Desserts


table setting

After preparing Tea Party food two years in a  row, I have discovered why people go to tea parties–THE DESSERTS!

dessert tray

Of course we had savories.

And it just wouldn’t be a tea party without scones.

scone with clotted cream and jam

But the desserts….oh, my, the desserts!

 

tea party desserts

I’ll start on the lower left and go clock-wise.

Cream Cheese Mints

Raspberry Almond Tea Cakes

Fresh Fruit with Honey Lime Dressing

Chocolate Shortbread Cookie

Cream Cheese Pastry with Lemon Curd

Triple Chocolate Mousse

I did have some helpers. My sweet friends, Donna and Kaye, did such a fabulous job with the tasty Cream Cheese Mints last year. They were recruited to make them once again. I don’t trust myself making them. They are so good! Here is the recipe they used. They are addictive–you’ve been warned!

The Tea Cakes were pretty easy. I made a basic pound cake using almond flavoring rather than vanilla. I baked the cake in a 10×15 inch jelly roll style pan on parchment paper. Then I baked a second one for the top layer. Seedless Raspberry Jam was slathered between the layers. A little melted vanilla Ready-to-Spread frosting and a fresh raspberry on top finished off each piece. I liked the ease of letting the frosting drip down the sides.

Here is the Honey Lime Dressing recipe Danielle used. The little glasses are just plastic shot glasses from the Dollar Tree.

Chocolate Shortbread is very easy. I’ll be telling you more about that in another post soon. Stay tuned! (If you fill out the email subscription on the side bar, you will be sure to not miss it!)

The recipe for the Cream Cheese Pastry wasn’t hard, just time-consuming. I went to the trouble of making tiny little pie weights and everything. I don’t know that they were really necessary. The pastries freeze very nicely. I made them in advance and thawed them the day of the party. I used store-bought lemon curd. Lemon Curd is not hard to make. Buying it ready-made at the store sure saved time!Dickinson's-lemon-curd

The Triple Chocolate Mousse was…well…not easy…especially making 100! I am really bad about having grand ideas that are somewhat over my head!

dessert plate

I found the recipe here. The gal on this post is a pastry chef, y’all! Me? I have no training-at all! I just try hard things!

I really wanted to make the triple chocolate mousse. I made if for my family for Valentine’s Day. Boy, am I glad I did! Over on the original post, she used nice stainless steel ring molds. Since I didn’t have those, nor did I have money to purchase 100, I thought perhaps a tomato paste can would work. Well, not so much. The ridges in the can held the mousse in place, making for a difficult release. Plus, I was impatient to get the desserts out of the cans! Plus, they probably needed to thaw a bit more. On my trial run I poured the mousse and cake (I cheated and used a boxed cake mix.) that didn’t go into tomato paste cans into a square baking pan. I thought I’d see if slicing the mousse into triangle servings would work. No, this did not go well. The cake part was too thick. Oh, I forgot to mention that there was a disaster of some sort with the chocolate layer that made it hard as a rock. It might have had something to do with the fact that I bought the wrong kind of chocolate-bittersweet! Thank goodness I tested!

As the time for the tea got closer and closer, I got more and more nervous about making the Triple Chocolate Mousse. I decided to get on the computer and look for some suggestions. Lo and behold good old Martha Stewart had a similar recipe. Martha used parchment paper around the cake and taped it into a collar, then piped in the mousse. Well…I tried it. See, you freeze the dessert after each layer is added. The tape turned loose after being in the freezer. I had to go back and staple each little collar.

So, I had my 100 Triple Chocolate Mousse made, with the right kind of chocolate, and in the freezer with their little parchment paper collars stapled around them. The day before the party I my friend, Kathy, suggested I take one mousse out of the freezer to see how it does thawing. Thank goodness it did just fine.

The day of the party was a bit crazy, as you can imagine.

I transported the everything to the Harper Alexander House. Into the fridge with the mousse to begin the thaw. They should have been thawed close to party time. I panicked! They were not as thawed as they should have been. I took them out of the refrigerator and placed them on the counter. Well, I guess I jumped the gun a little. By the time we started plating the food, the mousse were tricky to handle. There were a couple that crashed over on the other desserts. Thank goodness Cathy and Danielle were helping me in the kitchen! Cathy shoved that fruit cup against the mousse and it saved the day!

No one knew any different!

I think everyone enjoyed the yummy desserts!

 

Well, we got some freezing rain and sleet today. So, being the good Southern town that we are, everything is shut down for the day.

Here is the view out my back window…

icy trees

I’ve been saving this recipe for Rosettes for a day such as this! They are best when eaten fresh. With the kids home from school, they were able to gobble them up at the opportune time!

I remember my Mom making Rosettes for us when we were kids. It’s not like she made them all the time or anything, probably on snow days. I guess that is what made them so special.

Rosettes with Powdered Sugar

A Rosette is a similar to a funnel cake you get at the fair. While a funnel cake is squirted into hot oil in a random shape, Rosettes are a specific shape.

Making Rosettes does require specific tools, well, mainly one specific tool. A Rosette Iron!

Rosette Iron

This one belonged to my grandmother. I suppose you can still find them. Long ago, our iron had different shapes you could screw off and on the end of the iron. Today, we just have the one shape. Who knows what happened to the others. (If you don’t have a Rosette Iron, you could squirt the batter in a random shape into the oil.)

The Rosette Batter is simple enough:

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

Rosette Batter

Beat together eggs, milk, sugar and salt. Add flour; beat until smooth.

Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil to 375˚. Do be careful!

While you are waiting for the oil to heat up, lay several paper towels on a wire cooling rack. This is where the finished rosettes will drain.

oil temperature

Once the oil is hot enough, place the rosette iron in the oil for 30 seconds.

prepping the iron

Blot the iron on a paper towel, then dip it in the batter.

Dipping in batter

You only want to dip the iron about 3/4 of the way up the sides. DO NOT let the batter go over the top.

Immediately place the iron with the batter on it into the hot oil.

into the hot oil

This part gets a little tricky. Don’t try to multi-task while making Rosettes! I had to have my daughter take pictures for me.

Okay, so the iron with the batter is in the oil. It will not take long for the sides of the Rosette to loosen.

Remove with fork

As soon as you see this happening, use a fork to pry the Rosette off the iron.

TaDa!

Rosette in oil

Now, quickly grab some tongs, or I guess you could use that same fork, to flip the Rosette in the oil.

Flipped Rosette

It really goes fast, folks!

Snatch the Rosette out of the oil and place it on the paper towel to drain.

Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Fried Rosettes

Rosette back

Lots of Rosettes

Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

Rosettes with Powdered Sugar

This was quite the perfect snack for a wintry day out of school.

Do you have a special “snow day” snack you like to prepare?

This recipe for Coconut Cake Supreme is a family favorite.

I got this recipe from my Mom. I’m not sure where she got it. She made it for Christmas one year, and we all loved it!

It is so moist and yummy!

It has become a must-have at my family’s Christmas table every year. I usually end up making it for Easter as well. I don’t dare make it in between the two holidays, unless I’m taking it somewhere. I do think I could eat it every day and not get sick of it. It is that good.

This year, the cake was such a hit at Christmas, we had it again for New Year’s Day! These are pictures of the 2014 cake! My mother-in-law actually made this one using my (Mom’s) recipe. It’s a family thing!

Slice of Coconut Cake.jpg

Coconut Cake Supreme.jpg

Coconut Cake Supreme

1 package yellow cake mix (The recipe calls for the 18 ¼ oz. size.  Mix sizes have changed, so get as close as you can.)

2 cups (16 oz.) sour cream

2 cups sugar

1 ½ cups flaked coconut

1 carton (8 oz.) Cool Whip

Cake:Bake cake, according to box directions, in two 9” pans. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack.

Filling: Combine sour cream and sugar; mix well. Stir in coconut (filling will be soft). Set aside 1 cup of filling for the frosting.

Assemble: Split each cake into 2 layers. Place one layer on serving platter. Cover layer with 1/3 of filling. Repeat with other layers. Fold reserved filling into Cool Whip; frost cake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

10-12 servings

Yes, I realize we are more than half way through January! I guess it isn’t “cool” to say Happy New Year at this stage in the game.

This is the first time I have actually sat down at the computer to write a blog post all year. I’ve been thinking about doing it. For some reason it just has not happened.  I just have not been able to get in the groove.

I have enjoyed everyone else’s posts about how they are cutting back on their social media time, mostly Facebook and Twitter. I have seen all the obligatory “Best of 2013” posts. I have heard about your goals and resolutions for 2014. All the while, I have written nothing! I have made new recipes, taken pictures, even loaded the pictures! Still nothing.

You know blogging is a funny thing. When it was new, everyone was excited to just share. Now, like anything, folks have discovered there is money to be made in the blog world. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with people making money off of their blogs. It is, however, a different approach to blogging.

In my “time off” I have been considering why I blog anyway. To start with, it wasn’t even my idea! My husband talked me into it to share recipes and such. While that is what I do here, I wanted, and still want, more. I want that COMMUNITY feeling. I don’t want the sharing to be a one-way street.

I really like Pinterest. Ironically, most of my traffic comes from Pinterest. I have read recently that it is not as “shiny and new” for some bloggers. I still like it! For one thing, I can see people whose tastes are similar to mine. However, if I am in “Pinterest Mode” I am bad about just pinning something to my board and not leaving a comment for the blogger. I do try to go back and leave a comment once I have tried their recipe, project or whatever.

I’m not very good at Facebook and Twitter, especially Twitter.

Mentally, I am still back in the fall. Did the holidays ZOOM by as fast for y’all? I suppose I have just been in a rut. Well, here at Pork Chop Tuesday we are all about rut-bustin’!

I think this is the most I have written in a blog post without adding a picture. Weird.

I realize I rambled a bit here today. That is just where I am. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, maybe I will be able to actually do some “normal” blogging.

Obligatory Most Popular Post of 2013 (click for link):

Amazing Banana Pudding

While I was at Dollar Tree around Halloween, I picked up some cute pumpkin shaped ice-cube trays. Being just a dollar, I splurged and bought TWO. You see, I had a plan for these things.

I have had this craft book for I-don’t-know-how-long.

Craft book

It is full of neat crafty little gift ideas. Usually I just sit and dream about actually making the recipes and crafts.

Not this year!

The Creamy Pumpkin Fudge has tempted me for years! I love sweet pumpkin-y things!

Recipe large

I was so excited! I was going to make pumpkin shaped pumpkin fudge! Could it get any cuter?! Obviously so-sigh.

boiling fudge

I’m not really sure where things went wrong. The directions said to boil for 12 minutes. So I boiled for 12 minutes.

use pumpkin spice marshmallows

I used pumpkin spice pumpkin shaped marshmallows because I wanted the extra pumpkin spiciness. Could that have been the issue?

pumpkin ice cube trays

I poured the fudge into my trays with glee! I was so excited to have the pumpkin fudge pumpkins I could hardly stand it!

Pan of fudge

I should have bought more trays. The rest of the fudge went into a foil-lined and buttered shallow pan. I had a plan here, too!

small fall cookie cutters

After chilling, I would cut this part of the fudge with tiny fall cookie cutters. Aaaahhh! Again with the cuteness!

Now, to wait for the fudge to get firm.

And I waited, and I waited, and I waited.

fudge that didn't set

Oh, the sadness, oh the tears! Okay, that might have been a bit dramatic.

There I was expecting to have a perfect little pumpkin fudge pumpkin and all I got was mush! I was so disappointed.

fudge shapes

The fudge from the pan did not fare much better. Sad day.

There was nothing wrong with the taste! It was super yummy!

Here is the recipe:

Creamy Pumpkin Fudge

1 1/2 cups sugar

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

2 tbsp butter

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp salt

——————–

2 cups mini marshmallows

1 pkg. (12 oz) vanilla baking chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1 tsp vanilla

———————

Line an 8-inch baking pan with foil. Let foil hang over the edge so you can actually get it out of the pan. Grease the foil.

Butter sides of a medium saucepan.

Combine first 6 ingredients in the saucepan.

Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 12 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients.

Stir until marshmallows and chips are melted.

Pour into your pan.

Chill until firm.

Store in a container in the refrigerator.

Please let me about your successes or failures.

Have you ever experienced this with fudge? Any suggestions?

Critics’ Corner

Chip: It should just be called “Pumpkin Yum”.

Megan: A little on the messy side, buy it was delicious all the same.

Katie: Not as good as regular fudge (of course! 🙂 ) but I still loved its pumpkinee-ness! 🙂

I LOVE pumpkin desserts! There, I said it! Hopefully, you aren’t tired of seeing pumpkin recipes just yet. I think I saw this Pumpkin Crisp recipe in a link from Southern Living.

Let me just say…yum!

20131120-163852.jpg

20131120-164315.jpg

I made this dish for dessert on a Friday night. It was so yummy, I had to have it for breakfast the next morning! Sitting on the porch on a cool Saturday morning with my coffee, my crisp and my man (and, of course, some bacon) made for a great start to the weekend!

You are going to want to try this one!

Have you been making things with pumpkin? What has been your favorite?


Critics’ Corner

Chip: Awesome! With pumpkin and pecans it’s hard to go wrong.

Megan: It was like eating November in a bowl. I could eat the whole pan.

Katie: Yes. Yes. Yes. Every day!

Wow! October was a crazy month! Lots of fun. Lots of good. Just lots of LOTS! It seems like we had something every night and every day!

I am thankful November is here!

I’m so behind though. If you have emailed or messaged me in the past month or so and have not heard back from me, I’m sorry. I will be trying to catch up soon.

I tried to be a good blogger and take pictures and try new wonderful dishes. However, I was doing good to grab the iPad and snap a couple of pictures here and there!

I did make some adorable Halloween cookies.

When I saw these cookies on Pinterest, they took my breath away! They are just so vibrant and FUN!

Swirly Cookies pinterest

These amazing cookies were whipped up by Toni over at Make Bake Celebrate. You will want to zip right over there for her full tutorial. She is one of my cookie crushes-shhh.

Here are some pictures from my personal adventure.

Swirly Cookies.jpg

These were so much fun to make! Although, they were a little time-consuming.

When I made my twisted “snake” I just knew my cookies were going to turn out GRAY! I was surprised how bright they were, even after baking.

This was my first time to use AmeriColor food coloring. I really liked it!

I hesitated to even put the sprinkles on there. I’m glad I did. Megan even told me she thought the ones with sprinkles were better than the ones without. (I ran out of sprinkles toward the end.)

I am so glad I tried these fancy cookies! Thanks, Toni, for sharing.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: These cookies stayed nice and moist. I like a moist cookie.

Megan: They were amazingly buttery and moist, even left over. They weren’t overly sweet. Everyone at school was impressed by them.

Katie: They were very colorful, but they just weren’t my type, I think. (Poor Katie is not a fan of sugar cookies. She didn’t want to hurt my feelings in her comment. So sweet.)

I love fall! Cooler temperatures, warmer clothes, and PUMPKIN!  If you are a pumpkin fanatic, like me, I’m sure you have been sampling pumpkin recipes left and right. I recently stumbled across a delicious recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake over at I Wash You Dry.

It got rave reviews from my critics!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger Snap Crust

Yum! Huh?

I’ll get you started with the ingredients. Zip over to Shawn’s post for the “how-to”.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
For the Crust:
15 small gingersnap cookies
1/2 cup pecans
4 large sheets of graham crackers
3 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
Ginger Snap Crust
This crust is to die for! I LOVE the gingersnap and pecan combo!
For the Filling:
3 (8 oz packages) cream cheese, softened
1 (15 oz can) pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pumpkin Cheesecake Batter
I mostly put this picture in here because I was proud of myself for pouring cheesecake filling and snapping a picture at the same time! And it was an  ACTION picture!
Before and After baking pictures:
Cheesecake ready for the ovenBefore

Pumpkin Cheesecake-bakedAfter

Yes, I know there are tricks for keeping your cheesecake from cracking. Frankly, it doesn’t bother me. Load enough whipped topping on there and no one is the wiser!

See…

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger Snap Crust

I can’t imagine this Pumpkin Cheesecake being any better than it was. However, I didn’t have time to make Shawn’s Salted Caramel Topping. I just used store-bought. You can get her recipe for the topping here.

Thanks, Shawn for this great recipe! I can’t wait to try the topping recipe next time.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: To paraphrase and old Reese’s commercial…”You got pumpkin in my cheesecake.” “You got cheesecake in my pumpkin.” Two great tastes that taste great together–Pumpkin Cheesecake

Megan: This was so good, I think it could substitute for the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

Katie: Wheeeeeeee!!!! That’s Katie for “awesome”! : )

Check out this “Sweet Ride” that showed up at blog camp!

Sugar Shack food truck

Okay, so “sweet ride” is not really part of my everyday vernacular. I thought it would be cute since this is a CUPCAKE TRUCK! I was more than excited to see The Sugar Shack Sweets and Treats parked at our picnic in all its pinkness!

I don’t know what it is, but I kinda like the whole food truck idea. You can read about my food truck experience here and here.

Sheryl saw me desperately trying to take pictures through the little order window. She must have felt sorry for me because guess what…she invited me inside!!! I got to go INSIDE the little truck!

Sheryl Harrison-The Sugar Shack

This is Sheryl. Isn’t she cute! I’m sure she was thinking, ” Help! I just let a crazy lady in my sweet, pink truck!”

Sugar Shack order

Sweet Sheryl gave all us bloggers a free cupcake!! Here’s Kalyn getting herself something tasty! Isn’t her hair cute?!

And now, some things to make you drool…

Apple Doodles

Apple Doodles

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Birthday Cake Cupcakes

Birthday Cake Cupcakes

Pumpkin Bundt Cakes

Pumpkin Bundt Cakes

Chocolate Cupcake with Salted Caramel Frosting

Chocolate Cupcake with Salted Caramel Frosting

I went for the Chocolate with Salted Caramel Frosting. OH, WOW! That frosting was so yummy! Of course, I was on a sugar high for the next several hours.

Thanks, Sheryl for the tour of your Sweet Ride and for supporting ARWB.

Be sure to check out Sheryl’s website for all the scoop on where to find her little pink truck.

My friend, Heather, makes the super yummy Banana Pudding! I think it is the only thing she has ever taken to potluck because everyone requests it! The whole pan is always gone in an instant because it’s “Heather’s Banana Pudding”.

She was kind enough to share her recipe with me!

Amazing Banana Pudding

Take a deep breath.

sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese

Yes, that is what you think it is–Cream Cheese AND Sweetened Condensed Milk!

Sigh!

You also need a few of these…

bananas

…and a couple of other things.

Ready for Layering Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding layers

Top with whipped topping

Yum! I know!

Heather’s Banana Pudding

1 can Eagle Brand Milk (that’s sweetened condensed milk)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

6 ounce package instant vanilla pudding

3 cups cold milk

16 ounces Cool Whip

1 box vanilla wafers

6 large bananas

Mix the Eagle Brand milk with the softened cream cheese. Add milk and pudding mix. add half of the cool whip; mix until smooth. Layer cookies, bananas, and pudding mixture three times. Top with remaining Cool Whip. Refrigerate.

Now, I was not about to cover my Banana Pudding with plastic wrap and have it stick to my Cool Whip! I wasn’t going to not cover it either.

Marshmallows to the rescue!

Save the whipped topping

I stuck mini marshmallows on toothpicks. Then, I stuck the toothpicks in the pudding. The marshmallow-toothpick combo raised the plastic wrap away from my precious Cool Whip while allowing my Banana Pudding to still be covered in the fridge! Genius, huh? My Mama did teach me a thing or two!

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