Ultra-mini cookies for “Confetti Favors”

May 20, 2016 § Leave a comment

At SWEETTABLESCAPES, we’re always looking for new and unique ways of bringing sweetness to everyone’s life. We bake cookies all week long but wanted to come up with yet another cute way to make them truly fun and special. That’s when we came up with our “confetti” cookies. IMG_0007They are about the size of a penny (give or take) and can be iced and sprinkled in pretty much any color ! Which makes them perfect to match your party colors ! And perfect to munch on! They’re like an ultra-mini snack, almost too cute to eat!

And then to make it really special, we are packaging them in these great acrylic boxes, wrapped in washi tape and topped with a custom label! FAVORS FOR EVERY OCCASION!!!

Check these out and get inspired for your next event:

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We can also package them into a “push-pop” container for another fun look:

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PS: You can also choose to fill up your box or “pop” with your favorite candy!!

Boxes are 2  5/16 X 2  5/16 squares and 3  1/16 high (contain about 4 oz cookies and 6 oz candy)

Push-pops are 3  3/4 X 1  3/4 cylinders. (contain about 2 oz cookies and 5 oz candy)

Message or call us for pricing.

We made a bunch of those for Mother’s Day packages…

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Seeded Whole Grain Soda Bread

May 20, 2016 § Leave a comment

If you enjoy bread but not the “carbohydrate-guilt” that goes with it, if you can’t be bothered with kneading and letting dough rise for hours, this recipe might just have been created for you! The only planning required is that you soak your grains 8-12 hours in advance; and yet, if you have not been able to plan at all… the recipe offers a 2-hour time-saving alternative…No more excuses not to make this delicious bread, even better toasted, the next day!!

 

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This recipe is from Bon Appetit, November 2015.

This energy-sustaining bread makes beautiful toast.

Ingredients:

Servings: Makes one 8″-diameter loaf

  • ¼ cup millet
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons amaranth
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for topping
  • cups buttermilk, divided, plus more for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for pan
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds, plus more for topping
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice syrup or mild-flavored (light) molasses

Preparation:

  • Mix millet, quinoa, amaranth, 1 cup oats, 1 cup buttermilk, and ½ cup water in a small bowl. Cover and let sit 8–12 hours. IMG_0108(Alternatively, bring ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and let sit until mixture is thick like porridge, about 2 hours.)
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil an 8″-diameter cast-iron skillet or cake pan. Whisk whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, flaxseed, salt, baking soda, and ¼ cup sunflower seeds in a large bowl. IMG_0109Work in butter with your fingers until largest pieces are pea-size. IMG_0110Make a well in the center and add brown rice syrup, oat mixture, remaining 1¼ cups buttermilk, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is smooth, homogenous, and still slightly sticky.
  • Form dough into a ball and place in prepared pan. IMG_0112Brush with buttermilk; top with more oats and sunflower seeds. Cut a large X into the top and bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of loaf registers 190°, 55–70 minutes. IMG_0113Let cool in pan.
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  • Do Ahead: Bread can be baked 2 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Homemade Graham Crackers

May 12, 2016 § Leave a comment

When Sweettablescapes got a request for a S’Mores Kit to give away as a favor, we knew our homemade marshmallows would take center stage. But then we wondered: delicious marshmallows with average store-bought graham crackers? That will not do. So we tested a couple of recipes for homemade crackers. With some Belgian chocolate from our friends at Leonidas, we had the perfect combo for truly gourmet S’Mores. We packaged them in a small box and voila!!

Our first recipe was from Marthastewart.com and as usual, we were not disappointed. The dough was more challenging to handle because it was a bit dry, friable and crumbly but in the end, it produced a light cookie. The second recipe (here) , much wetter, stickier and easy to roll was unfortunately much denser, harder and less tasty.

IMG_9359Homemade Graham Crackers:

For Martha’s recipe, you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for working
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup untoasted wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons high-quality honey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flours, wheat germ, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.IMG_9336

Put butter, brown sugar, and honey into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; IMG_9335mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. IMG_9337Add the flour mixture, and mix until combined.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface, and divide into quarters. IMG_9338  Roll out each piece between 2 sheets of floured parchment paper into rectangles a bit larger than 9 by 6 inches, about 1/8 inch thick.

Using a fluted pastry wheel, trim the outermost edges of each rectangle, and divide into three 6-by-3-inch rectangles. Pressing lightly, so as not to cut all the way through, score each piece in half lengthwise and crosswise, to form four 3-by-1 1/2-inch crackers. (We just used fluted square cookie cutters to have perfectly even crackers).Stack parchment and dough on a baking sheet and chill in freezer until firm, about 20 minutes.

Remove two sheets of dough from freezer. Pierce crackers using the tines of a fork. Transfer to large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. IMG_9339Bake, rotating halfway through, until dark golden brown, 8 to 9 minutes. IMG_9340IMG_9341Repeat with remaining dough. Let cool on sheet 5 minutes; transfer crackers to wire racks to cool completely.

Add all the trimmings and you have the perfect homemade S’Mores Kit!!

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Mother’s Day sweets

May 5, 2016 § Leave a comment

In between batches of cookies to be enjoyed by moms this coming week-end,  SWEETTABLESCAPES wants to share a few of our creations this year.

From the “standard” loving hearts:

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to spring colorful flowers:

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from the “packaging-inspired” hand-painted cookies:

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to the mini-candy boxes:

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and our popular Mini cookies:

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we are celebrating all things sweet for the sweetest woman of all: Mom!!

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After this sugar overload, there is nothing else to say but HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MOM!!

Gateau de Savoie: another French classic!

May 2, 2016 § Leave a comment

Growing up in France, this cake was part of every household’s repertoire. Easy, simple, yet surprisingly satisfying, it belongs to the standards and you will certainly enjoy its minimal ingredient list as well as its ease of preparation. Dorie Greenspan certainly did when she included the following recipe in her “Baking Chez Moi”!!

IMG_0033Give it a try too!

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You’ll need:

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar, plus extra for dusting

6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1 1/4 cups (170 g) all-purpose flour

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter a Bundt or large cake pan (at least 12-cup capacity). Dust with sugar and tap out excess.

Put egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Put yolks in a large bowl.

Add sugar to the yolks and immediately start beating with a whisk or hand mixer (you do not want the yolks and sugar to stand, because the sugar will “burn” the yolks and cause them to form a “skin”). Beat until mixture is pale and so thick that when you lift the whisk (or beaters), it falls back on itself in a slowly dissolving ribbon. Beat in the vanilla.IMG_0001IMG_0002

Add the salt to the egg whites and whip until they hold firm, glossy peaks.IMG_0003  IMG_0004 IMG_0005 IMG_0006

Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the whites, put them on top of the yolks and, using a flexible  spatula, stir them in to thin the yolks a little.IMG_0007

Pour the flour over the yolks and fold it in. The mixture  which will be very thick, should be well blended. Add another 2 TBsp or so of the whites and, once again, stir them in to lighten the mixture.IMG_0010IMG_0011

Finally, scrape all the remaining whites into the bowl and gently fold them in with the spatula. IMG_0009It’s better to have a few streaks of whites in the batter than to work the mixture so long that the whites deflate. Turn the batter out into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a bamboo stick inserted deep into the center comes out dry. IMG_0012Transfer pan to a rack and let the cake  sit for 5 minutes, then use a knife to pry the cake away from the sides of the pan if necessary. Turn the cake over onto a cutting board and let it rest for 3 minutes, just to create some steam, then remove the pan. Transfer cake to a rack to cool right side up.

Just before serving, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.

This cake is extremely simple and even basic but still delicious on its own or dunked into a cup of coffee. However, it is often served with some jam, or a fruit salad (to absorb its juices) or even better, some lemon curd. Its sponge cake qualities really allow many pairings. We actually cut the cake in half and spread its center with a rich chocolate buttercream!! Just pick your own garnish and enjoy!!IMG_0014

 

 

Creative Blogger Award

April 28, 2016 § 4 Comments

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Big thanks are in order for Nell at “I need a feed” for including me in her list of nominees. I always feel a bit like an imposter amongst the incredibly talented and uber-creative bloggers out there and I am completely surprised. But let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth and let’s get to business:

So the rules are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2.  Share 5 things about yourself.
  3.  Nominate up to 15 bloggers.
  4. Keep the rules in your post.

THANK YOU again Nell, truly appreciate your ongoing support all the way from down under, mind you!!!!

Five things about myself:

  1. Moved to the USA more than 25 years ago from my native France.
  2. Started cooking and baking very late in life. Always thought my mom was the queen of the kitchen and that there was nothing there for me..It turns out that there is and with baking especially. It works quite well when you have bit of OCD: following the recipe and measuring ingredients being essential in baking, it suits me just fine.
  3. I am a movie buff and since acquiring a movie pass card, I usually see 2 to 3 movies a week.
  4. I used to work on a cruise ship! (Remember Julie McCoy, anyone?)
  5. One of my favorite authors is Stephen King.

My nominations are:

Enjoy checking those out: the recipes AND the photography are absolutely brilliant!!

Strawberry Peach Crumble

April 24, 2016 § Leave a comment

Fresh fruit will soon be the main event at your dessert table and this Strawberry Peach Crumble should be a very nice way to conclude a Spring lunch.

This recipe was actually published in the Martha Stewart May 2013 issue, as the ending of a Mother’s Day lunch!! Enjoy it on any occasion!!

You’ll need:

Crumble

  • 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for baking dish
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 ounces pine nuts, toasted (1/3 cup)

Filling

  • 4 apricots, pitted and cut into sixths (about 2 cups) We used peaches instead
  • 12 ounces strawberries (about 15), hulled and halved, or quartered if large (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all crumble ingredients in a medium bowl and massage together with your fingers until butter is incorporated and mixture forms small clumps. Refrigerate until mixture is cold, at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.IMG_2947

  2. IMG_2948Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 1/2-inch shallow round baking dish or pie plate. Combine all filling ingredients in another medium bowl.IMG_2949 Transfer to baking dish and top with crumble. IMG_2950IMG_2951Bake until bubbling in center and crumble is browned, about 40 minutes. Let cool at least 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.IMG_2952

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