Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bridal Shower "L" Cookies

 lemon butter cookies

For the bridal shower I also made scalloped circle cookies with a cursive "L" on them for the bride-to-be. I used a lemon butter cookie recipe from a "Southern Living" magazine my co-worker reads.  She saw these really cute valentine cookies in the magazine (a while ago) and brought the magazine in for me because she immediately thought of me when she saw them. It was really sweet of I just had to try out the recipe and give her some.  Now I've saved the recipe and use it when I want to change things up from my usual shortbread cookie recipe. I thought these would be perfect for the bridal shower because they'd go with the lemon cupcakes.

Since the shower colors were green and white, I colored most of the royal icing green and left a little white for the letters and decorative dots.  I piped green circles about 1/4" from the edge of the cookie to create a dam for the green base. Once the dams set, I filled it with the green icing. While those were drying I worked on piping the "L" letters. I used the same technique as the spring flower cookies and created a template (trying my best to make a nice cursive "L"), cut out 1.5" squares of wax paper piped the "L" onto them with the template showing through under the wax paper. This helped me make them more uniform. Once the green base and the "L" letters dried, I used a little white icing to place the "L" letters onto each cookie. Then to add that extra decorative touch, I piped little dots around the green base. 

I loved the look of these simple, yet elegant.   

Lemon Butter Cookie Recipe:

1c          butter, softened
1 tsp.     lemon zest
1c          powdered sugar
2c          all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp.  salt

Preheat oven to 325F. Beat butter and zest until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beat well. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter and sugar mixture, beating until blended. Shape dough into a disc. Roll dough to 1/8" thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter(s); place 1/2" apart on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Cool on racks and decorate!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lemon Cupcakes

lemon cupcakes

A couple of weeks ago my friend asked me to make desserts for a bridal shower she was throwing for her sister. It was my first "catering job"...not counting my family's parties that are like a catering job in itself with 50+ people!

She was really open to whatever I felt like making but did request the chocolate mint macarons I make. I originally thought to make the ombre cake (like the one I made for fourth of July but with shades of green and white) but decided on cupcakes instead. This way she wouldn't have to bother with cutting and serving the cake.

The shower colors were green and white, so I found green cupcake liners and kept it simple with white buttercream frosting.  I found this super simple lemon cupcake recipe that I used...tried it out the week before the shower and it was husband approved. For the vanilla buttercream frosting I used an Ateco 866 tip. I bought this tip a while ago and have been wanting to try it out for some time now.  I honestly don't make cupcakes much and took the opportunity to try this tip out...and I loved it!  They look like little flowers on the top of the cupcake.  You just pipe the buttercream holding the tip just above the center of the cupcake and let the buttercream push out of the tip onto the cupcake.  Then you tap the bottom of the cupcake on the counter or the palm of your hand to get the buttercream to spread out more. The only difficult part it getting the buttercream to pipe out even so the middle is nice and centered onto the cupcake. At the decorate shop I found clear plastic cupcake containers just like you would find at the store. They were perfect for my first catering 'professional'...well, I try. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Panna Cotta with Berries

panna cotta shots

I found (well actually my husband spotted them) the cutest little shot glasses at Crate & Barrel and I just couldn't wait to use them. My family came over for dinner a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd take the opportunity to use these for a nice little dessert.  My mom is not huge on dessert...she just needs a couple of bites of something mildly sweet and she's good...but I know she loves berries.  I found some lovely berries at a fruit stand by our house and decided I'd make panna cotta with berries.  I've been eyeing this panna cotta recipe from Ina Garten for a while and thought this would be a perfect dessert. I ended up using low fat plain yogurt verses whole-milk yogurt and forgot to buy the vanilla beans but overall it was pretty good. 

Next time I'll definitely follow the recipe exactly and see how it makes a difference.  I also just sprinkled some sugar on the strawberries to sweeten them up and create a little glaze for the berries.  I topped the panna cotta with a marionberry, sliced strawberries and blueberries. I loved the look of this dessert and found it's perfect when all you want is a few bites of something creamy and midly sweet.