As Alice talked about here, a few nights ago we threw a holiday party as a chance to meet up with local bloggers and artists. The soiree was at my house and the theme was pink, inspired both by my pink Christmas tree and the amazing monochromatic styling of Amy Atlas.
When it came to putting together a menu, it really wasn't hard for me to come up with a number of pink confections that would work nicely for a holiday party. Pink is always a color that can be thrown into a dessert to make it turn out a bit lovelier. And so, the sweets menu turned out to be this: pre-packaged pink candies (strawberry malted milk balls and Japanese hard candy), strawberry cupcakes with strawberry frosting, vegan chocolate mint cupcakes with mint frosting (pink sprinkles, of course), pink & white vanilla cake balls, peppermint bark, strawberry striped wafer sticks, shortbread hearts (made vegan), and pink lemonade. Enough to appease your sweet tooth? I think so.
Instead of typing down every recipe of the day, I thought I would just include my three favorites: the peppermint bark, the shortbread hearts, and the cake balls (which seemed to be the biggest hit of them all.)
P.S: I am already daydreaming of the next monochrome event to throw. Perhaps an all-red Valentine's Day?
1 bag of white chocolate chips (milk or dark can also be used instead)
6 peppermint candy canes
a few drops of pink or red (use less) food coloring, optional
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds or so. Add in optional food coloring. Place candy canes in a zipped plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin into very small pieces. Stir into melted chocolate.
Spread mixture out on waxed paper to desired thickness. Place in the refrigerator until completely solid, then break into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
Shortbread Hearts: recipe altered from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter or vegan margarine at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
sugar or sugar sprinkles for tops
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer or with a handheld mixer, cream together the butter or margarine and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt; then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and roll shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3-inch heart-shaped cutter. Place the hearts on an ungreased sheet pan and sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Note: I halved the recipe and it still made quite a bit.
Cake Balls: idea originally seen on Bakerella
1 homemade 9 x 13" vanilla cake, made from a box or from scratch (I used a recipe by Amy Sedaris and added pink food coloring to the batter)
1 can or homemade batch of vanilla or cream cheese frosting
2 bags of chocolate chips, white or dark
After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble it with your fingers in a large bowl. Stir in frosting with a heavy wooden spoon. Roll mixture into small bite-sized balls. Chill for several hours in the fridge or about an hour in the freezer.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler, stirring constantly. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)