Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Pink and Green Baby Shower / Key Lime Bars

Elaina's Baby Shower / Key Lime Bars

My sister Elaina's baby shower has now come and gone, and it was so much fun! It was given at my house, along with help from my mom and my youngest sister. I worked from dawn until dusk for a week on the planning, designing and food (which explains the silence around here last week), and it all came out exactly as I'd hoped. My feet hurt, my back hurt and a couple of days my head even hurt, but I wouldn't change a single thing. We all three have a baby now, well, almost ... little Miss Scarlett isn't due until the end of August, and oh how I can't wait to meet her! Since this is the last first baby we had to go out with a bang, and I think everybody was impressed. We kept the food simple and the details sweet - all in shades of pink and green. I love doing this kind of stuff; it would be so fun to be a professional party planner! But since you're ultimately here for the food let's just get right to the menu:

* Vanilla cake squares
* Prosciutto-wrapped grissini
* Tomato, mozzarella and pesto skewers
* Watermelon and kiwi salad
* Pink and green key-lime squares, made by my sister Emily
* Pink and green M&Ms
* Bottled water and pink lemonade to drink
* Chocolate-covered pretzel sticks
* White-chocolate-covered strawberry marshmallows, dipped in chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, for favors

See? Easy-peasy and thoroughly enjoyed. Almost every morsel was consumed, and the few things that were left went home with the mother-to-be to share with the father-to-be! Oh, and that cake? It's made of diapers and receiving blankets! Isn't it darling? Almost too pretty to take apart, don't you think? If you live in my area and you're in need of a party planner, or a diaper cake, or chocolate-covered anything then I'm your gal. Unless I'm babysitting my sweet baby Scarlett, of course!

Key Lime Squares
Adapted from Big Oven
Printer-friendly version

Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
2 cups plus 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, beaten
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
8 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pink and/or green food coloring, optional*
Powdered sugar for sprinkling, optional

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 by 12 inch metal baking pan.
2. In a large bowl place the butter, salt, one tablespoon of sugar and two cups of flour. Using a pastry blender, mix until ingredients are combined and become small lumps. Press into pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes, watching carefully so that the crust doesn't get too brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl beat eggs, sugar, lime juice and a few drops of food coloring (if desired) on high speed until well-combined. Reduce speed to low and add four tablespoons of flour and baking powder, and mix well.
4. Pour wet ingredients over crust and bake about 25 minutes, or until set. If you find top browning too quickly and distorting the color, loosely cover with foil. Cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

* Emily made two recipes of these squares, one colored pink and one colored green.