Earlier this month I had a local party to celebrate the publishing of my new book, Glorious Layered Desserts.
It was a special night to celebrate with family and friends… many of the people who have been an essential part of my journey the past few years. If it were not for the encouragement and support of my friends and family, this blog and this book would not exist. Of course all of the encouragement in the world wouldn’t take me too far if it weren’t for all of the amazing readers of Glorious Treats… that includes YOU! Thank you!!
Please join me for a little virtual party tour…
I planned the party down to every last detail… but that plan would have been nothing but some writing on a few sheets of paper without lots of help from a group of amazing friends!!
Several friends and I spent all day in the kitchen prepping 400 mini desserts. We prepared five different desserts, each are recipes from the book.
The desserts were…
- Caramel Brownie Trifle
- Fresh Fruit Cheesecake Mousse
- Banana Caramel Cream Dessert
- Peanut Butter Mousse with Chocolate Cookie Crumble
- Sugar Nuts
I chose small cups for the desserts so that guests could indulge in several desserts! I used 5oz cups from Party City, 2 oz mini bowls from Party City, 4 oz cups from Amazon, and polka dot nut cups from The Tomkat Studio.
The desserts were pretty… but for me, the party was all about the people! I felt so blessed to have so many friends come celebrate with me!
I truly enjoyed seeing the party guests savor the desserts and flip through the pages of the book, ohhing and ahhing!
Mindy of Creative Juice.
My sweet daughter, Joy… she takes dessert very seriously! =)
A few savory appetizers to accompany all the sweets.
Several local bloggers and friends… Heather’s French Press, The Domestic Rebel, Amy’s Healthy Baking, Crazy for Crust (with sweet daughter, Jordan), Very Culinary.
Other local bloggers and “sweets girls” in attendance (but not pictured above)… Domestic Fashionista, Trinnie Loves Cookies, Creative Juice, Auntie Bea’s Bakery (pictured below).
Amazing friends (Bethany, Tara, Lisa, Heather)!
Gorgeous friends and party helpers, Amy & Adia.
I enlisted the help of three talented friends to play the piano during the party, my sister Joy (pictured above), Lois A., and Kathy M..
Busy signing books…
Me and my sweet hubby!
I love this photo (above) because it’s me and my sweet family and we’re all smiling. I was drawing names for giveaway prizes and my oldest daughter (in pink) drew the name of my youngest daughter (in white), we all laughed and I quickly set the name aside.
As guests left the party they were able to grab a little goodie bag that included sugared nuts (a recipe from the book), some chocolates, and a little pad of “Glorious Treats” sticky notes.
All photos in this post by Gene Chutka (also the book photographer).
HUGE thanks to several friends who helped me pull off this party! Amy Middleton & girls, Heather Serpa, Bethany Gist, Lisa Lyon, Tara Castillo, Pam Smith, Kathy Mullisen, Lois Andrakowicz, Shelly Lange, Joy & Bruce Adams.
Thanks to a few of my favorite companies for providing the following party supplies…
Sweet Estelle’s Baking Supply – Blue Chevron Favor Bags
Sweet Works – Chocolates for goodie bags, giveaways and decoration
Wilton – Piping bags, tips and coupler sets for giveaways
Nielsen-Massey – Extracts for giveaways
If you have yet to purchase a copy of Glorious Layered Desserts, all the details on purchasing a copy are HERE.
Few things pair better than coffee and donuts! Dunkin’ Donuts is an expert with both coffee and donuts… and now they’ve gone one step farther and combined the two!
Dunkin’ Donuts has just introduced their new Bakery Series line of coffee. Each of the five new coffee flavors is inspired by their popular bakery items… Jelly Donut, Old Fashioned Donut, Chocolate Glazed Donut, Caramel Coffee Cake and Blueberry Muffin.
The folks at Dunkin’ Donuts sent me a box of goodies to try… but of course I wouldn’t tell you that unless there was one for you too!!
Do you like coffee?
Do you like donuts?
Do you like cash?
Wait… what? Yes, I said cash!
In addition to an awesome package that includes…
- The complete Bakery Series coffees (1 each): Chocolate Glazed Donut, Jelly Donut, Old Fashioned Donut, Blueberry Muffin and Caramel Coffee Cake flavors.
- Dunkin’ Donuts coffee mug
- Turtle Donut blended coffee recipe
- Mr. Coffee Pot Coffee Maker
This giveaway also includes a $250.00 Visa gift card!!
Would you like to win some Coffee & Cash?
Simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite kind of donut. Do you like maple? Chocolate with sprinkles? Jelly filled? Inquiring minds want to know! =)
Details - Comments must be left on this blog post. Once enter per person. If you are reading this post as an e-mail, click the title of the post to view the giveaway online. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. Giveaway ends Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 at 9pm Pacific. Winner will be chosen using random.org. Giveaway sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts. All images text, and opinions are my own.
********************************** Giveaway Closed ***********************************
Winner – Jenny #64
Spring flowers, and cookie decorating… two of my favorite things! I’m combining these two loves with these Spring Brush Embroidery Cookies.
I’m often drawn to pastel colors, and when I wanted to share the beautiful and delicate technique of brush embroidery, this seemed the fitting color palette.
Brush embroidery was a cookie decorating technique I was intimidated to try for a long time. When I finally gave it a try a few years ago I realized how truly simple it is! Although it does take a bit of time, and it’s important to have the correct icing consistency, one you get going I think you’ll find it a relaxing and rewarding technique!
How to decorate cookies with brush embroidery…
First, you’ll need a batch of cookies made from my Sugar Cookie Recipe (or your favorite).
You’ll also need a batch of Royal Icing and a small, flat (new/clean) paintbrush. You’ll see the size and shape I used in the images below. Each decorator may have their own brush preference.
I outlined and flooded the cookies shown with the same consistency of icing, a medium consistency (and a #2 tip). Mix up a batch of icing (using the recipe listed above) and then add some icing to a bowl. Add your color, and a bit of (slightly warm) water (1/2 teaspoon at a time) until you’ve reached a consistency similar to shampoo or corn syrup. It should be just thin enough that after 15-20 seconds a spoonful of icing drizzled into the bowl disappears into the rest of the icing.
Outline and fill in the cookies, then allow that icing to dry fully overnight.
The next day, prepare a bag of white piping consistency (stiff) icing (with a #2 tip). The icing should be about the consistency of toothpaste. It should not be so stiff that it hurts your hand to squeeze the bag, but when piped onto a surface (cookie) the line stays in place.
Step by step brush embroidery (as pictured above).
1. Pipe the outline of two flower petals (as shown).
2.-4. Using a slightly moist brush, pull some of the icing from the edge you’ve created, in toward the center of the cookie. The brush should be slightly moist as you work. I keep a small bowl of water at my work area, dip the brush into the water, then dap the brush onto a paper towel to absorb much of the water. This is something you will have to experiment with. If you begin to “brush” the icing the brush is too wet, you will lose any definition in the petals. As you’ll see in the photos (both above and below), you want to be creating some texture in each petal (from the brush bristles) to represent the veining in real flower petals.
5. Pipe the start of a few more petals, as shown.
6. As before, brush the icing from the edge, toward the center of the cookie. You can experiment with how thick or thin you want to leave the outside edge of each petal.
7. Allow this set of petals to dry just a bit before moving to step 8. If you are working on several cookies, but the time you’ve done the first set of steps (1.-6. listed above), the petals should be plenty dry enough to move forward.
8. Add petals to complete the outside row of petals (as shown). Allow to dry (about 1 hour).
9.-10. When the outside row of petals has set up, add new a row of petals (as shown).
11. Complete this inner set of petals by filling in with some small petals.
12. Add some small dots of icing to create a flower center, then add a few white non-pareils (sprinkles) for added dimension.
Your cookie is complete! =)
Allow to dry fully (several hours) before packaging.
I hope you give this technique a try! As always, please feel free to share your results on the Glorious Treats Facebook page.
Here in California, spring seems to be well on it’s way! This weekend I was oh so tempted to turn on the air conditioner in the house… somehow 75 degrees feels super hot when it’s been cool for a while! All around town, trees are blooming like crazy and they’re so beautiful!
I love spring baking! Spring is the perfect time to celebrate fresh flavors like lemon and strawberry, to decorate cookies in pretty pastel colors, and garnish desserts with fresh fruit!
Here are a few of my favorite spring sweets…
(Click on the images or titles to see the full posts)
I have been quite busy recently with promotion for my new cookbook, Glorious Layered Desserts! If you’ve yet to purchase a copy you can find all the details about the book, order a signed copy, and more HERE.
This past weekend I had a local book launch party and it was a LOT of work, but also a ton of fun! I think it came together really beautifully and I’ll look forward to sharing more details (and photos!) soon!
Next weekend I’ll be heading to Cookie Con, cookie decorating conference and show! For the last conference I was a speaker, but this year I’ll be selling books and enjoying the conference as an attendee. I’m looking forward to seeing many of my cookie friends, and I’ll be sure to share lots of photos (and a fun giveaway!) when I return!
Have a wonderful week!
Happy March!! This is a month I’ve been looking forward to for nearly a year…. the month my cookbook, Glorious Layered Desserts, is officially available to purchase!!
What an adventure it was to complete this book…. so many recipe notes, so much chocolate, so much cream, and a lot of love!
Each and every recipe in the book was tested and re-tested several times…. by me, in a pretty modest sized kitchen. Several days during the recipe testing I showed up at my daughter’s school with jars of pudding, fudge sauce, caramel sauce… it was pretty funny! I mean, when in your life have you ever walked up to a friend and said… ”here, would you like a jar of pudding, I just made 7 batches of it!”
Every recipe in the book has a full page image. I enlisted the help of a talented photographer friend, Gene Chutka. We had a lot of fun working together. He brought all of his photography equipment to my house and I would have a line up of desserts ready to go. I would set up a photo shoot, making sure there was just the right amount of crumbs, or drizzle, and then he would take the photo. We’d look at the photos together on his computer, make little adjustments to the set up, and then move to the next recipe. I’m sure it would have been funny to be a little mouse in the corner and hear our conversations… “Do you think there should be a few more sprinkles on that dessert?” ”Are there a few too many crumbs on the right side of that plate?” Gene was very patient with me, and his eye for detail was a perfect fit with mine!
The images in the collage above will give you just a little idea of the recipes in the book. There are over 60 luscious recipes… from Chocolate Nutella Cream Dessert to Raspberry Blackberry Cheesecake Mousse, to Pumpkin Banana Caramel Trifle… I really think you’ll find something for everyone!
In addition to the recipes themselves, I’ve included notes on ingredients, techniques, where to buy supplies, and recipe shortcuts.
This book represents a lot of love, hard work, and a few tears! I am very proud of the final results. I am so looking forward to hearing reports from friends, family and all of you sweet readers, as you try the recipes and share them with the people you love.
There are lots of ways to get your hands on a copy of Glorious Layered Desserts…
To purchase a signed copy directly from me you can find all the details HERE.
Glorious Layered Desserts is available on-line from Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
I will be doing a bit of travel with the book as well, including Folsom-CA, Salt Lake City-UT, Topeka-KS. You can find a bit more details on those signings HERE.
Thanks so much to each of you who follow this site, leave sweet comments and have already purchased the book! Your encouragement has meant the world to me!