Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Brave Birthday Food, Part 1

Doing themed birthdays can take some work and require planning and preparation. I did a Brave birthday for my daughter and I found a lot of cute ideas of how to incorporate the theme into the food we served. Just like I've said before, you don't have to take tons of time to be creative and festive. I got most of my ideas from Pinterest and then I tried to think of different ways to serve cute food without having to spend a lot of time doing it. I decided to make my daughter a themed cake from scratch and knowing that would take the majority of my time, I tried to find ways to cut corners elsewhere without compromising the theme.

At the party we served Arrow cupcakes, Bullseye cakes, Bear claws and Target practice pizza. This post will focus on those and then I'll make a separate post about the birthday cake. I also used some cute Brave themed printable food tags from Printabelle. There is a whole Brave themed printable party pack on that website that you can print for free. There were SO many cute party ideas.

The Witches Green Potion: I had planned to make this cucumber lime drink and then completely spaced it during last-minute party preparations. This is one of my all-time favorite drinks to serve at a party. It's easy to make and it is SO refreshing. I get a lot of compliments when I make it. I got this recipe from one of my favorite sites for all things festive: So Festive!. All you need to do is add a few drops of green food coloring (I know it's not the most healthful, but birthdays are but once a year!) and it would make a yummy green potion that fits perfectly in the theme! If you are against food coloring, you could drop some scoops of green sherbet after the ice melts to make more of a slushy drink.

Target Practice pizza: My daughter loves Pizza and this was a cute way to incorporate it into the party. If you couldn't tell from the picture, these were pizzas from Papa Murphy's. I called a few days before the party to preorder the pizzas and also asked if they could arrange the pepperoni in the shape of a target. I could have easily done this myself, but I figured they had to put the pepperoni on anyways and it would save me a lot of time the day of the party. My local Papa Murphy's store was happy to help and I think the pizza turned out cute. This saved SO much time.

The Bullseye cakes: These were the easiest things to make! I used the Little Debbie cream-filled snack cakes that I had leftover from when I made the birthday cake. I used some leftover buttercream frosting to draw on the target with a writing tip and piping bag, dyed a little frosting red and used a Red Hot in the center. I got those little cocktail toothpicks that have the wispy stuff at the end and voila! You now have a cute Bullseye cake. I prepped these about an hour or so before the party. You could prep these the day before, but just keep them in an airtight container.

The Arrow cupcakes: I made vanilla bean cookie dough cupcakes (I will post the recipe once it's perfected) with buttercream frosting. This is my absolute favorite recipe for whipped buttercream. It's from Our Best Bites and I love making it and substituting the white sugar with brown sugar. To save extra time you could easily make cupcakes from a cake mix and it would still taste good because the frosting is to die for. I made the arrow toppers from this site, Cue the Confetti, and they were SO easy to make and it really tied in the theme. K loves cupcakes!

I actually made these about 5 days before the party and froze them. I took them out the day of and frosted them. I kept them refrigerated because my frosting required refrigeration,but these could be left out if using a different frosting. This is one of my secrets for cupcakes and cakes--they freeze well so when you make a batch just make extra and toss them in the freezer. They'll keep for a month or two in an airtight container.

Bear Claw cookies: I saw this idea on Spoonful via Pinterest and I had to make them. These took a little bit of time, but they fit perfectly with the theme that I couldn't leave them out. I was in a pinch for time so I didn't follow the recipe on the original website, but rather used a quick recipe for Cake Mix Cookies (that I also use when I'm making homemade Oreos). I got about 25 claws out of this batch. I also made these the day before the party and stored them in an airtight container. You could also make these and freeze them and then thaw out the day of your party.

I'm going to show you how I made these. They look a little more complicated, but they are easy to do.

Here's what you need:
-Any dry cake mix (I used Devil's Food)
-1/2 C shortening
-2 eggs
-2-3 TBS water
*1/2 C of slivered almonds

Just mix all the ingredients (except for almonds) together in a large mixing bowl. Normally you would spoon drops on to a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, but I had to get them into the claw shape first.

Here's how to make the claw:

1. Take a TBS measuring spoon (or cookie scoop if you have it) and a 1/2 TBS measuring spoon to make 2 balls. I did this directly on a parchment-lined baking sheet so that I wouldn't have to transfer them before baking.

2. Push down on both of the cookie dough balls and lightly shape them into the form of a foot.

3. Take 5 slivered almonds and place them into the cookie dough to look like the claws.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven when done and allow the cookie to rest 5 minutes or so before trying to remove them to a cooling rack. If you try to do this step while they are still warm, they will break.

Here's the printable recipe.

Enjoy and Happy Baking! Hope these ideas were helpful to you. I loved how fun it was to plan a Brave Birthday party.