Dec 23, 2013

Holiday Brunch {My Dessert Table Design}

Oh how I love this time of the year.  I look forward to the holiday events and celebrations.  This time of year we pause to spend time with the people that enrich our lives through their love, support and friendship. I enjoy decorating my home and turning it into a festive and inviting place to welcome the season and our guests.

This year I hosted a holiday brunch for a group of girlfriends.  An ornament exchange was added to make the event even more festive. The menu included brunch items such as turkey sausage quiche, blueberry coffee cake, citrus salad, doughnut hole fruit skewers and a hot tea selection. I thought it would be nice to also add a holiday dessert table.

I resist the urge every year to not put up a tree in another room of my home.  I have a collection of holiday decorations that I change out from year to year. So, instead of adding a 4th tree in our home, I was able to design a holiday dessert table with existing decor items. I used my cream and gold collection to create a backdrop that resembled a present and added other holiday decor pieces to bring the design together.

Next time your are thinking of hosting a holiday event, rethink and reuse what you have to create a tablescape to display the food for your party.

Dec 13, 2013

White Chocolate Red Velvet Cake Cookies

Just in case you do not already have enough holiday treats on your baking list this season or you need a quick recipe for an upcoming holiday event, try these. Adding a few extra ingredients allows you to make them your own and proudly respond, " Yes, I made these myself", when asked if these are homemade.

I found myself pressed for time for a cookie swap and needed to make a few dozen cookies the day of the swap. Yes, I prefer to bake from scratch, but there are those moments when being a mother of 3 takes over and I loose control of the day.  I decided to make these cookies as I thought the red is a perfect choice for the holiday season. I picked up a box of red velvet cake mix (gasp!) and made these delicious treats just in time for the swap.

(Makes 24 - 30 Cookies)

1 box red velvet cake mix
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
2 Tbsp of canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup of white chocolate chips
1 package/tube of cream cheese cookie icing

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs, melted and cooled butter, and oil in a bowl.  Using a whisk mix until combined.  Add the red velvet cake mix to the egg mixture. Stir until well blended and moist. Add the cup of white chocolate chips and stir.  Drop one inch ball size dough onto a silt mat or parchment paper.  Be sure to leave a few inches of space between to allow for spreading. Use a metal coffee spoon or melon scoop to make them all the same size.  Bake for 8 - 10 minutes for a soft texture in the middle.  Place on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.  Once cooled, drizzle cooking icing on top.  Allow icing to dry for at least 2 hours before stacking.