Tag Archives: birthday

Giant Cookie

5 Apr

Giant cookie




When I was a child  (maybe 5 or so) I had a conversation with my mother one evening after school. I told her “I want a giant cookie.” I remember this conversation distinctly. For some reason, I thought this cookie would be made in a frying pan, not baked, and I could envision it being fried as I spoke to her. She told me “Okay.”

 My unsuspecting self didn’t realize at the time she said okay more to get me to stop nagging her than anything else and not because she planned to make this cookie. By the time I was about 11 I had figured out the truth. Many years into my adulthood and still, no giant cookie. There was an attempt circa 2011 by my sister, a valiant effort I must admit. However, the giant cookie of my dreams contains chocolate. So here is my attempt to finally satisfy that long burning desire for a giant cookie.

To make this cookie you need a good recipe. My recipe is adapted from one on Joy of Baking (my baking queen) and it makes a soft cookie. I figured this would be easier for slicing as giant cookies are meant to be shared.


WHAT YOU NEED 

Cookie

1) 1/2 cup (113g) butter at room temperature 

2) 1/3 cup (75g) of granulated sugar

3) 1/3 cup (75g)  brown sugar– I used coconut sugar

4) 1 egg

5) 1 tsp vanilla extract 

6) 1 1/4 cup (150g) of flour 

7) 1/2 tbsp baking soda

8) Chocolate morsels -use as much or as little as you want

9) Nuts – use as much or little as you want

10) Baking dish -I used a shallow 9” glass dish

11) Cocoa powder – I used 1 heaping tbsp

Cookie ingredients 


Chocolate wafers and nuts

Icing

1) Cream cheese

2) Icing sugar

3) Chocolate sprinkles


Cream cheese and Icing sugar


Cocoa and sprinkles


Baking dish




WHAT TO DO 

Cookies

1) Heat oven to 375 F (190 C)

2) Grease or line dish – To allow for easy removal

3) Beat butter until creamy then add both white and brown sugar and beat until fluffy.

Creamed butter and sugars 

Butter and sugar mixture


4) Add egg and vanilla extract and mix

5) Separately,  mix flour and baking soda and add to mixture and mix well.

6) Separate the mixtures into two equal parts.

Separated cookie mixture 

7) Add cocoa powder and chocolate morsels to one half mixing well.

Mixed in Cocoa


Added chocolate 

8) To the other half of mixture,  add crushed nuts

Added nuts




9) Place mixture in refrigerator for about 30 minutes just to firm up slightly

10) Add mixture in alternating dollops into baking dish.

Mixture placed in dish




11) Bake for 15 minutes or until baked through 

Baked cookie




Icing

Mix some softened cream cheese with Icing sugar until desired texture and sweetness. I started with approximately 2 tbsp of cream cheese and 1/2 cup of Icing sugar.

Icing




Top cooled cookie with icing and add sprinkles

Cookie with icing




Slice and serve

Sliced cookie




Finally,  a chocolate giant cookie. Lol. This was awesome. I think this is a great alternative for a birthday cake (for that weird friend who doesn’t like cake) or a dessert with a difference if you’re entertaining.

The chocolate and nuts expectedly go beautifully together. The cookie is soft so it’s easy to slice and eat but not as fluffy as a cake. The cream cheese Icing gave a nice contrast to the decedent almost bitter dark chocolate and the saltiness of the nuts.

(Mummy, I’m still waiting…)

Give this one a try and have an awesome day.

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Dessert Party

29 Sep

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Hello everyone. I had a birthday this month. (Shout out to all September borns!)

Initially I wanted to have an intimate gathering. A cooking party, one where a chef comes and demonstrates while the guests follow and prepare the gourmet meal they then indulge in. I soon realized this was well above my means.

What I did instead was just as good. I had a dessert party! A dessert beach party to be exact! Yup, a party where the entire menu is dessert. I also had the fortune and pleasure of being able to have it at a beach house. Dessert, sand, ocean. Pretty perfect.

INSPIRATION
The inspiration for my party was…wait for it…. “My Little Pony Friendship is Magic” a.k.a MLP FIM. Yes, this adult over here is a huge fan of the series. I’ve been a fan of My Little Pony since the original series back in the day. I’m sure most people are vaguely aware that the series has been revamped quite a few times but I have to say that this current version (Generation 4 or G4) is the best! But I digress.

I knew I wanted a party inspired by them but having MLP FIM plates, tablecloth and loot bags would be a bit much even for me. I decided to have a more abstract interpretation of the show.

On the show, the ponies are always having a good time and throwing some kind of party usually put together by resident party planner and my favourite character Pinkie Pie. For this reason I chose pink as the colour of my decor.

At their parties the menus almost solely consist of dessert. Hence my idea to have a dessert party!

THE PARTY
Every shindig I throw together no matter how big or small how casual or fancy I have a party plan. This is where I put together important bits of info to guide me as I plan. Sometimes it’s written, sometimes I put it in my phone and sometimes it’s just in my head but the point is that it’s there.

PARTY PLAN

WHAT: Birthday- Dessert Party

WHEN: September 6th 2014

WHERE: Beachhouse at X location

WHO: Insert guest list here

THEME: MLP FIM /Dessert

MENU: Insert menu here

ENTERTAINMENT: This is where you decide how you keep ypur guests bustm. Anything from an iTunes playlist to a game of monopoly to a performance by a belly dancer goes here.

BUDGET: Arguably the most important part of the party plan.
My budget was $100 US

Wait…what! An entire party for 25 plus persons feeding them dessert!(easily the most expensive part of any meal) for $100 US! No way!

Yes way. I am the poor party girl. I entertain and live fabulously on a budget!

HOW: I decided to do it potluck style. I asked each guest(or couple) to bring a dessert. That way each person only spent money on one dish but put altogether we had quite a spread.

THE LIST
This is my menu
1) Strawberry Trifle

2) Chocolate Trifle (ended up being baked chocolate mousse cake)

3) Brownies

4) Blondies

5)Cheesecake (one with strawberry and the other with cherry topping)

6)Coconut mousse

7) Ambrosia Salad

8) White chocolate chip cookies

9) Strawberry Strudel

10) Ice Cream

11) Fruit Tarts

12) Coconut Loaf

13)Chocolate Bread Pudding

14) Jello

Additionally we had tuna, cheese and cucumber sandwiches as well as fishcakes for those who wanted a break from the sweetness.

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Fruit tarts

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Blondies being sliced

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Some of the desserts

Of course there were drinks. From juice to coke wine, rum and vodka(birthday cake flavoured!), tipsy gummy bears and jello shots!

DECOR
As I said pink was the colour of choice. In an effort to stick to my budget coupled with my lack of time and energy to DIY, I had very minimal decorations but I think it worked out just fine.

1) Triangle flag banners
I bought three of these 9 foot long card banners. They were pink and white with alternating patterns of polka dots and stripes. I got them from a craft/toy store and they werw very inexpensive.

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The banners

2)Flowers
I usually get flowers from my supermarket. They are reasonable and there’s a decent selection. To save money, you could buy 2 or 3 flowers and either add some bulk with foliage from your garden or leave them just so for a minimalist look. This is what I usually do but I got crazy and bought a full bouquet with pink being the main colour of course.

3)Table
I bought a dirt cheap plastic tablecloth in flamingo pink. Not wanting to hide to beautiful dark wood table entirely my sister folded the tablecloth lengthways into 1/3’s and made it into a table runner.

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Table runner and flowers

4) Balloons
What a controversial decoration. For years I considered them tacky. A six year old birthday? Yeah. A high school dance? Fine, maybe. A wedding or a conference? NO!
Now I don’t feel that way at all. All over the net I’ve seen some seriously tasteful balloon decorations. Also, if you like balloons..use them! They are cheap, fun and instantly say “party!”.
My sister and mother got me three regular latex balloons filled with helium( they don’t last as long as heluim balloons) for my welcome home which happened 5 days earlier. They still had a little life in them so I tied them to the gate of the beach house so guests could find us.

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The balloons on day 1(sorry no party pics of them)

5) Candles
More for the ambience than decoration. I got a Glade candle in Coral Lagoon scent. Glade, BBW and similar brands are cheaper alternatives to fancy schmancy pricey designer candles.

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Glade candle

ENTERTAINMENT
Music
My sister’s bf set up a laptop and speakers and hooked it up to the TV. He had a playlist going most of the evening but later in we switched to YouTube requests and karaoke. Fun times!

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The entertainment system and me being a total creep in the window.

Hula(Hoola) hoop
Oh yes, inspired once more by MLP FIM. In their land Equestria, technology doesn’t exist and the ponies entetain themselves with old fashioned passtimes like apple bobbing and ball bouncing. I had 2 hoola hoops and later on in the evening some of us retreated to the sand and had a serious hooping session. I won!
There was also a beach ball (for those who couldn’t hoola hoop)

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View from the beach where the hoop-off took place.

THE CAKE
Half of my budget was spent on my cake. I love baking but who wants to have to make their own birthday cake? I ordered a dark chocolate mousse on chocolate sponge. It was topped with thick white chocolate curls and sliced strawberries. It was pure, smooth chocolaty evil. And we loved it!

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Decadence

I had an old fashioned “birthday song singing, speech giving cake sticking” It was touching.

That’s it in a nutshell. Another birthday well spent with excellent company. I have to admit I had been feeling really down in the days leading up to and on my birthday. This happened to me last year as well (I hope it doesn’t become a regular thing). By the end of the night I felt better and for that I am grateful. (especially after that hooping sesh!)
Wishing everyone an awesome day!

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Tipsy (gummy) bears and Jell-O Shots

9 Sep

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Hello all. So I had a birthday recently (Sept 6th- shout out to all Virgos!) and I had a dessert party! But this post isn’t about that. No, no no. Inspired by my dessert theme however I decided to make 2 alcoholic treats…..

1) Vodka infused gummy bears
2) Jell-O shots

This post is about these 2 treats and how I combined them.



TIPSY BEARS
I first learnt of the existence of these about 1 1/2 years ago when my sister decided to make them for her 25th birthday. She called them Drunken Gummy bears (as per the name used on the Internet).

I remember everyone being able to eat 2 maybe 3 of these max cause they were so potent! All but that one friend who had so many that by the end of the night he was walking like a drunken gummy bear himself (shout out to my friend Mark!). Anyhow, the recipe she used which was based on multiple sources asked that the gummy bears be soaked at least 3 days prior to use. Having experienced 3 day infused gummies, I decided to prepare mine the day before. Hence my term Tipsy gummies rather than full on drunk.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Gummy bears ( the amount you use depends on the number of people you plan to serve and their general tolerance for strong alcohol)
Side note, I’m pretty sure other gummy treats can be used e.g gummy worms (the ones without the acidic sugary coating) could make a great Halloween drunken snack.

2) Vodka – whatever brand you prefer.

3) Bowl- for mixing the gummies.
WHAT TO DO 

1) Pour desired amount of gummies in appropriate sized bowl.

2) Pour on vodka so that all the gummies are covered (not submerged and swimming)

3) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Tips 
I took them out about twice in the 24 hours to give a stir (the gummies become quite congealed) and the second time I added a dash more vodka because they had absorbed it all.
Before serving I took them out of the fridge for about an hour so they would soften and I could scoop them out properly.

I served mine in plastic shot glasses.

And it is that simple.

Jell-O SHOTS




Ahh jell-o. Something I definitely have a love-hate relationship with. I love that it looks so fun, that it’s been around for so long, that it’s so low in calories. However I often cannot get past 2 spoonfuls before becoming painfully aware that I am eating something that wobbles (bleh!)
I do on the other hand ADORE their puddings. I could eat chocolate jell-o pudding evey day for the rest of my life!

That being said, in keeping with my dessert party I decided jell-o (a classic family dessert) was a good idea. Then I was like hey! Let’s add alcohol for a really fun time! What I love most of all about jell-o, as a woman on a budget ( shout out to my fellow poor party girls!) is that it is dirt cheap! A small box is under $1(US) literally eveywhere you go. I used 1 small box to make 40 shots (using small plastic shot glasses)

I have certainly tasted a few jell-o shots in my time but I never made any. Turns out it’s very simple. I also learnt that I didn’t have to use vodka as the alcohol, I could also use rum! (#whoknew)

I made 2 flavours :1) watermelon with regular vodka and 2)raspberry with raspberry flavoured rum.

I got the recipe from a youtube video youtube recipe and the idea to use rum from her.

What you need:

1) 1 small package of jell-o(or other gelatin snack) -I used raspberry for this but use preferred flavour.

2)1 cup boiling water.

3) 1 cup cold water.

4) 1 cup Bacardi flavoured rum (or other flavour, or vodka)

5) Shot glasses (or other suitable small containers).

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Ingredients for jell-o shot fun

What to do:
1) Dissolve jell-o in 1 cup of hot water.

2) Add 1 cup cold water and stir well.

3) Add 1 cup of rum/vodka and mix.

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The mixed product.

4) I placed this liquid into a measuring cup (because the little spout makes it easier for pouring)

THE TWIST!
5) For my raspberry shots I decided to mix poisons as it were and dropped 2-3 tipsy gummies in the bottom of the shot glasses before adding the jell-o.

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Tipsy bears

6) Pour mixture into glasses and let chill and solidify. I left mine overnight to ensure proper consistency.

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The finished product (if you turn your head sideways and squint you can see the gummies in the bottom…lol)

Tips 
I kept them in the fridge for most of the party intermittently taking them out and going around until they’re were none left.

In summary both vodka infused gummies and jell-o shots are a fun inexpensive way to serve both alcohol and an adult treat. You need no more than 2 cups of alcohol to pull off both (that’s like a small bottle of vodka or rum)

I had fun making these and more fun watching my guests devour them with a mixture of delight and horror.

Look out for a post on the rest of my birthday dessert party (on a budget of course) and have am awesome day!

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