Posts Tagged 'dinner party'

DOUBLE BONUS: Humid GF Almond Peach Scones + GF Balsamic Strawberry Mint Scones

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Can you even believe it? Two gluten-free recipes in one post? What es thes? You’re welcome.

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I attended a themed dinner party this summer, hosted by the same dude who put on the fancy science dinner party I attended in the winter. A girl’s got some luck, getting invited to two whole dinner parties. Winner parties.

Anyway, it was full of delectable magical foods (Harry Potter-themed) and crisp drinks (no really, they involved cucumbers), which was good, because it was approximately humidity 100% that day, and I was in no mood to be served less than magical anything.

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I didn’t even want to eat my own paltry contribution to the dinner party, whose only redeeming fpoints were the large chunks of fruit busting out and the fact that they are gluten-free scones. They nearly melted in the damp on the way over. I’m sure they are excellent scone recipes, but I couldn’t enjoy them to the full. Make these in October, when there are leaves on the ground and your shirt isn’t sticking to your back, ok? You’ll be happier.

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I did try making some magic with the balsamic-roasted strawberries, which I paired with mint. How adventurous, right? Actually, it’s a pretty classic flavor pairing, but I didn’t think either flavor came through enough in the scones. It would be sweet to do a really minty scones and then make some sort of roasted balsamic strawberry butter or compote. If you try it, let me know how it goes.



GF Almond Peach Scones

Adapted from Art of Gluten Free Baking

2 cups gluten-free flour flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Baking Blend + a heaping half teaspoon xanthan gum)
2 tablespoons baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces sliced peaches (I used canned peaches)
1/4 teaspoon almond oil (LorAnn’s) or 1 teaspoon almond extract teasfinely

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Grate in the cold butter and stir to combine. Stir in the peaches. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond flavor and milk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture to flour mixture all at once. Stir together until completely moistened.

Turn out  the dough onto a parchment-covered baking sheet. Press into a 1” thick square and cut into 9 or 16 squares, handling the dough as little as possible. Brush with extra heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. Place the baking sheet with cut squares in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the bottoms of the scones are golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

GF Balsamic Strawberry Mint Scones

Adapted from Joy the Baker and

For the strawberries:

8-ounces medium strawberries, hulled

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon olive oil

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Place a rack in the center of the oven (or toaster oven) and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut each strawberry in quarters and place on the baking sheet in a single layer.  In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt.  Whisk together until completely incorporated.  Drizzle the mixture over the strawberries and toss until each strawberry is coated.

Roast strawberries for 20 minutes, then remove to a small bowl with a slotted spoon, draining the strawberries of most of the juice. Let cool.

For the scones:

2 ½ cups gluten-free flour flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Baking Blend + a heaping half teaspoon xanthan gum)
2 tbsp white sugar
tbsp baking powder
tsp salt
½ cup cold butter
roasted strawberries
 tbsp minced pineapple mint (or any kind of fresh mint)
½ cup heavy cream
eggs, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl stir together the dry ingredients. Grate in the cold butter and stir to combine. Stir in minced mint and the roasted strawberries. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and the milk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture to flour mixture all at once. Stir together until completely moistened.

Turn out  the dough onto a parchment-covered baking sheet. Press into a 1” thick circle and cut into 8 wedges, handling the dough as little as possible. You can cut those in half if you want to make 16 mini scones. Brush with extra heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. Place the baking sheet with cut wedges in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the bottoms of the scones are golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

Fancy Science Dinner Party + Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream

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There is a difference between being invited to dinner and being “invited” to make dinner. It’s kind of significant, because it’s one thing for someone to flatter you by saying say, “Let me provide dinner for you” and another thing entirely for someone to flatter you and then say “Please provide dinner for me.”

I have experienced both, and I have appreciated both, but somehow I like the former scenario a little better. (Where my ladies at?)  And I would like to tell you about my most recent “invited to dinner” experience because I think you would appreciate it. I appreciated it. The only thing I even contributed were the chocolate pecan florentines I showed you earlier.

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This dinner was neat because a bunch of people from my church got together for an evening, and we all made dinner together. As a group. That element is really important. It made doing the dishes fun. I mean, there was a real chef involved, and he kind of knew exactly what he was doing, but he let the rest of us novices help.

On the menu:

Citrusy Slaw Scallops (Hello.)

Sea Salt Coffee Caramels

Pop Rock Nutella Hazelnut Truffles (Read that again. As you can imagine, this was a total party-in-your-mouth moment.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Strawberry Truffles (Rich.)

Bacon and Nutella Fluff (It gets real.)

Raspberry Sorbet

Jameson-Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream with Chocolate Pecan Florentines (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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Dinner was science! Science was dinner! And dinner was delicious. And the toasted marshmallow ice cream? Well, let’s just say, I couldn’t have been more delighted. I just kept talking and talking about it, and scraping unsalvaged bits of melted marshmallow off wax paper. I couldn’t help it.

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Hopefully this gives you some dinner party inspiration for summer! It’s time to bust out the grill! Try a sparkly new cocktail! Kick back with your friends! I am using too many exclamation points, but I just can’t help it. There was toasted marshmallow ice cream.



Pipe Dream #193: To Be Invited, Not Invited – Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Florentines

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I have a delicious treat in the form of a delightful dinner party to share with you this week, wherein I will wax on about being invited as opposed to being “invited” (apologies in advance). But before I do, I would like to share my only contribution to said dinner party, as the other items on the menu will clearly outshine my miniscule offering.

I do not feel bad about my miniscule offerings at all. Trust me, you will understand when you know. This dinner party. Heavens.

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Spoiler alert: Don’t read this next unless you want to know what I ate for dinner the other week, which I will also tell you later this week. What’s that? You don’t care what I ate for dinner the other week? You should care. Because I ate


Let that sink in.

Ok. I know.

And what is the only worthwhile accompaniment to toasted marshmallow besides everything? That’s correct, Senator. Chocolate.

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I wanted to make something gluten-free, because there were some GF attendees, and these florentines were the perfect recipe. Elegant, interesting, and made with gluten-free flour.

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Traditional Italian florentines are made with almonds and are sandwiched together with tempered dark chocolate. The cookie batter flattens out significantly and bubbles up, creating a crunchy, buttery shell. This recipe substituted the almonds for pecans (which weren’t overpowering by any means, so if you don’t like pecans, no big), and instead of making cookie sandwiches, I opted to shape them into little serving bowls for the ice cream, kind of the same way you might shape brandy snaps.

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This was Attempt #1 at shaping the florentines. I let the cookies cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheets and then wrapped them around the metal handle of my whisk, pinching the ends to seal. They just slide right off like magic! I might have left them on a bit longer, though. As you can see, they are a little deformed.

florentines 2

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Attempt #2 was more successful. I flipped little mise en place bowls, and draped individual cookies over them, pressing down the sides to create little cups for the ice cream.Next time, I would drape the cookies over on their other side, so the pretty, bubbly side to the cookies would be more visible when they are flipped upright.


This is an easy way to add some class to your next ice cream sundae party. You should have one of those. It would be impossible to fail, and it’s practically summer right now.

Don’t mind me,


Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Florentines

Adapted from gluten freek

1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob’s)

2 handfuls pecans, finely ground in a food processor (or 3/4 cup pecan flour)

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/3 cup brown sugar

4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter

1/4 cup light corn syrup

2 tablespoons milk

chocolate chips, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two cookie sheets with parchment.

Combine the flour, pecans and cocoa in a small bowl, mixing well to get as many clumps out as possible. I found that my pecans were a little sticky.

Combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup and milk in a small saucepan. Stir occasionally over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour mix well so all the clumps are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Drop by the teaspoonful onto the baking sheets leaving two to three inches between each cookie to allow for spreading. Bake for 10 minutes. While the cookies are baking, set out little mise en place dishes or other little bowls upside down.

Remove the sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool for a couple minutes. When the cookies are cool enough that you can lift them without them stretching, drape each cookie over the little dishes you have set out and press down the edges, creating little bowls out of the cookies. Alternately, you can wrap each cookie around the end of a wire whisk, sliding them off to make a cannoli-like shell.

Let the cookies cool, then store in an airtight container between layers of parchment.

Pipe Dream #179: To Forget Your Order and Gleek All Over – Chocolate Clementine Marquise

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If you have ever wanted to eat five truffles, but didn’t because you were embarrassed because clearly everyone else at the table was only going to order one and then nibble on half, this cake is for you.

This situation, which of course has never happened to me, is easily remedied by a cake so chocolately and dense, you might as well just skip your breakfast Nutella in anticipation. I made a similar torte ages and years ago, but it was a flourless version. This cake, while nearly flourless, will not make your GF friends happy, so keep that in mind. It made my dinner party friends happy, in lieu of these chocolate creme pot fails.

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GUYS IT’S CITRUS SEASON TAKE ADVANTAGE. The flavor is delicate and perfect.

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And correct me if I’m wrong, but there is never a season when it is not chocolate season. In my life, at least. And if it’s true in my life, it must be true in yours. Truth is truth, yeah? Yes.

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For decoration, I just cut up some strips of parchment and layered them in a criss-cross pattern to create the diamond effect with powdered sugar you see below. If you wanted to be really cool, you could do this part not on the serving plate, so that your powdered sugar looks clean. Whatever. Rustic elegance?

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Classically bad cutting skills. But who says a cake slice needs to look super sharp to make you gleek? I certainly didn’t. P.S. My mouth waters.

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This one looks a bit better.

My mouth still waters,


Chocolate Clementine Marquise

Adapted from Greatest-Ever Chocolate Cookbook by Christines McFadden & France

Scant 1 cup (200 grams, 7 ounces) white sugar or caster sugar

4 tablespoons (60 mL) fresh clementine (or orange) juice

12 ounces (350 grams) dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate (I used semisweet)

1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces, 225 grams) unsalted butter, cubed

5 eggs

finely grated rind of two clementines (or oranges)

3 tablespoons (45 mL) all-purpose flour

icing sugar and pared strips of clementine (or orange) rind , to decorate

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch x 2 1/2 inch (23 centimeter) round cake  tin with non-stick spray, and line the base with parchment.

Place 1/2 cup (115 grams, 4 ounces) sugar in a large saucepan. Add the clementine juice, and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from the the heat, and stir in the chocolate until melted. Add the butter, cube, by cube, until melted.

Whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar in a large bowl until pale and very thick. I was kind of weak, so it might be better to do this with an electric mixer. Add the grated clementine rind. Using a metal spoon, fold the chocolate mixture lightly and evenly into the egg mixture. Sift the flour over the top, and fold in evenly.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, and place the pan into a roasting tin. Transfer the tin to the oven, then pour hot water into the roasting pan sot that it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan.

Bake for about 1 hour or until the cake is firm to the touch. Remove the cake pan from the roasting pan, and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Carefully run a sharp knife around the edges of the cake, then turn out onto a serving plate and let cool completely. Chill. Before serving, dust with icing sugar, and garnish with strips of clementine rind.

The cookbook says this serves 8, but I would say it serves closer to 12. Real rich.

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