1. Consisting of members or elements of different kinds; of mixed character: a book of miscellaneous essays on American history.

2. Having various qualities, aspects, or subjects: a miscellaneous discussion.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Perfectly Pink Details - A Tea Party

I am not a professional party planner, baker, photographer, or writer.  (If you’ve read ANY of my blogs not only do you realize this, you understand why.)  But I would be remiss if I didn’t publish the recipes and photos from my tea party to celebrate the memory of Ava.

I wanted touches of pink everywhere for obvious reasons.  I learned of the annual tea party celebration too late to plan anything elaborate so I made things easy for myself.  I chose two strawberry desserts because both Little Misses like strawberries and it was natural for the pink theme. 

Once again, Glory from Glorious Treats provided an excellent recipe for cupcakes and frosting.  I followed her recipe exactly, but I made MINI cupcakes in 2-inch liners.  The recipe produced 48 minis AND four “regular” size cupcakes that served as take-home treats.  I baked the minis for 15 minutes and they were perfect.  I topped them with strawberry cream cheese frosting.  I used Smucker’s spreadable fruit rather than preserves because I wanted a totally seedless experience.  I found that 3 tablespoons of fruit provided the perfect amount of strawberry flavor but it did make the frosting slightly softer than the “pure” recipe.  Placed in the fridge for a few minutes, the frosting still piped perfectly however.  I did add some paste color for the pink tint and topped them with pink sparkle sugar.

The recipe for the strawberry tarts was literally stumbled upon through a search for another appetizer.  But I tucked it away in my “someday this sounds good” file.  I was right.  They were really tasty and incredibly easy to make.  I found the following hints will make an even better experience next time:

  • The berries get VERY juicy.  Cook at a higher temp or for a longer time so that the liquid reduces substantially.
  • Beat the cream cheese very well before adding the berry mixture.  Otherwise it takes a long time to incorporate and the cheese remains lumpy.
  • Since the shells are so small, trim the berry pieces to fill nicely in the bottom.  The quarters to TOP the shells can stay the full piece.
  • The cream cheese mix makes far more than what fills one box of shells.  It would easily fill two boxes to yield 30 tartlets.
  • These can’t be made too far in advance or the shells will get soggy.

I served Earl Grey tea with traditional accompaniments of cream, sugar, and lemon slices.  This was clearly not my most detailed soiree but it was simple to put together and relaxed, and that's what an afternoon tea should be.

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