Star Wars Day 2014

Star Wars Day 2014 1This is the third year I’ve hosted a Star Wars Day party.  It involves good food with punny names, watching SW movies and SW themed board games.  The first SW party I threw was just a small surprise for a special someone but through the years it’s evolved into a bigger celebration.  I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of Star Wars, but I can say that I love throwing themed parties.  So in a way, I do love Star Wars Day.
Star Wars Day 2014 2Star Wars Day 2014 4This year‘s party theme was Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, so all of the food and activities were centered on Episode 1 characters and settings.  Here are the things we made for SW Day*:
chicken pod piechicken pod pie 2Star Wars Day 2014 7 Star Wars Day 2014 8obi wontons obi wontons 2padme parfaitpadme parfait 2quail gon jinn 1 quail gon jinn 2watto's wings 1 watto's wings 2The centerpiece of the table was my Darth Maul-ble Cake, a marble cake with chocolate frosting and a chocolate transfer of Darth Maul.   There was a small chorus of “wows” when I revealed it.  Chocolate transfers can take a bit of time, but it is straight forward and simple to do.  I used the same technique for this piece and it turned out fabulous.
steps darth maulI think Darth Maul is quite scary.  To be completely honest, I got a wee bit frightened trying to find the right photo for the transfer.  Filling in the chocolate parts was no walk in the park either, he was just as scary.  I know it sounds silly, but if your imagination runs as wild as mine does I’m sure you understand. Revenge of the Six-th indeed. 🙂
Star Wars Day 2014 19Darth Maul-ble Cake

You will need:

1 Chocolate Marble Cake – Recipe Below
1 Batch of Chocolate Frosting – Can be found here
Black Candy Melts
Red Candy Melts
Yellow Candy Melts
White Candy Melts
A mirrored image of this printout in a black circle

Instructions:

  1. Tape the printout onto a baking sheet or any desired flat surface.
  2. Tape a piece of parchment paper over the printout making sure it covers the entire image.
  3. Melt a small amount of black, red, yellow and white candy melts (do not meld the colors together).
  4. Remember, chocolate transfers are all about layering.  Each time you fill out the next step, you will be going over the previously filled portion.
  5. Using either a toothpick or a piping bag fitted with either a #1 or #2 round tip, fill in the pupil of the eye with the black candy melt. (As shown in the above photo.)
  6. Mix the yellow and white candy melt to get a light ivory hue for the horns. Fill in. (As shown in the above photo.)
  7. Once the pupil is set, fill in the iris with the yellow candy melt.  Let set. (As shown in the above photo.)
  8. The outer edge of the iris has a red outline.  Carefully, trace a red border around the yellow candy melt. Let set. (As shown in the above photo.)
  9. Fill in the sclera with the white candy melt.  (As shown in the above photo.)
  10. Fill in the white edge of the hood while the sclera sets. (As shown in the above photo.)
  11. Using the red candy melt, start filling in the mask like patterns on the face.  Try not to lose the detailed edges because that’s what makes the image pop. (As shown in the above photo.)
  12. Once the red candy melt is set, melt some black candy melts.  Make sure it is not piping hot because you will lose some detail if it is.
  13. Smooth over the entire circumference with the black candy melts.  Let completely set.
  14. Place on top of frosted cake and you’re done!

Chocolate Marble Cake

Ingredients:
1⅔ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4 oz. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. sugar
1 egg, room temp
¼ c. Greek yogurt
¾ c. + 1 tbsp. milk, divided
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and prep a 9” cake pan by coating it with nonstick spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Mix melted butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
  4. Add the egg, Greek yogurt, ¾ c. milk and 1 tsp. vanilla extract to the butter mixture and mix until homogenous.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and fold until smooth.
  6. Transfer ½ of the mixture to another bowl, mix in 1 tbsp. milk and cocoa powder until a thick chocolate batter forms.
  7. Put half of the vanilla batter into the prepared cake pan and spread out.
  8. Pour all of the chocolate batter on top of the vanilla mixture.
  9. Pour the rest of the vanilla batter over the chocolate batter.
  10. Using a toothpick or a butter knife, make swirls all over the cake. Be careful not to over swirl, or you will lose the marbling.
  11. Bake 18-25 minutes until golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cake recipe adapted from sally’s baking addiction.


* If you would like detailed info on any of the food I’ve prepared, don’t be afraid to leave a comment or shoot me an email!

Blueberry Pie Cookies

blueberry pie cookie

Did you ever eat something so delicious that you make an excuse to eat it again? That’s what kind of happened with these pie cookies.

Blueberry Pie Pops 2

You see, I made these adorable pie pops for Pi Day and they rocked my socks. The only problem was they were too small. One bite and you were done.  I can satisfy myself with eating only one slice of pie because frankly, it is a whole slice of pie.  But pie pops? I sat there taste testing them one at a time, and before I knew it there was an embarrassing pile of lollipop sticks.

steps

So if figured, what’s bigger than a pie pop? From that thought, these blueberry pie cookies were born. Still small enough to be adorable but they are at least 2 bites worth, which makes them last a little longer. Unfortunately, this did not solve the eating-more-than-one dilemma because I found out that:

 Bigger dough = more filling = more delicious.

Blueberry Pie Cookies 3

I realized that the cookies don’t look very small in the photo, so here is the milk glass with my cat, Bear, for a size reference. Yes. He is adorable.

Bear with Milk

Blueberry Pie Cookies

For the Pie Dough:

Ingredients
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
8 oz. unsalted butter, very cold cut into 1 tbsp pieces
1/2 c. very cold water

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl of a food processor, pulse flour, sugar and salt together a few times to mix thoroughly.
  2. Add the butter into the food processor and pulse until butter becomes the size of peas (or smaller).
  3. Add the cold water and pulse until dough starts to come together.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  5. While the dough is chilling, make the blueberry filling.

For the Blueberry Filling:

Ingredients:
1 ½ c. of blueberries*, divided
¼ c. sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. water
1 tsp. lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, combine 1 cup of blueberries with ¼ cup of sugar.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until all the berries burst and sugar is completely melted; about 5 minutes. The mixture should look very liquid.
  3. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water until it becomes a slurry.
  4. Add to the blueberry mixture and cook until it becomes thick. It will become almost paste-like.
  5. Transfer blueberry mix to a bowl and rest of the blueberries and lemon juice.
  6. Add more lemon juice if needed.

 Assembly:

If the dough starts to become sticky or warm at any point, place into the freezer to firm up for 3-5 minutes before working on it again.  This is very important, since the cold butter is what gives you the flaky layers.

Ingredients:

1 Egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Sanding sugar or raw sugar (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Take out half of the prepared pie dough and roll out until ¼- ⅛ inch thick on a floured surface.
  4. Cut out pie rounds with a 2 ½ inch round cookie cutter**.
  5. Reserve half of the pie rounds and cut the rest into 4 strips with a fluted pastry wheel or a pizza cutter (a knife will do too).
  6. Place a teaspoon of blueberry filling in the center of the reserved pie rounds and place strips of cut pie dough on top. (As shown in above photo.)
  7. Crimp edges with a fork to seal the two pieces of dough together. (As shown in above photo.)
  8. Fold the crimped edges together to form a seal for the pie filling. (As shown in above photo.)
  9. Brush with egg wash with a pastry brush and sprinkle sanding / raw sugar. (As shown in above photo.)
  10. Place into the freezer for 5 minutes to chill before baking.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  12. While the first batch is chilling and baking, start working on the second batch with the other half of your prepared pastry dough.
  13. Cool for 5-10 minutes before consuming.

* I used frozen wild Maine blueberries.  They are a lot smaller than your average supermarket blueberries which make them ideal for this filling.  If you can find them, use them instead of regular blueberries. They also taste more blueberry-y than regular blueberries (if that makes sense).

** If you cannot find a 2 ½ round cookie cutter or you do not own one, feel free to use a cut out can as your cookie cutter. It works similarly, except you might not get as clean of an edge when you cut out your dough.