It was my friend's birthday last weekend and I gladly put myself in charge of (you guessed it) desserts... Around the same time I was informed by another friend that "stressed" was desserts spelled backwards. How fitting for my predicament... In charge of impressive desserts for 30 people. This is when the tightening of the stomach and chest sets in, and day horrors of people's faces contorted with disgust of having just bitten into one of my cookies begins to distract my otherwise pleasant days. I thought to make sure they were delicious over impressive, and both if I was lucky.
It wasn't a formal sit-down dinner, mostly canapes and drinks, so luckily I could opt to make simple desserts that were friendly to the milling-around-socializing crowd unable to sit down for a breather. I.e. Easily-put-in-mouth, delicious, finger food.
It begins with these subtly sweet chocolate on chocolate hazelnut cookies, and ends with another treat for which I really can't (although wish I could) take credit.
Chocolate on Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick of chocolate (100g), dark 70% chocolate, chopped into chunks
handful of hazelnuts, roughly chopped (you don't want finely chopped, better in chunks or halves)
Preheat oven to 375F/180C, and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
In a bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy (ideally with an electric mixer or stand mixer). Add the white and brown sugars and continue to beat until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, continuing to beat allowing air to get into the batter to make it extra fluffy. Finally add the vanilla.
In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine dry ingredients with wet and mix until well incorporated. Then add chocolate chunks and hazelnut chunks, and mix into batter.
Lastly, spoon out large tablespoon scoops of the batter onto the baking trays, allowing some space because these cookies will spread out when baking in the oven. Bake for 10-12mins, then allow to cool. Makes about 30, good sized cookies.
Next the Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes...
|My cupcake stand of deliciousness|
The following cupcakes will leave you utterly giddy. They hail from the shores of New York City - Magnolia Bakery to be exact (see blog on Magnolia Bakery) - and have even found their way into Sex and the City TV episodes. The celebrity of cupcakes, this Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe is a MUST to try in any kitchen.
Follow the link below....
For decoration, I bought some local flowers and cut just the flowers off to place on the cupcakes after they were frosted. Edible flowers are ideal, but any flower will do. Just be sure to warn your guests about the inedible flowers!
|Don't mind if I do...|