Church Reception Alert!

Music to my ears!

There’s a concert at my church this Sunday, and everyone in town knows that these excellent concerts are followed by sumptuous receptions. Yes, Sumptuous Receptions. In fact, I think the receptions are why some people go. I always see several non-music-appreciating husbands there who look a bit glazed during the concert, but then race over to the reception with sudden energy. I imagine the conversation goes like this. Wife: “Honey, if you’ll go the church concert with me, there’ll be some good food afterwards!”  Husband: “Food? Okay.”

So anyway, I made 3 things to contribute to this particular reception:

Let’s start with my experimental recipe, Hazelnut Pound Cake with Frangelico Glaze

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This was easy! And it turned out really well. Use your favorite pound cake recipe, but use ½ tsp vanilla extract, and ½ – ¾ tsp hazelnut extract for flavoring. You can add chopped, toasted hazelnuts to the batter if you want to. Or not. To make the glaze, you put the following in a small saucepan:  ¼ C sugar, 6 T butter, ¼ C Frangelico, 2 T water.  Heat on medium until boiling, stirring frequently, and then reduce heat and cook 3-4 more minutes. As soon as the cake comes out of the pan, spoon the warm glaze over the cake. Repeat until all glaze is gone.

I used 2 half-size bundt pans because they yield smaller slices that are perfect for “finger food” at a reception.

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Now for the Nutella Cookies! (FABulous texture. Chewy inside, slight crunch outside.)

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This recipe came from Cuisine At Home Magazine’s “Holiday Parties” issue from December 2016. I can’t find the recipe online, but if you want it, let me know. The only adjustments I made are as follows:

  • Used a medium cookie scoop (made 3 dozen cookies)
  • Rolled the chilled dough balls in sugar right before baking. That’s what creates the nice “crackle effect.”
  • Left off the crushed hazelnuts because I didn’t have any more.
  • Sprinkled the cookies with sanding sugar immediately after baking.

And finally, the Pecan Pie Mini-Cupcakes:

THESE. ARE. AWESOME.  Very rich and buttery. They’re like pecan pie without the corn syrup or pie crust. Generally, I loathe mini-cupcakes or mini-muffins. They’re skimpy. I mean, don’t most people want a full size one? But in this case, the flavor is so very rich that a small one is just perfect! Did I mention that these take very little time to make? And using a small cookie scoop to put the batter into the mini-muffin tins made it even faster.

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The recipe comes from Food.com, but I made a few additions for Prettiness: Added a pecan half to the top of each one before baking. Then immediately after baking, I sprinkled them with demerara sugar (tastes kinda like toffee.) The recipe says it yields 24, but it makes 32.  I put them in little white paper candy cups so they would look nice on the tray.

Well that was some fun baking! Hope the concert-goers will enjoy, and that you will be inspired to bake something! Something Sumptuous.  🙂

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