Short and Sweet

There is no lack of desserts when I host an event – tell me 20 people will show, and I’ll make enough for 50. My Oscars Party was no exception. It also gave my creative edge a challenge – as you read in my last post, each dish was paired with a nominated film. Some of the  pairings were a bit of a stretch (cocktail wieners with Hugo?), though it was fun to do nonetheless! These were definitely two of the stars from the evening’s spread (as were the films with which they were paired): Mini Chocolate Pies and Black & White Cookies.
For those of you who read the book/saw the movie, it’s no mystery that I paired these Mini Chocolate Pies with The Help (definitely worth seeing if only to understand why this is the case, though it is a great movie). They’re quite simple to make – I purchased several packages of phyllo mini tarts, made a simple chocolate pudding to fill them with and topped each with a dollop of meringue. Your guests will think you put in WAY more effort. Click HERE to see how to make these adorable bite-sized treats.
Black & White cookies are classic, and I had always been curious to give them a try. They were paired with The Artist (a literal pairing, granted) which was hands downs my FAVORITE movie of the year – I practically leapt from my seat every time it won an Oscar. These are more cake-like than your average cookies (thanks to the use of cake flour), and are topped with a thick, glossy icing that takes seconds to make. They were a huge hit at the party, and I imagine they’ll be adored at your next event as well – click HERE to see how to make these sweet classics.
I wanted the musical pairing for these two desserts to acknowledge their “bite-sized” enjoyability – both also compelled my more creative edge. That led me to consider fulfilling works that can also be defined as “short and sweet”; musical novellas if you will. With this in mind what better pairing than Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, Op. 12! Inspired by a collection of novellas by E.T.A Hoffman, the eight pieces within the work capture different the moods and thoughts of Schumann’s dual identities, known as the characters “Florestan” and “Eusebius.” Seeing how both of these desserts brought out my more creative edge, I felt the dreamer in Eusebius would be the best fit and thus chose the first of the eight pieces: “Des Abends” in D-flat major. It’s gentle melody lulls the listener into an ephemeral state of serenity; refuge from the noise and chaos of reality (a similar experience to be had after trying one of the delicious treats in this post). Enjoy!

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