Need dessert idea - with specific criteria
Okay, I am making dessert for a baby shower at work, but it needs to be made ahead and needs to travel well. So I decided to do a cookie platter. So far I have the amazing ginger cookies that I found on here, but is from Epicurious, and chocolate/hazelnut/espresso biscotti. I saw the toffee brownie bites recipe on Chowhound and thought it looked fantastic, but I'm worried it's too much chocolate. Perhaps a lemon bar would be better, to round out the platter?
Any suggestions for a third cookie of some sort, along with recipe, would be very much appreciated.
Thanks so much!
I recommend the "spoon cookies" from epicurious. (i don't know how to link but you can just go to epicurious and search for spoon cookies.) They're brown butter cookies sandwiched with jam. They are perfect for make ahead since they need to be made at least two days before eating.
If you make these, two pieces of advice:
add about a tbls of water to the dough--it makes it easier to handle.
also, if you don't want to, don't bother with the spoon shape. just roll them into little balls. they will flatten as they bake.
another suggestion is pecan-cranberry tassies--like the jam tarts mentioned above but filled with a pecan cranberry mixture. In fact, tassies are like little pies and the varieties can be endless--fill with fruit, jam, nuts, etc. as for the crust--it's usually 3 oz of cream cheese that you mix with a stick of softened butter, a cup of flour and sugar and salt. You can do it in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Also, you can press the dough into the mini muffin tins if you don't want to roll them out. flatten into a circle with your palm first and then press in.
Here is a favorite, from the back of a Domino Sugar box long ago: (I'll list ingredients, if interested, post request for paraphrased recipe.)
California Gold Bars
About 10 ounces dried apricots, chopped, softened in water
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
It makes moist apricot bars, to be cut and rolled in powdered sugar. I suppose any dried fruit could be substituted. They're good!
Sure, ScarletB-- First soak the (cut up small, raisin size) pieces of apricot about 15 minutes to soften. Drain well. Heat oven to 350 degrees, and grease 2 pans, 9x9x2.
With electric mixer, beat eggs until light, adding sugar and salt gradually, keep beating until very light colored and foamy. Stir in the orange rind.
Sift the flour and baking powder and nutmeg together, stir into the egg mixture, stir in the apricots and nuts.
Spread batter into the greased pans. Bake 30 minutes. When still a bit warm, cut into 1 1/2 by 3 inch bars and roll in powdered sugar. (Ingredient list is a few posts before this one, titled "California Gold Bars")
White chocolate brownies - I make them as a foil for a lot of other chocolate desserts. It's melted white chocolate instead of regular chocolate. They're buttery and chewy and wonderful:
White Chocolate Brownies
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 oz. good quality white chocolate (such as Lindt)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 325° F. Lightly grease an 11 x 7 inch baking pan with butter or vegetable oil.
Melt the butter in the top of a double boiler placed over simmering water. When the butter has melted, add the white chocolate and melt.
Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the eggs and salt in a medium mixing bowl until frothy, about 20 seconds. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the eggs are thick and pale, about 1 1⁄2 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add the white chocolate and butter mixture and the vanilla and mix on medium-low speed until blended, about 5 seconds. Scrape the bowl.
Mix in the flour on low speed until blended, scraping the bowl with the rubber spatula once during blending. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool on a rack for one hour before cutting.
from Rosie's All-Butter Fresh Cream Sugar-Packed Baking Book
(I love this cookbook, by the way)
I kind of always feel like you need something that is chocolatey but without nuts when you do a tray like this. It seems to me that a lot of the chocolate lovers in my life don't really go for nuts, so I don't think it would be too much chocolate if you did two. But, I do love those toffee brownie bites!
This cookie recipe sounds like it would be similar in flavor to those jammies, and it always wins top cookie on my cookie trays, no matter what else I make! I use whatever shape I feel like as long as it's not too intricate and I use regular granulated sugar. You could use whatever jam/ curd you wanted to. http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht... Chill them on the cookie sheet before baking and it will help any spread issues.
I did miniature apple pies at my wedding reception and they were actually pretty easy if you wanted to go the pie/ tart route. I used a cookie cutter shaped like a maple leaf to make the top crust, but you could use something baby-themed.
Also, what I did for my best friend's baby shower was make chocolate cupcakes frosted with chocolate icing. Then, I took one of those small baby bootie molds and made white chocolates to sit on top of the cupcakes. Maybe you could make some kind of a lemon cupcake with raspberry filling and a white chocolate icing, and then put candied flowers on top? I don't know... just thinking out loud here!
Whoa those lollipop truffles are cute. However, this shower is for work and will have about 25 people in attendance, so I'm going for something easy for a crowd. Next time though!
For the jammies, is that 13 oz cream cheese? And in the instructions, is that blend in the cuisinart until...what? Like dough when it starts clumping with sand texture?
Hmmm, I like the jammies with lemon curd idea, or some with lemon curd and some with jam and streusel topping.
I was hoping for a third item to balance out the tray - something contrasting in taste, color and maybe even shape.
Those are a definite possibility. Thanks!!!
What I call "Jammies" they go rather quickly and easy to make.
1 3 oz cream cheese
1⁄2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup flour
1⁄4 cup fine sugar
Pastry – Blend in the cuisnart until cream cheese, and butter stir in the flour. Chill 1 the dough for at least an hour. Remove from the fridge and working with a floured board, for the dough into 24 1 inch balls. Roll out the balls into circles and press into the smallest muffin cups (ungreased). Press dough into the bottom and up the sides of the cups.
Fill the cups with jam, or fruit conserve.
Raspberry/Apricot and Cherry
These can also made into tiny fruit pies with lattice and sugared tops
Blueberry and coat with melted apricot jam and for gloss, and sugared with large grain sugars
re: chef chicklet
Like the mini-pie idea though they do sound time-consuming. But for a shower with its high cuteness factor, these might steal the show.
I can just see the mini pies with lattice or streusel tops, finely dusted with powdered sugar; bite-sized cuteness on a tray! Blueberry, strawberry and kiwi. Or lemon curd. Or lime curd. Or lingonberry. Or raspberry....
These lollipop truffles sound easy, too--might make cute favors. Video shows how: