completely edible mini cupcakes are ideal for parties since guests can eat the whole cupcake without having to worry about throwing away a wrapper. I will share this recipe with you soon. We also made a diamond-shaped stained-glass cookie garland - - we're slightly infatuated with stained-glass cookies at the moment! The light shone through and illuminated the cookie garland, which was nothing short of awesome! We also made a fondant cake with the diamond pattern, raspberry-lemon panna cotta, and cake-filled truffles covered with pink and yellow sprinkles. I hope you enjoy the pictures!
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