Ski Themed Cookies

February 13, 2017 § Leave a comment

How appropriate that a snow storm is raging outside as SWEETTABLESCAPES is decorating “ski cookies” for a client.

We shamelessly copied (to the best of our ability…) this amazing set by Elenis. Now if only we could ski like pros!!!

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Large version, followed by some Minis for the kids!!

 

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Super Bowl 51: and the winner is…

February 6, 2017 § Leave a comment

Not much of a football fan, I must admit; so my main focus every year is to wait for the two teams to make it through the elimination process so I can practice the logos. These logos…usually pretty intricate, they make the cookie decorating a bit challenging but so much fun.

This year, we had the Falcons and the Patriots and we had THE GAME. Even for a non-believer like me, it was an impressive moment in time and the incredible comeback made for football history.fullsizeoutput_27b5

SWEETTABLESCAPES want to congratulate the winning team! Go Patriots!!

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Buttermilk Waffles: fluffy Sunday breakfast!

February 2, 2017 § Leave a comment

With some buttermilk left in the fridge after making a big batch of cupcakes, Sweettablescapes was ready for a Sunday morning treat: some fluffy Buttermilk waffles! (recipe from Southern Living, Feb. 2015). These are easy, quick and delicious! Make sure to eat them right away!!

img_0033You’ll need:

2 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
SYRUP

Directions:

1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. img_0020Whisk together egg yolks and buttermilk in a small bowl. img_0021img_0023Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.img_0024img_0025img_00262. Using a fork, stir yolk mixture into flour mixture just until dry ingredients are moistened.img_0027img_0028 Stir in butter and vanilla. img_0029img_0030(Batter will be lumpy.) Fold in egg white mixture just until incorporated. img_0031img_0032(Do not overmix.)

3. Pour about 1/2 cup batter for each waffle into a preheated, oiled Belgian-style waffle iron; cook according to manufacturer’s instructions until waffles are golden brown and crisp. Keep warm in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 200° oven up to 30 minutes. Serve with syrup.

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Impress your guests: make a Charlotte

January 27, 2017 § Leave a comment

You know how sometimes you want to really impress your guests with a very special, not “only” delicious but also beautiful-looking dessert? If you are willing to put in a little bit of effort, a Pear Charlotte will definitely deliver the wow factor, as well as the “deliciousness”. AND, drum rolls, it must be made in advance, so no last minute stress!!img_3348

This classic French dessert often comes with a “creme bavaroise” filling (it includes eggs and is quite rich) but this recipe from Daniel Boulud (Elle Decor, November 2015) calls for gelatin and makes for a slightly lighter if not completely dietetic filling .Try it and you’ll be smitten! (Note that the author suggests using canned pears or other fruit if you do not have the time or inclination to poach the pears!! Another time-saving tip!!)

You’ll need:

2 cinnamon sticks

2 star anise pods Zest and juice of 1 lemon

½ cup maple syrup

¼ cup honey

1 cup sugar

2 cups water

7 Bartlett pears

1 T unsalted butter Salt

4 sheets gelatin or two ¼-oz. packets

1 package ladyfingers (24 pieces)

1 ½ cups heavy cream

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Line a charlotte mold with plastic wrap so that the bottom and sides are covered.

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In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil the cinnamon sticks, star anise, lemon juice and zest, maple syrup, honey, sugar, and water. img_0001Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Set aside ¼ cup of syrup.

Transfer the remaining syrup to a large shallow baking dish. Peel, quarter, and core four of the pears and slice them thinly (about ¼ inch thick). img_0009Immediately transfer the slices to the baking dish and mix them with the syrup to prevent oxidation. Cover the dish and place in the oven to poach the pear slices for about 15 minutes.

Peel, quarter, and core the remaining three pears and roughly chop into small chunks.img_0002 In a medium saucepan, combine the pear chunks with the butter, a pinch of salt, and the reserved ¼ cup of syrup;
set the saucepan over medium heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the pear mashes easily with a spoon. Use a handheld immersion blender to puree until smooth. img_0004

img_0005Bloom the gelatin in a small bowl of cold water img_0003and add it to the pear puree;img_0006 mix well and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for about 45 minutes.img_0007

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Remove the poached pears from the oven and let them cool slightly in the syrup. Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer the pears onto a plate lined with paper towels. Quickly dip the ladyfingers in the syrup and set them aside; img_0011img_0012they will slowly absorb the syrup.

In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the cream to stiff peaks,img_0013

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then, using a spatula, gently fold the pear puree into the whipped cream; img_0017

img_0018do not overmix.

To assemble the pear charlotte, line the walls of the charlotte mold with the syrup-soaked ladyfingers, arranging them vertically side by side. img_0031Pour half of the pear-cream mixture into the charlotte, img_0020then add a double layer of sliced pears. Pour in the remaining pear-cream mixture. Lay four more ladyfingers across the top and trim the four remaining ladyfingers to fill in gaps so that the top (which will be the base of the charlotte once inverted) is covered.img_0032 Place in the refrigerator for at least four hours to set completely. To serve, unmold the charlotte onto a plate and arrange the remaining pear slices on top in a circular pattern.

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img_3351Enjoy!!

Spa Party Cookies

January 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

I wish I had Spa parties when I was a little girl! Getting my nails done and sipping cucumber-water with my friends, I would have felt quite content, but since I did not, I now compensate by baking some Spa cookies when I am asked…So recently, SWEETTABLESCAPES produced this selection of spa-snacks for the lucky birthday girl and her guests!!

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As you can see, this was the luxury treatment;

fluffy slippers, nail polish bottles, lipstick and cucumber slices completed the set!!

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Gluten-Free baking: Chewy Almond-Cocoa Cookies

January 9, 2017 § Leave a comment

 

SWEETTABLESCAPES is admittedly not a gluten-free business but it’s always fun to experiment with new stuff and we wanted to try a few simple recipes to be able to respond to requests of GF baked goods every now and then. This is an easy recipe which yields some delicious “meringue-based” cookies; and with gluten-free comes the Passover Jewish holiday stamp of approval too; so if you celebrate Passover, keep this recipe in your arsenal!!img_0022

When we went hunting for some GF recipes, we found a good source in img_2939

Our first try was the Chewy Almond-Cocoa Cookie recipe:

You’ll need: 

5.4 ounces almond meal flour (about 1 1/2 cups) [keep in mind that almond meal flour is simply blanched almonds that are very finely ground. I usually make my almond meal with a coffee grinder]

2/3 cup sugar, divided

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa

2 large egg whites

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 tsp almond extract

2 Tbsp slices almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F

Combine almond flour, 1/3 cup sugar and cocoa in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk.img_0037

Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. img_0038Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. img_0039Fold in almond extract. Sprinkle flour mixture over egg white mixture. Fold in.img_0040
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Spoon mixture into a pastry bag with 1 1/2-inch round tip. Pipe mounds 1 inch apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. img_0043

Gently press an almond slice into top of each cookies.( we forgot that step.. 😦

Bake at 325F for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges of cookies are crisp. Coll 10 minutes on pans. Remove and cool on wire racks.

 

 

Mini cookies: our latest creations

January 9, 2017 § Leave a comment

There is no doubt that miniature cookies check all the boxes: cute beyond compare and small enough that you can have a few without feeling the guilt and the pounds piling on!!

SWEETTABLESCAPES makes them on a regular basis for many different events and they’re always a big hit!! Our collection of miniature cookie cutters is constantly growing! So here are some of the latest styles:

Bat Mitzvah cookies for a Soccer fan!

Bat Mitzvah cookies for a Soccer fan!

Another sport aficionado requested miniature balls!

Another sport aficionado requested miniature balls!

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Wedding favors for a couple who met at Penn State

Wedding favors for a couple who met at Penn State

Teachers Thank You

Teachers Thank You

Bridal Shower favors

Bridal Shower favors

Favors for a Little Prince or Knight!!

Favors for a Little Prince or Knight!!

Mother's Day treats!

Mother’s Day treats!

Gender reveal...

Gender reveal…

 

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