It was time again for our annual Women of the Church Brunch/Tea and I was asked to cater the desserts!
I love baking the desserts, but have a really hard time deciding on the menu! Most of my work has to be done at the last minute and that prevents me from doing the little extras that I would have time to do for a smaller group. So, with 160 ladies attending, I finally settled on the following menu: Pumpkin Pie Shortbread, Chocolate French Macarons with Caramel Buttercream, Cherry Cream Tarts, Toffee Crumble Scones, and Lemon Petits Fours. My friend Kay Heritage of the wonderful blog The Church Cook, is a member of my church and our "Church Cook" as well! She is a wonderful cook, and she did a delicious Breakfast Casserole, Spinach Salad, and Mixed Fruit for the brunch. We also had English Breakfast Tea, which was prepared by some of our talented ladies, and it was so good!
It was a very clean look with a lovely lace tablecloth underneath.
I had some cute mini cookies cutters in the shape of pumpkins, fall leaves and acorns. I used one of my standby brown sugar shortbread recipes and added some pumpkin pie spice to the mixture. Then I sprinkled the cookies with some fall sprinkles that I bought from Homegoods.
They were yummy, but I knew that I had to have something chocolate, so I made these....
Chocolate French Macarons with Caramel Buttercream. At the end of the brunch, there were none of these left, so I think they were a hit!
I developed a special scone recipe for the brunch that I was very pleased with. It is a Toffee Crumble Scone and it turned out delicious. It had toffee bits in the scone and in the crumble! No need for cream & jam with these scones!
With every event that I cater I learn something not to do and that happened after making these Cherry Cream Tarts. I used the pre-made mini Filo shells for these, which I love, usually. I pre-filled the shells the night before the brunch with a mock pastry cream that is really good, and the next morning I added a cherry from a good cherry pie filling, then I topped them with a swirl of the same vanilla cream. Before I put them out on the table I tried one and the shells were very soft. Not a good thing. I have another recipe similar to this one that I have made many times with good results, but I always bake the shells in the oven for 5 minutes, let them cool, then fill. But that is with a chocolate filling on the bottom. So, I don't know if pre-baking them would have helped, or if it just isn't a good idea to pre-fill them with a cream filling the night before. Anyway, they were passable.
The lemon petits fours turned out nice. I used my lemon teacakes recipe, and tinted the icing a pale pink. They look really cute garnished with a sugar flower and placed in a mini muffin paper.
Next comes the Savory Side! Kays wonderful Breakfast Casserole was a favorite with everyone!
Doesn't this salad look amazing?! Spinach Salad with Kay's special salad dressing topped with toasted almonds and mandarin oranges. YUM!
And some lovely fruit! It's great to have something healthy with all those desserts out there just waiting to expand your waistline!
I think it went very well and was enjoyed by all. I wish I had made some pictures of the individual tables. This year different groups of ladies decorated each table using their own china and it looked very pretty. Another of our talented ladies made flower arrangements for the buffet table and the individual tables using the colors green and white. Lovely!
Here's a special lemon cake for you! Hope you enjoyed the pictures and will come back soon!