Tuesday, 19 August 2008


We had a little birthday party for my daughter at the weekend (at last, only just over a month since her birthday). My organization skills in general leave a lot to be desired, but my drive to provide food at social events is strong so party favors didn't get finished but we had more than enough food to be in danger of spoiling our dinner (it was a late afternoon party).

The picture shows the selection of sweet baked goods I made (with help from my daughter who loves to pour and mix and press the button on the food processor and call for "more choc'ate").

The leftmost cookies are the Honeyed Chocolate Chip Cookies that I spotted on the Baking Bites blog last week. When I noted that honey makes the cookies moist and therefore less prone to going dry and stale I thought that was perfect for my purposes since I could make a batch a day or two ahead to spread the baking out. I used to make a honey and ginger cookie quite often when I was at uni which I'd all but forgotten about, this brought the memory back and I added maybe half a teaspoon of ginger to the dough. I might add more ginger another time for my taste, as it was it gave that slight hint that makes you think "there's something in here I wasn't expecting but I can't put my finger on what it is".

The other cookies are two variations on the Flourless Nut Butter Cookies which I've made several times before. I made a double batch with peanut butter to which I added some cocoa powder and chopped chocolate. Also made a single batch with almond butter which I tried putting a spoonful of jam (some strawberry rhubarb I made a while back) in the middle and a little chocolate on some too. I personally like the almond butter ones much better than peanut, and the jam and chocolate topping was really yummy.

Finally the birthday cake! I took two banana bread recipes I've made and liked in the past and combined elements from both to make a spiced banana coconut cake with molasses then baked it in an 8x8 square baking tin. Should have taken notes, it came out very nice and moist and tasty.

I had intended a flourless chocolate cake too (since some guests don't do flour or dairy). When that didn't happen I thought I'd better put chocolate on top of this cake (after all I had been told there needed to be chocolate by the birthday girl). I had the end of a batch of ganache in the fridge and threw in some extra chocolate and melted them together and spread it on top. Not the most picturesque but it worked for us!

There were some more healthful food options - hummus with carrots and socca for dipping plus lots of fresh fruit.

The party was nice and small and relaxed. We went to the common in town with friends, sat at and around a picnic table, ate and chatted. There was singing to the birthday girl, and she got to open some presents, eat cake, kick a ball around, pet a dog and play with bubbles.

I made her a big footed bunny (using a pattern from WeeWonderfuls) with a pinafore to match the one I made daughter for Easter (which daughter was suitably impressed with when she noticed). Unfortunately I didn't quite manage to finish so we still need to sew on a face, I shall be asking for input from the new owner (there has already been a vote for blue eyes) who is quite appalled at the face with no face. I imagine that once the face is in place the bunny will get her own photo shoot and blog post.


machelle said...

your baking looks Super Scrumptious! I especially like the sticky buns..
Can't wait to see what you do with the bunny face!

ChickenBetty said...

I lurve the matching pinafores!

Commonplace iris said...

Thanks for the nice comments about the bunny. I must post an update now that she has a face! (There is a photo on flickr actually.)