And the reception was pretty spectacular, too. As usual, I have no pictures of the actual event and wouldn't have any at all if my husband hadn't come into the kitchen at some point during the frenzy and snapped away. Thanks Jim! I thought a pink/red theme might be good, although at one point I was considering the possibility of making homemade Mozart balls, since we were doing his Requiem. That idea died a merciful death, although I still think it would have been nice. Oh well. People didn't complain! We had tons of food and tons of people, so it all worked out.
Above are pictures of the three sweet items I made. The two cookies are minus their white chocolate squiggles; both recipes are from the estimable Sally's Baking Addiction. I would encourage you to take a look at her Raspberry Thumbprints and Cherry Almond Cookies, with the following caveats:
1. She doesn't call for any salt; I wondered about that, but since I always use salted butter I figured they'd be okay, and they were, although I think I'd add maybe 1/4 tsp. per batch if I made them again. It's kind of ironic that there wouldn't be any salt in her recipe, since she's overly fond (In my estimation) of sprinkling salt over the top of sweet items. (I keep hoping this horrible idea will go away, but it shows no sign of doing so. Every time we get a box of expensive chocolates with sea salt on them we have to scrape/rinse them before we can stand to eat them.)
2. She is adamant that you must chill the dough before shaping and baking it, as it's way too soft to work with otherwise. It actually seemed fine to me at the time, soft but not at all sticky as you can see in the photo, but since I was mixing up the dough the day before I needed to refrigerate it anyway. When I took it out the next morning, all ready to get started baking, both doughs were AS HARD AS A ROCK. I'm going to contact Sally and ask about this, as it would be been somewhat problematic if I'd had to bake the cookies right away.
3. She has you use white chocolate for the cherry cookies and a confectioner's sugar glaze for the raspberry ones, but I didn't want to make two different things, so I used this recipe for a sort of combo, and it worked really well. (Note that I used just the glaze part of the recipe, but as I looked at the recipe as a whole I thought that the cookies sounded really good, too, so I'm going to try this version the next time I get the urge the combine cookies and jam.) Working with plain chocolate is a royal pain, as it hardens if you don't use it quickly enough and a lot of it gets wasted if you try to pipe it, since it hardens inside your container.
The cupcakes are made from my Lemon-Cream Cupcakes, with the frosting again from Sally's side, her Raspberry Buttercream. You'll need to scroll down through all her lovely chocolate-cupcake photos to get to her actual recipe, but that's hardly a hardship. I guess with this post I've added to her already in-the-millions traffic. (I just didn't have the time or the energy to make my beloved Italian Buttercream, the recipe for which is included with my cupcake post. I do love that stuff, but sometimes you just have to dig out that bag of powdered sugar and deal with it.)
I will end with a picture of the little squeeze bottles that my husband bought for me, thinking that I could use them for frosting my many cupcakes. (They come with several other tips.) I had told him that they just weren't big enough to hold frosting for 48 cupcakes at a time, but as it turned out they were very helpful for doing the small piping job I needed to do on the cookies. So they've earned their place in my kitchen; you can buy them here.