Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Gift Wrap Party - the treats

Wrapping presents can be hard work, so lots of yummy treats and drinks were need to keep everyone's energy up. On the beverage side we sipped hot cocoa, spiced cider and a delicious champagne cocktail. I kept everything pretty traditional with the sweets - spicy ginger snaps, chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate peppermint buttercream, English toffee and my favorite, penuche (brown sugar)fudge.

This recipe from Martha Stewart was super easy to make and totally addicting. If you're considering sharing, I would definitely recommend at least doubling the recipe because it goes fast! I remade the recipe today subbing dark muscovado sugar for the light brown sugar and it was equally delicious but had a much deeper molasses flavor.

Penuche Fudge
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces toasted walnuts, chopped (optional, I didn't add them)

1. Coat a 5-by-10-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line with plastic wrap leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides.
2. Bring evaporated milk, brown sugar, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture registers 236 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 25 minutes.
3. Transfer to a mixer bowl, and beat in confectioners' sugar on low speed. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium, and beat until mixture is thickened and smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add vanilla and walnuts (if using).
4. Spread mixture in pan, smoothing top. Refrigerate, uncovered, until firm, about 25 minutes. Unmold fudge using plastic overhang, and discard plastic. Cut into 18 pieces. Penuche will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.

Also, check out Becca's recipe for the fabulous favors she created.

Holiday Gift Wrap Party

I'm so excited to share pictures from my weekend collaboration with the amazing Becca of Birthday Girl. We invited our guests to bring unwrapped presents and provided them with everything they needed to create gorgeous, unique packages. Becca choose all of the lovely papers ( primarily from Paper Source) and ribbons and we came up with lots of embellishments - baker's twine, happy tape, glittery letters, antique keys, cupcake liner flowers, miniature mushrooms to name a few. We had the most fun styling the table to look just like a dessert table - right down to the 3-tiered paper cake! Everyone had a fantastic (and productive!) time and we vowed to make this a new holiday tradition.

Of course, it wouldn't be a party for me without lots of goodies, so I'll be back tomorrow with pictures of the treats, fabulous favors and even a signature champagne cocktail.

(photos by Birthday Girl & Cakewalk Baking)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Coming soon: Giftwrap Party

I've been a bad, bad blogger, but next week I promise to be back with some fabulous pictures and party details. I'm so excited to be co-hosting a party this weekend with Becca from Birthday Girl and can hardly wait to share the results!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Graham's County Fair - recap II

Thanks again to Sherry Heck for all of the amazing photos (the first one of Graham is my absolute favorite!!).

Striped cups, straws, popcorn bags: Hey Yo Yo
Novelty toys, balloons, darts: US Toy
Marquee sign: Homemade with lights from Target & chalkboard paint
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