Batter Licker

December 14, 2011

project wedding dessert bar: part 13 (jay’s secret chocolate cake)

It’s taken me awhile, but this is the second-to-last post in my Project Wedding Dessert Bar Series. Did I mention this recipe is for a surprise cake? For THE cake-to-end-all-cakes (at least in Jay’s book)?

Jay loves chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, as it was present at all his childhood birthdays and celebrations. Somehow I baked, chilled, frosted, hid, and transported it without Jay finding out, even though he tried to ruin the surprise – TWICE.

First, after driving back from a morning client meeting, he came up to our apartment to check in on me and my dessert bar baking shenanigans instead of dropping the car in the garage and going straight to work like he usually does.

Photo by Dana Hargitay of enLuce Photography

Then, when my mom and sister Cassie helped me transport the desserts to the venue a day before the wedding, he took an early lunch break – without giving me advance notice – and walked over the venue to help us unload everything. Thank goodness the cake was on a covered stand and Cassie had a jacket to throw over the top of it. While we unloaded everything else, we hid the cake on the passenger side floor of the car. When we dropped everything off in the venue director’s office, I awkwardly hesitated to leave, even though she had another bride and groom in her office. The look on my face must have indicated I was on the verge of a meltdown (I wasn’t; worst case, the surprise would be ruined, which would not be the end of the world but hopefully would be avoided); she immediately came up and gave me a concerned look and a hug. I whispered that there was one more load coming up, then ran down the hall to catch up before Jay noticed. But how would my mom and Cassie get the cake upstairs without Jay noticing?? (more…)

November 22, 2011

butternut squash cupcakes with maple-sage goat cheese frosting

My butternut squash bonanza continues! Think of this as a play on pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Except way better.

Honestly, I thought these up a year ago and never got around to making them. But they haunted me through spring and summer, and now that we’re back to peak butternut squash season, I had to make it happen.

So when last weekend’s Friendsgiving dinner got scheduled, it was a no-brainer. I knew exactly what I wanted to try.

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That’s the beauty of Friendsgiving. My friends and I officially launched the make-whatever-you-want concept last year, after decades of being told by our families that, no, we could not make butternut squash soup as an appetizer instead of Bopop’s bowl full of grapefruit tradition, and no, we could not make a cornbread, sausage and peppers stuffing instead of the rustic bread, sausage, apple and onion standard. (more…)

September 20, 2011

project wedding dessert bar: part 1 (mexican wedding cookies)

I’ve been admittedly absent lately. Important wedding decisions have been eating up my spare time. Critical questions, like whether to use aubergine or eggplant or plum linens, are getting answered. Choices, like whether to use vodka or tequila or champagne in my signature cocktail, are being made (in case you’re curious, I went with this). Methods of affixing mini floral clusters to jackets and dresses are being selected.

A pin? But then there will be a hole in the dress. A wrist corsage? But then it will be bulky and obnoxious to wear, especially while dancing. A magnet? Perhaps the best option, assuming not wearing a corsage is not an option. Technically, not wearing one is an option, but everyone else will be wearing them. So deal with it, or decide not to and save us $50. At this point, whatever.

But just as I’ve reached the “whatever, I don’t even care anymore” point in the minutia of wedding planning, it has come time to work on the part that I have most looked forward to and have more experience and confidence in making decisions about. Project Wedding Dessert Bar begins!!

In the interests of not completely abandoning this little blog and whatever readers it still retains after a two-week posting hiatus (and as a way to keep me accountable) while I continue down the road of wedding prep for the next four weeks, I’ve decided to post a series tracking my dessert bar progress. The pictures won’t be as fabulous (I don’t have time to haul everything from the kitchen to the naturally lit dining area just to obtain a “good shot” each and every time) but the commentary for each one will hopefully be worth following. And the recipes certainly will be worth making on your own, especially if you’re crazy enough to put together your own dessert bar.

And with that, I give you part one: Mexican wedding cookies. (more…)

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