Why I like attending parties as an adult.

Once upon a time when I was to attend a party, I was expected to bring whiskey…and an inevitable rash of terrible judgement calls.

These were parties where Key Light, late night Domino’s and shots of tequila were all that the menu truly consisted of and, though they were fun, I’ve grown far removed from those times and now attend get-togethers where there is still booze (though in more expensive forms) and real adult foodstuffs, which attendees are expected to make.

I enjoy parties because I genuinely love people, and nowadays I get to couple that with the opportunity to conjure dishes with my own two hands and a batch of ingredients from scratch. This weekend I was in charge of dessert for a work barbecue for Boy. I knew I made it when not one, but two people told me my cookies were “refreshing.”

Not “delicious,” not “really good,” not “yummy” – refreshing. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve taken any compliment…but “refreshing” just tickled me in all the right ways.

The refreshing cookies will come first here but, please, don’t count out the recipe below that for Nutella Blondies. This is the second time I’ve made them, and they went in the blink of an eye, just like the first time around.

More below the cut!

BLUEBERRY YOGURT COOKIES WITH LEMON CREAM CHEESE ICING

photo 2 (1)

Courtesy of lafujimama.com

Yields 2 dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS:
For the cookies:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries
For the frosting:
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
DIRECTIONS:
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease several baking sheets, or line them with silicone baking mats, and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and yogurt, then blend in the egg and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together, then blend it into the wet yogurt mixture. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  • Drop tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie. The original recipe shows cookies that look like pretty little flat things – mine turned out to be spiky balls – and they were awesome. Beauty is in the eye of the dough dropper!
  • Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies start to barely brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes, then move them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Don’t worry if some of the berries have burst – it happens!
  • As the cookies cool, make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and beat until creamy. Stir in the lemon zest. Spread on top of the cooled cookies.

 

NUTELLA STUFFED BROWNED BUTTER BLONDIES

Courtesy of thefoodcharlatan.com

Yields lots of bars

INGREDIENTS:

photo 1

  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
DIRECTIONS
  • Line a small baking sheet with wax paper and clear out some freezer space. Measure 1 cup of Nutella then divide it into 12 dollops on the paper. They don’t have to look pretty. In fact, they look a little like poop.

photo 4

  • Put ’em in the freezer and resist the urge to snack on them.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8x11x2 inch baking dish with parchment paper, or grease well.
  • In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the foam starts turning golden and the mixture smells nutty. Remove from heat and pour immediately into a mixing bowl.
  • Stir in the brown sugar and cream cheese. Beat for about 2 minutes, until slightly fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla, then the eggs. Beat well, scraping the sides.
  • Add the 2 cups of flour but don’t mix it in. Use a small spoon to stir the baking soda and salt into the flour, then mix the flour into the batter. Stir until just combined.
  • Add the 1/4 cup Nutella and swirl it with a rubber spatula. Pour into the pan, spreading to the edges.
  • Remove the Nutella from the freezer. Push each dollop of into the dough so that it’s distributed evenly.You’re going to smooth the dough over the Nutella with a spatula when you’re done, but this is what it’ll look like before that.

photo 5

  • Bake for 27-30 minutes, until golden brown. If the inside is gooey but the outside is starting to get too dark, take it out.
  • After it’s cooled completely, cut it into bars then either lift it out by the parchment paper or flip it upside down.
  • Feast. 😀

photo 1 (1)



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