Sunday, October 31, 2010

Harvest Party

Here are some pictures from a mother-daugther harvest party I hosted over the weekend.

This was a little idea I had as an alternative to a candy buffet- Make your own trailmix!
These pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting were so yummy! Perfect for fall!

See those cute little treat boxes? I got those at Walmart for only a few dollars in their party section and decorated them with some fun scrapbooking papers.

The caramel apples- we planned on making these ourselves, but that ended up being a disaster...thank goodness we found some at the store a few minutes away!

I used mason jars throughout the party decor. I love the vintage feel they add- and they are inexpensive too, which is always a bonus. : )
We gathered some fun fall scrapbooking materials and made easy mother-daughter memory books out of 12x12 scrapbook sheets.
Best Rolled Sugar Cookies is the perfect name for these melt-in-your-mouth treats. I've been making these for a few years now, and people rave every time!
I found this idea for little placecards online just a day or two befor the party- I'm so glad I did. We used the tags inside to write something we were thankful for, then pinned them to a string of twine with mini clothespins from Hobby Lobby.

I always love the paper party goods at Hobby Lobby. If you have a chance, go to a Hobby Lobby near you- their Fall and Christmas products are on sale big time. That place is dangerous for me...These beautiful napkins were the perfect addition to our party decor.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Harvest Party

This Fall Harvest Party was featured on Kara's Party Ideas today.
All I have to say is beautiful. Go check out the rest of the party- I love all the intricate details and gorgeous colors. I think I will be snatching some of these ideas for my harvest party on Saturday. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sneak Peek

Coming soon: Harvest Party pics!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I made another cookie recipe today to celebrate Cookie Month. A reader sent me this lovely recipe. If you are a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie fan, I highly recommend these- they are much healthier, you can make them yourself, and they are just as yummy - if not yummier - than the boxed kind.
Girl Scout Thin Mints

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup milk (any kind)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt.In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer on low speed, add in the milk and the extracts. Mixture will look curdled. Gradually, add in the flour mixture until fully incorporated.Shape dough into two logs, about 1 1/2 inches (or about 4 cm) in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1-2 hours, until dough is very firm.Preheat oven to 375F.Slice dough into rounds not more than 1/4 inch thick - if they are too thick, they will not be as crisp - and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies will not spread very much, so you can put them quite close together.Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Coating
10-oz dark or semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Melt on high power in the microwave, stirring every 45-60 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Chocolate should have a consistency somewhere between chocolate syrup and fudge for a thin coating.Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, turn with a fork to coat, then transfer to a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to set up for at least 30 minutes, or until chocolate is cool and firm.Reheat chocolate as needed to keep it smooth and easy to dip into.

Makes 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.
Have a great Thursday!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies

Image from Rose's Recipes

This week I decided to make the following recipe in celebration of Cookie Month. They were very yummy! Unfortunately, they got snatched up so quickly that I didn't get a chance to take any pictures...but oh, well- I'm glad that everyone enjoyed them!

P.S. I took out the nutmeg - that didn't sound quite right - and they were still delicious!

Bon App├ętit
January 2007
Dorie Greenspan

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Frosting and ganache

1 cup chunky peanut butter (do not use natural or old-fashioned)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used a dash of cinnamon instead)
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

For brownies:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Line 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving long overhang; butter foil.

Place 3/4 cup butter in heavy large saucepan. Add both chocolates; stir over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in sugar, vanilla, and salt, then eggs, 1 at a time. Fold in flour, then nuts. Spread in prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Place pan on rack; cool.

For frosting and ganache:

Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter and 1/4 cup butter in medium bowl to blend. Beat in powdered sugar, salt, and nutmeg, then milk and vanilla. Spread frosting over brownies.

Stir chocolate and 1/4 cup butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Drop ganache all over frosting; spread to cover. Chill until set, about 1 1/2 hours. Do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

Using foil as aid, transfer brownie cake to work surface; cut into squares. Bring to room temperature; serve.