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Help me design a dessert bar


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Thursday noon here on the left coast and . . . phew . . . everything is done except the last batch of challah dough. I'm running out for a bit to put some things in a friend's refrigerator and will finish that last batch of dough later this afternoon or tonight.

I've been snapping pix but, as I said earlier, I need the 16 year old boy to download them for me and he's been swamped trying to finish up year-end school assignments. Maybe I'll post them Sunday. If not, next week.

Thank you all for your advice, good wishes and support.

Tomorrow AM, I'm off to the temple to braid and bake the challot, set up for the Friday "oneg" and leave everything else for the caterer with lots of notes. My SIL is coming early Saturday to go over everything with the caterer but I trust him.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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I hope everything goes off flawless for you...........and everyone raves and asks you who catered those baked goods. Looking forward to seeing photos. P.S. I've added you coffee blonde brownies into my folder of recipes I keep on hand at work......not alot of recipes pass into that folder, just daily use items.

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I'm sure this will all come off beautifully.  As with everyone else, I'm looking forward to the pix and report to follow!

Pix and report?? Heck, I'm going for the whole schmear!!

One of JFLinLA's tasters going through withdrawal ...

RJ -- As I'm sure there will be leftovers, check in with me when I get back to the office. I'll be bringing them in.

And to Wendy -- Those blondies are delish! I'm honored.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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I've spent the last two days baking cookies and brownies and cakes in a synagogue for a bar mitzvah (the rest of the week will be doing the savoury stuff). Reminded me that we haven't heard how things went. And pictures! Please :biggrin:

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Pam -- I've been sitting at the computer for a while this evening trying to upload the pictures. It's the first time I've done this on eG. I've got about 10 more to upload but it's late here for me and I'm going to call it quits for the night.

In short, it was fabulous. But, I'll be back with the pix, details and to kvell.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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I've been struggling for a few days now to upload the pictures into my newly created eG albums. While I still don't have them all in, can somebody tell me how I post the pix from the albums into a post so I can tell you all the story and show them to you? Please, try to use small words as this seems to baffle me.


So long and thanks for all the fish.
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I have checked back a bunch of times in the last couple of days just to see if you posted your pictures yet, so I'll try to help with basic directions.

First you have to upload photos to a place like Imagestation. If you go on the site, they have good directions for how to do it. It's not too complicated. My mom can do it :hmmm:

Open up a new Internet Explorer window and bring up eGullet and your thread.

Click "add reply" (not fast reply). Above the text box, there are a bunch of "buttons". One of them says "IMG". Click IMG. That should bring up a box that says "Enter URL". Now go back to your photo, and right click on the photo and select properties. In the window that pops up, there should be an address that looks something like this:


highlight the address, and then right click on it to copy. Then go back to egullet and paste the address in the IMG box. Then you should get something like this:


(this is the cake I made last weekend for a friend's daughter)

It all sounds very complicated but once you get the hang of it, it's not too bad.]

Hope that Helps!

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JF, I just did a trip report and put some pix on. It wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done. I ended up writing my report in Word and had my EG photo album open and copied the links right into my Word document. Then I copied and pasted my Word document into my post and went back for every photo I highlighted the image link and clicked the IMG button. It worked out pretty well that way and I was also able to spell check my document in Word before posting. You'll see my first posthas a ton of spelling errors. That was before I figured out the Word document way.

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Okay, a week and a day after the big event, and a few evenings of struggling with the pix here. I think I can do this now.

Before I get to the dessert part, let me just say that the whole ceremony & celebration was glorious. The Bat Mitzvah girl did a wonderful job leading much of the service, chanting Torah & Haftarah, and delivered a great D'var Torah (commentary on her Torah portion). All of that, and her amazing neshoma (spirit/soul) are much more important than the party that followed. It's now all over but the thank you notes. A big thank you to everyone here at eG for your help, support, advice, recipes and prep ideas.

Here are the torah-shaped cookies. These were wrapped individually in cellophane bags and set at each of the kids seats as party favors.:


Chocolate biscotti cooling in my kitchen:


Triple-orange pecan biscotti:


Lime Melt-aways, packed and ready:


Almond Macaroons, scooped and waiting to go into the oven:


And out of the oven, dusted with powdered sugar, waiting for transfer to cooling racks:


Toffee-chip cookies, cooling and packed:


Chewy Chocolate Chunk cookies (AB's recipe):


Apricot tea-cakes, cooling:


My dining room table, probably some time on Thursday afternoon, with everything staged for transport Friday morning. What you don't see is what's in my mother's and friend's freezer, challah dough, and lemon layer cake in my fridge:


Okay, now it's Friday morning. That's my friend Andrea in the temple kitchen in the foreground setting out the raspberry bars for the Friday night oneg, and my mom in the background getting another platter.


That's mom getting the fruit ready and my friend Sally:


That's me glazing one of the two challot (the other one is hidden under the towel in the corner of the photo):


And, aren't they gorgeous?


Now we move to Saturday night. Here's a shot of part of the dessert bar as the caterer set things out:


And another shot:


And another one:


And, now, here are each of the desserts, up close, starting with bite-size chocolate almond brownies:


Lime Melt-aways:


Toffee-chip cookies:


Apricot tea-cakes:


Lemon Layer Cake:


Chocolate Biscotti (and that looks like my Dad's hand):


Caramel Cheesecake Squares, well picked-over, these were a big, big hit:


Triple-orange pecan biscotti:


Coffee Kahlua Chocolate Chip Blondies:


Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies:


Almond Macaroons:


And, last but not least, Raspberry Bars:


This whole effort was a lot of work for me personally. There were times, especially in the week leading up to the event, I was cursing myself for doing this. In the end, it was a blast and I'm really, really glad I did it. As a home baker, I don't know when I'll get this kind of opportunity again any time soon. Now, I have 10-15 years to learn how to do a wedding cake. Hmmmmm . . .


So long and thanks for all the fish.
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WOW! What a spectacular job! How did the lemon cake end up so perfectly sliced? (You don't have a guitar at home, do you?)

I'd be interested in hearing more about what treats guests went crazy about and what wasn't as popular. I made the chocolate almond brownies a few months ago, and was told that my regular brownie recipe was much better. (And, incidentally, it does not require the purchase of $14 of almond paste!)

Congratulations on both the huge project of planning and baking, but also, congratulations on rearing a wonderful Bat Mitzvah girl.

Life is short. Eat the roasted cauliflower first.

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Brava, brava!! You not only did fine, you did EXCELLENT!! Now if your kids would rise up and call you blessed ...

Now, I have 10-15 years to learn how to do a wedding cake. Hmmmmm . . .

You might want to hold off on the wedding cake for now. You don't want to make your kids too anxious. :laugh:

On the party favors, you labeled each cookie with the Hebrew letter S (or Sh). What does that stand for? Did you use a stencil? Or did you do those by hand?

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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Simply Magnificent. Now, go take a long nap. (were there any leftovers?)

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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You did yourself and your daughter proud! I bet people were asking for your caterer, right? I too am interested in what was most popular/least popular. Did you donate the leftovers to the school/church?

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Yes, yes, thank you all. Still "kvelling" and "shepping nachas" but the cheers and applause from eG are terrific. I suppose if I get too boastful, I'll deal with it on Yom Kippur but, for now, I'm still reveling in the after-glow.

As to the questions, in no particular order:

I love stuff with almond paste and I get really good stuff but have never paid $14/pound. I also like this JT recipe as it works great for Passover. Yes, I agree, there are other brownie recipes that give a bigger chocolate punch but these are really moist.

What was a hit? Well I found out something really interesting. When it comes to dessert, people fall into categories. The "fruit" people loved the raspberry squares and apricot tea-cakes but they're not chocolate lovers. The "chocolate" people went nuts for those desserts but didn't vacuum up the fruit stuff. As stated earlier, the caramel cheesecake squares were a big hit. I don't think the lemon layer cake or biscotti went over as big. It's not that folks didn't like them, I just think there were so many other things to choose from. Also, kids don't really get biscotti but I did see a few adults having them with their coffee. (By the way, the cappucino cart was a huge, huge hit and way better than any chocolate fountain in my opinion.) Everything else went in about equal proportion. The kids all loved the chocolate chip and toffee chip cookies, as did many of the adults. Most people, who think they love chocolate and brownies, get scared off by the name of the Coffee-Kahlua chocolate chip blondies. If they take a bite, they're smitten but I wasn't about to chase after people (anybody have a better idea of what to call these?).

The hebrew letter on the torah cookies is a "Shin" for my daughter's torah portion, "Shelach Lechah." I made a stencil out of the top of a plastic storage container (the kind you get shredded parmesan or salsa in at the grocery store), and traced it onto the baked cookies with a food safe pen.

There were lots of leftovers. I left a bunch at the temple for them to freeze and use in the future. Some came home and I brought a good selection to the office.

Oh yeah, a guitar. That's a laugh. As a home baker I've got lots of stuff not found in the average kitchen but that's a little over the top even for me. What I've got is a good, long, thin slicing knife, a tall pitcher of hot water, a clean towel and a well-chilled cake. Also, I think the picture is a bit deceiving. It's taken from above and the lemon slices on top of the cake cover some of the errors. I can never get them all to come out as even as I want . . . same with the caramel cheesecake squares.

Wedding cakes, ha, ha. First I've got to get these kids into and through college, one year of which will cost way more than any Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Then of course, they have to find someone . . . and, well, I've got some time.

Edited by JFLinLA (log)
So long and thanks for all the fish.
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