Friday, February 25, 2011

Bachelorette Lingerie Party!

My good friend Dani is getting married this weekend. MARRIED! Dani graduated from the UGA dance department last year, and I can't believe she is about to become a wife! I am so excited to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, and to be a part of all the wedding festivities... especially the bachelorette party! I decided some festive cookies were in order for the lingerie shower/bachelorette party!
Like all great things, these cookies start with tons of butter. What goes better with butter than almond and vanilla extract? I let my dough chill overnight then rolled out smooth... and cut tons of hearts to bake up! But these little guy's weren't going to stay hearts for long... they had another thing coming! I whipped up some royal icing, flipped the hearts upside-down and piped the outline of lingerie on them! Then I thinned out the remainder of the royal icing and added some dye And filled two baggies fitted with small round piping tips with the colored frosting. Fill in the dried outline (royal icing doesn't take too long to dry and harden, mine was finished in about the amount of time it took me to color the rest of the icing) It may need some nudging into place with a toothpick, but don't overfill the outline with the flooding frosting, or it may do just that, flood all over your counter! (I may or may not be speaking from experience... :) Then I added some polka dots to some of the sets (do this while the base color is still wet to get the smooth effect! I sprinkled some of the still wet outlines with colored sugar before filling in the center to get the sparkly effect on these! Then I just outlined some of the hearts and made swirly hearts inside by dragging a toothpick through wet polka-dots of contrasting color! (ignore the poor photography, by this time it had become dark outside and I didn't even notice!)I laid all of the cookies out to dry overnight, our house looked like a Victoria's Secret catalog exploded! The icing hardened up beautifully overnight and they were ready to be packed up and taken to the party! A few more closeups before being packed in layers! Ready for the party! My little bride to be, and all the guests, loved them! Congrats Jim and Dani!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Big Little!

So since I am always so busy with school, rehearsals, and work in my last semester, I rarely have time to do anything with my sorority anymore! But when one of my favorite dancers joined DG this semester, I knew she had to be my little sister! Since Kristin and I are both dance majors, it worked out great for me to take her because we see each other more than anyone else in the sorority sees either of us! So for the reveal this past week, I put together some gifts to welcome her to DG and decided to make some Big/Lil cupcakes! I just made some simple chocolate cupcakes but wanted to make them all DG glam! So I melted some white chocolate and added blue coloring... Then piped out little anchors (our symbol) and our letters! While they dried, I whipped up some vanilla buttercream, and dyed it pink (because our colors are pink and blue!) Then I piped some simple swirls on the cupcakes and added the dried white chocolate decorations! Tucked in a little white box, they were the perfect addition to her welcoming gift! She loved them! Look at my cute little Little! Sweet as a cupcake! We finished the Big/Little reveal with a trip to the bowling alley dressed in all our 80's gear! Welcome to the family Kristin! LITB

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day Tea Party!

Ah the tea party! This is the event you have been waiting for since last Valentine's Day (well, at least I know I have!) This year I wanted to make similar treats to last year, but step it up a notch! I decided to make cake truffles again because they are always a crowd favorite!
Made a simple chocolate cake
Then mixed with raspberry butter cream and got ready to roll...but this year, instead of normal round truffles, I decided to try making them heart shaped! I let the little hearts chill in the fridge overnight, then set up a dipping assembly line. I found the best way to dip these little guys was with a fondue skewer, but it was a little more difficult than the round truffles, and the white chocolate started to accumulate bits of cake throughout. But they still turned out pretty great! I decided later to drizzle these pink hearts with red dyed chocolate, and dip some in white chocolate and drizzle them with pink!

Then I got started on making some mini cupcakes. I knew I wanted something different than chocolate, and something pink would be festive, so I went with the Sprinkles strawberry cupcake recipe I used last year for Fathers Day cupcakes! Simple but good ingredients! Puree strawberries then add to wet ingredients (milk and vanilla) Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) in a separate bowl Then cream the butter with sugar and add in one egg and two egg whites. Add in half the dry ingredients, then all of the strawberry mixThen add the rest of the dry and mix until just blended. Then pour batter into mini cupcake liners and bake for around 10 minutes! At this point your kitchen is smelling like an ice cream shop! While my mini's cooled, I started working on the perfect topping. Anyone remember the mini "cupcakes" I made for the holiday party that were really mini Reese's cups? Well... They just got tinier! When Reese's came out with these tiny mini cups, my roommate Virginia had the great idea to make itty-bitty "cupcakes" and put them on top of mini cupcakes, and I thought there was no better reason to try it out than a tea party! So I frosted all of the Reese's cups with vanilla butter cream, and then frosted all of the mini cupcakes with the same butter cream and pink sprinkles... Then put the baby on top of the baby! They turned out so adorable!

The day of the party, Virginia and her sister Annabelle (who was staying with us for the weekend to celebrate her birthday!) made delicious cheese puffs from their grandma Gigi's recipe! Annabelle plating the cute little heart shaped cheese puffs! As we were setting the party up, our neighbors came over to sneak tastes of everything (even though we specifically said no boys allowed! :) Once they saw all the hard work we put into making everything beautiful, our neighbor CR thought it would be a great opportunity for a photo-shoot! Thanks for the pics CR!

Photos below credited to Charles-Ryan Barber

Everything turned out so adorable! And we even let the neighbor boys dress up and stay to enjoy treats and tea with us! So glad I got to spend a wonderful day with the people I love in Athens! Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's day with your loved ones!