Sunday, November 1, 2009

Brownies, Cookies, and Cakes Oh My!

It's probably not a shocker to find out my favorite part of Halloween is the treats. Every year, the IST office runs a pumpkin carving competition among the labs. Accompanying the competition is a bevy of sweet selections supplied by employees. Sure, I could have stopped just with the two trays of my previous post, Mocha Pumpkin Brownies with Strawberry Frosting, but of course it didn't. To partner with the brownies I also whipped by Apple & Squash Amish Bread Squares with Ricotta Sweet Cream and Sour Cream Sugar Cookies.

The week before our office party, a co-worker passed on Amish Friendship Bread starter to me. Being raised in Southeastern Pennsylvania, I am more than familiar with this tradition, but now a bit older and wiser I really did not want to use the instant pudding mix my passed-on recipe called for. I echo many other online food writers that I'm 100% positive the Amish never used instant pudding mix as an ingredient in this age-old cake, so why should I? There are a few alternatives to using instant pudding, and I chose to use homemade granny smith apple sauce and steamed acorn squash. Admittedly, my bread is more bread than cake but the fall flavors are undeniable.

The brownies' full flavors and rich texture satisfied those with adventurous palettes and the Amish Friendship Bread supplied the traditional fall flavors, so to ensure everyone at the party palette's are accounted for a super sugary dessert is needed to round out a lovely, varietal spread of Halloween treats. To fill that flavor profile are a simple sour cream sugar cookie covered in purple sugar and then decorated with orange cookie frosting. So, yea. Sugar, sugar, and more sugar.

As if all the baking wasn't enough, I decided to get crafty using holiday decorative straws as tray labels as well as stuck Moo cards for L&S in each and every individual delight. I call it sugar marketing, and I think the trend will absolutely catch on! To cap the entire office Halloween experience is, of course, the office Halloween party costume. Using all props I already own, I was a food judge with a tenderizer-gavel. If I don't like your dish, I not only discredit it, I smash it. Think Gordon Ramsey crossed with Gallagher, or a chef's worst nightmare.

While our lab's pumpkin entry didn't take home the prize, my ghoulish goodies were all the rage! Making and giving treats makes my Halloween the Happiest of all.


Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

What a GREAT celebration in the workplace!!!!! Look at all those treats! And handing out Moo Cards - genius! I should have handed them to the parents who came out with their kids last night!!!! Great costume too!

Angie's Recipes said...

What a celebration! So many good stuff around.

Cocina Savant said...

how fun! i would love to show up to the class i teach dressed like a food judge :) the amish bread sounds amazing & the cards are such a good idea!

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