Food from the Hart

Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

Tip of the Day: Sweet Centerpieces

In Tips on March 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Cookies, candy, chocolate, and fruit all make wonderful, whimsical, and delicious centerpieces.  Using edible decor is a super easy way to create a beautiful table that will take your guests by surprise.  And using dessert as a centerpiece saves time and money!  It doesn’t get better than that! Here are a few DIY suggestions, but experiment, the possibilities are endless.

Cookies and Meringues

Stack homemade or store-bought meringues, cookies, amaretti, candy, or chocolate on tiered or regular plates in the center of your table.  Too add some extra visual interest, scatter tea candles and flowers around the plates of sweets. At the end of dinner pass the plates around for your guests to enjoy.

Lollipop Flower Pots

Lollipops are fun, colorful and make great “flower” centerpieces.  Gather a metal buckets or flower pots and shove a piece of flower foam in the bottom of each. Stick the lollipops into the foam so each lollipop is a different height.  Fill in the space between the foam and the top of the pot with loose candy like jelly beans or gum drops.  *Photo Courtesy of Rachel Ray

Jars of Candy

Use the color palette of your table decor as a guide and fill apothecary jars with candy that matches.  Take it one step further and give your guests cellophane bags to fill with the wonderful confectionary treats they can take home.

Bowl of Fruit

Nothing is easier or more elegant than this.  Use a large wooden, glass or ceramic bowl and fill a single kind of fruit.  For instance, if you are having a fall brunch, use apples or pears.  For a summer garden party, try lemons or limes. * Photo Courtesy of Real Simple Magazine

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Black and White Cookies

In Recipes on February 13, 2011 at 11:53 am


Yield: About 8 cookies

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

This is a great recipe that I adapted from Gourmet Magazine.  I think they look great and taste even better!


For Cookies

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup well shaken buttermilk

½ teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

For icings

1 ½ cups confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon vanilla

1 to 2 tablespoons water

¼ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

preparation

Make cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  Stir together buttermilk, and vanilla in a cup.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well.  Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix until smooth.

Spoon ¼ cups of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet.  Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back with touched, 15-17 minutes.  Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill, about 5 minutes.

Make icings while cookies chill:

Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth.  Transfer half of the icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, ½ teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as white icing.

Ice cookies:

Turn cookies flat sides up, then spread white icing over half of each and chocolate over half.

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