January 6, 2012

Birthday Shower Recipes, Volume 1

My real 30th birthday party is not going to be quite the spectacle my fantasy party was, but that's okay because I'm leaving for a cruise to celebrate my birthday in like 2 weeks and that, my friends, will be EPIC-SHMEPIC (it's totally a thing).

Instead of a ginormous party we're just having family over for cake and birthday treats Saturday night.  I am making the treats and the cake which seems cruel except that I volunteered because I love doing stuff like that.

So when I set out to plan what I was serving for my birthday I saw a very definite theme developing.

It's a theme I shall call 'Birthday Shower'.

Have you ever noticed that there are foods that you partake of at bridal and baby showers that you never see at any other kind of party? Despite the fact that these foods are, in fact, delicious?

I'm talking about jordan almonds, sherbet punch, and cream cheese mints.

Especially the cream cheese mints.

I asked my dad yesterday if he liked cream cheese mints and he said "I have no idea what they are" and I thought 'Of course he wouldn't... how would you if you had never been to a shower'.

It's like these things don't exist outside the context of female ritualized gift-giving.

Well I say funk that.  I freaking love sherbet punch... it's like a more dainty root beer float.  And who wouldn't like sugar-shellaced almonds and soft pillows of vaguely mint-flavored cream cheese frosting?

Some kind of bastard person I'm thinking.

So this is the first installment of my Birthday Shower Recipes Series... the Cream Cheese Mint edition. Enjoy some, won't you?

Birthday Shower Cream Cheese Mints

Yields approximately 4 dozen nickel-sized mints.

2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. butter, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. peppermint extract (to start with... you can add more to taste)
1/4 c. granulated sugar

Cream together the cream cheese, butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer.  When you first start mixing it will look like you have way too much sugar, and it's never going to come together to form a dough.  Just keep going.  When it finally starts becoming dough-like, add your extract.  At this point you will probably have to add more powdered sugar(a big spoonful at a time) to get the consistency of the mixture right.  It should be like sugar cookie dough.  Taste the dough, add more extract if necessary (I usually use around 2 tsp.), and add a couple of extra big spoons of powdered sugar until you have a dough that can be rolled into balls easily.  It's not exactly science.

At this point you can add food coloring to make your mints any old color you want.  I would suggest using a gel food color (the kind you can usually find in the baking supplies at most craft stores) because it's easier to add a lot of color without effecting the consistency of the dough.  I chose to keep my mints white.

Next, start pulling off pieces of dough and rolling into marble-sized balls.  Roll the balls in a little granulated sugar and place them on a sheet of foil or wax paper.  Use the back of a fork to press the balls flat and give the mints nice little ridges on top like a peanut butter cookie. Let sit for 2 hours to dry a bit, and then keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.  You can also press the dough into little flower or bootie-shaped molds (I'm talking baby booties not butt cheeks, you guys... although that might be cute too).

Check in Monday for my next Birthday Shower recipe wherein I magically transform my favorite cocktail, White Russians, into a cupcake. Yum!

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