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What would you suggest?

helena's picture

What would you suggest? (post #63306)

in

I'm incharge of providing coffee and cake/sweets for the annual office Christmas party this year. 40 coworkers will be attending, and I need some ideas on what to make and how to present it.


I'm making a gingerbread 'street' that is lighted as a center piece for the sweets table. Was thinking of doing some mini-rose cakes (orange butter cake that Meryl posted), maybe a large almond cranberry cake in my rose Bundt pan (the one from last year's holiday baking FC). I want cookies and something chocolatey as well. I want bite-sized things that look elegant and presentable. I don't want to make big cakes and cut them, I'd like everything to be fingerfood type. Anyone have some suggestions for recipes or presentation please?

Wolvie's picture

(post #63306, reply #1 of 72)

the Hazelnut mini loaves from Baking With Julia are excellent, using holiday themed liners would work well.


Cookies - Glenys's Black Pepper lemon sweets are unusual and very good. Brown Sugar Pecan cookies,  CM's favorite peanut butter cookies are excellent...


Chocolate - truffles are always a hit, you could also take any number of the brownie recipes and cut them into bite size pieces for serving, I think fudge is usually a hit ( I don't like it myself, but a lot of folks seem to)


Presentation - hmmm - that street you are doing sounds neat. Holiday baubles, ribbon, confetti type things, candles.... all placed around... how much space do you have?


 



"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."


George W. Bush


"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung

 

helena's picture

(post #63306, reply #2 of 72)

I had thought about truffles too, like that a lot. I could make one recipe and roll in different coatings and make it look like they're all different. I like the idea of cut up brownies as well. I'm thinking a cheesecake brownie would do well...


For cookies, I definately need recipes that make crunchy cookies. We don't do much soft cookies here, LOL. Maybe doing some cut outs in holidays shapes would be an option also.


Hazelnut loaves? I'll look the recipe up, but I foresee a problem with the liners. I'm pretty much restricted to muffins liners here. Could that be done as muffins you think? I love anything hazelnut :o)


As far as space goes, I think I can take up as much as I like. The room has some counter space, or I could use a few round (smallish) tables.


Thanks for thinking along with me!!

Wolvie's picture

(post #63306, reply #3 of 72)

I'll have to look up the sizes on the mini loaves - you may be able to do them in the large muffin tins.


The bp lemon sweets are very crisp, as are the pecan cookies - they are a shortbread, really.


Oh boy - as much space as you like? LOL - I'd be in trouble - I love to decorate!!



"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."


George W. Bush


"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung

 

helena's picture

(post #63306, reply #4 of 72)

LOL! Come over and help ;o) !


I am looking up the cookie recipes *now* ! Shortbread sounds great, as does crunchy lemon. I have never made a pepper cookie before, so I'm sure it'll be interesting. thanks!

assibams's picture

(post #63306, reply #5 of 72)

Do remind me to bring my mini-rose pan. That'll save you time, giving you a double batch. I also have those miniature Bundt pans (the size of a largish muffin), IIRC there are 12.

You could always bake muffins in decorated paper cups - Kaiser has cute little Christmas designs right now.

How about making sugarcube houses or towers that hold votive candles?

"Martha Stewart is going to jail and Cat Stevens has been deported. Man I feel much safer." - David Letterman

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright

helena's picture

(post #63306, reply #7 of 72)

I was planning on gingerbread lanterns, but am not allowed to burn any candles at all. Being part of the safety department I can't act as if I didn't know, bummer!


Thanks for offering the pan!

doyenne's picture

(post #63306, reply #6 of 72)

I use a cooky recipe which is very versatile. It's meant to be piped onto cooky sheets but I usually don't bother. One version of the cooky might be suitable for your purposes. I roll the dough into balls and press the balls on top of the outside of mini-muffin tins, flatten them slightly and bake them. The dough forms into small cups which I fill with a raspberry or two, glaze with currant jelly and drizzle with  white or chocolate ganache. These are pretty much one-bite cookies. You might think of using something like this and filling them with some cooked glazed cranberries or uncooked but glazed mandarin oranges.

 

Where is Monica Lewinski when you need her?

helena's picture

(post #63306, reply #8 of 72)

Sounds interesting enough! I'd love the recipe :o). Maybe I could even fill it with a no-bake cheesecake filling, that would be delicious!

doyenne's picture

(post #63306, reply #13 of 72)

This is the recipe I use.


Tudor Roses


1/2 cup unsalted butter


1/2 cup unsifted confectioners' sugar


3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour


1/4 teaspoon mace


1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


oven-350


Cream butter until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar. add the flour, mace and vanilla to the butter mixture. Pipe onto an ungreased cooky sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on the pan for a couple of minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen.


My changes--no mace, chill dough slightly and roll into 1" balls.


From an old McCall's collection of cookie recipes from the 1950's.


 (  You can do almost anything you want with this recipe.  I've also piped it into fingers and sandwiched them with chocolate.)


 

Where is Monica Lewinski when you need her?

helena's picture

(post #63306, reply #24 of 72)

Thank you Charlotte! Did I understand correctly that I can form the dough into balls, the press those on an upside down mini muffin tin and bake them *on* the tin? Just checking to make sure I understood correctly.

doyenne's picture

(post #63306, reply #31 of 72)

That's right. You'll get small tartlet shapes but with irregular edges. You could, of course, put the balls of dough in the bottom of a mini-muffin tin, tamp them down with a tart tamper and bake. I think it's more fun the other way.

 

Where is Monica Lewinski when you need her?

helena's picture

(post #63306, reply #34 of 72)

I understand :o). I'll do a test run and let you know, thanks!

JaneRose's picture

(post #63306, reply #43 of 72)

You are clever and that sounds quite versatile for the filling.

Cissy's picture

(post #63306, reply #17 of 72)

I have never made a pepper cookie before, so I'm sure it'll be interesting.


Gleny's Lemon Pepper Sweets are fantastic.  I highly recommend them -- in fact, if they're not in T&T, here's a nomination.  They've been a staple on my Christmas cookie list ever since she first posted the recipe.  One hint:  The dough is very buttery and needs thorough chilling before you shape it into logs.  I find it easiest to freeze, then put one log at a time into the fridge when you're ready to slice and bake.

Adele's picture

(post #63306, reply #18 of 72)

Repeat request at Christmastime for me too.  Wonderful cookies. 

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

helena's picture

(post #63306, reply #25 of 72)

They're on my list :o). Thanks for the heads up!

soccermom's picture

(post #63306, reply #35 of 72)

I've searched for Lemon Pepper Sweets but am having no luck. Do you know if they'd be under something else?


Thanks, they sound so good for the Christmas file.


 


 

 

 

Wolvie's picture

(post #63306, reply #42 of 72)

Not Cissy, but here you go:


·  Black pepper lemon sweets  (recipe by Glenys)<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Crushed pepper has a sweeter, more perfumed quality that pepper that’s gone through a grinder. Use a mortar and pestle or crush in a plastic bag. Do not use ground pepper.


·  1 cup unsalted butter


·  11/4 cups icing sugar


·  1 egg yolk


·  juice and grated zest of small lemon, preferably *using microplane zester


·  2 cups twice sifted flour


·  Italian crack pepper- about 2 tablespoons OR black pepper, crushed


Cream the butter and sugar together, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the juice, yolk and zest. Add the flour, forming a smooth dough.


Chill the dough until easy enough to handle.Using a small scoop or shape the cookies into 1” balls.Dip lightly in the pepper and press down to slightly flatten the cookies. The alternative method is to divide the dough in four pieces, roll into slim logs using parchment to help hape-as with ice box cookies- and roll each log in pepper and chill. Slice cookies into 1/4”rounds.


Bake in 325°F oven until the rim is golden. Let stand 1 minute before removing from the pan. Cool. Makes several dozen.


 


"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung

 

soccermom's picture

(post #63306, reply #44 of 72)

Thanks; these look good.

 


 

 

 

Fledge's picture

(post #63306, reply #50 of 72)

Hey  Wolvie,


Don't guess you know what that font is. in that recipe huh?


I have been tinkering where I shouldn't have, in my settings.


 

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

Wolvie's picture

(post #63306, reply #59 of 72)

microsoft tells me it's "Californian FB". 10 pt


I copied and pasted from here when Glenys posted.



"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung


Edited 11/5/2004 5:47 am ET by Wolvie

 

Fledge's picture

(post #63306, reply #60 of 72)

Curtsey,


me


 

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

Cissy's picture

(post #63306, reply #62 of 72)

Canuck, Here's the recipe, copied from my MSW document:


Cookies Black pepper lemon sweets


Crushed pepper has a sweeter, more perfumed quality that pepper that’s gone through a grinder. Use a mortar and pestle or crush in a plastic bag.* Do not use ground pepper.


<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 


1 cup unsalted butter
11/4 cups icing sugar
1 egg yolk
juice and grated zest of small lemon, preferably using microplane zester
2 cups twice sifted flour
Italian crack pepper- about 2 tablespoons OR black pepper, crushed


 


Cream the butter and sugar together, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the juice, yolk and zest. Add the flour, forming a smooth dough.


 


Chill the dough until easy enough to handle.Using a small scoop or shape the cookies into 1” balls.Dip lightly in the pepper and press down to slightly flatten the cookies. The alternative method is to divide the dough in four pieces, roll into slim logs using parchment to help shape-as with ice box cookies- and roll each log in pepper and chill. Slice cookies into 1/4”rounds.


Bake in 325°F oven until the rim is golden. Let stand 1 minute before removing from the pan.* Cool. Makes several dozen.


*Notes:  The plastic bag works well for crushing the pepper.  I use Penzey's Black Tellicherry peppers.  I roll the dough into logs, then roll the logs in the cracked pepper.  Also, I omit the standing part -- I slice the dough and put it on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets to bake.  When the cookies are done, I slide the parchment onto a cooling rack.  When the next batch is ready to come out of the oven, I slide the cookies onto newspapers to cool completely. 

soccermom's picture

(post #63306, reply #63 of 72)

Thanks for this; I will probably try them this week. I love lemon.

 


 

 

 

deejeh's picture

(post #63306, reply #9 of 72)

You might think about Butterscotch's recipe for cranberry-almond bars, posted in another thread.  They are truly TDF, and very attractive.


Martha Stewart's chocolate gingersnaps are a wonderful Christmas cookie.  You can make small ones, and because they're rolled in sugar before baking, they sparkle a bit and look festive.


Thumbprint cookies rolled in pistachios and filled with raspberry jam.  Or, rolled in crushed hazelnuts and filled with Nutella.


Two-bite brownies baked in foil cups, with a chocolate macaroon placed on top when they come out of the oven for decoration.  Or, chocolate-covered coffee beans on a chocolate-espresso brownie.


To fill in little blank spots on the trays, take some big pecan halves, toast them lightly and half-dip them in chocolate.  Do the same with dried apricots. 


Melt some white chocolate, drop it by teaspoonsful onto parchment, and place a selection of small pieces of dried fruit on each one.


Christmas bark made with white chocolate, dried cranberries and pistachios.


I'd love to come and help you bake.  This sounds like such fun. 


deej

Heather's picture

(post #63306, reply #14 of 72)

I can't find the Cranberry-Almond bars in the archive. Can you give me another clue?

deejeh's picture

(post #63306, reply #15 of 72)

Okay, I'm an idiot - they're not cranberry almond, they're cranberry apricot, and the recipe is here:  http://forums.taunton.com/tp-cookstalk/messages?msg=20424.28


My notes for the recipe are:


1. use 8"x8" pan, or double and use 9"x13"


2. chop the apricots.


deej

Heather's picture

(post #63306, reply #16 of 72)

Thanks, sounds like something I would really like.

helena's picture

(post #63306, reply #20 of 72)

You are hired! I *love* your ideas! I'll go print the apricot-cranberry bars. I love cranberry, people arent'used to that at all so it will be a nice change from the regular.


Thumbprints are a favorite as well. I made the FC 42 thumbprint recipe with hazelnuts and raspberry preserved last year and they were a total hit. Thanks for reminding me!


Please elaborate on the brownies with macaroons because they sound intriguing :o).


I like all the chocolate suggestions too. I'm printing everything off and am making a file. Thank you SO much!!

deejeh's picture

(post #63306, reply #29 of 72)

elaborate on the brownies with macaroons


Neilson's Macaroons are a Canadian candy - they look sort of like Hershey's kisses, but as though they were piped out with a star tip.  I tried to find a picture online, but came up empty.


The idea is to take your favourtie brownie recipe, bake it in small foil liners (like large candy cups), and when the brownies come out of the oven, while they're still hot, to press a macaroon candy on top, where it functions as both decoration and icing (sort of).  You could do it with any flat-bottomed chocolate candy, or chocolate-covered coffee bean.


Have fun - your co-workers are a lucky group.  Take pictures, if you can.


deej


btw, notes on the cranberry apricot bars are:  bake in 8"x8" pan; chop apricots.


<edited to add notes>


Edited 11/3/2004 9:55 am ET by deejeh