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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

From Invitations to Dessert: Dessert Bar

Okay time for a long awaited Invitations to Dessert post. I know we said it would be a monthly feature, but Nikki from Doodle Dog got married Memorial Day weekend so we were all a little busy. We will be making this monthly though, so just bear with us please. This post actually features one of the many personal touches from Nikki’s wedding. (She’ll be posting more details soon so stay tuned!)

(Pictures by me and Jimmages Photography)

Nikki decided to do a cookbook featuring classic family dessert recipes in conjunction with a dessert bar at her wedding as a favor. She got small white boxes from Uline, added a polka dot tissue paper and tied a coordinating ribbon around them. The “thank you” tag ties in to the tag from her invitation suite. The paper products really tied the look of the whole wedding together. The cookbook was a 3x4 twelve page booklet that Nikki designed titled Love is Sweet. Inside the front cover, she wrote a thank you to the guests and prompted guests to fill the box at the dessert bar. The empty boxes were placed at each place setting.

(Picture by Amy Barry Photography)

The dessert bar featured Nikki and her husband’s favorite family recipes close family members. Nikki designed coordinating labels to go along with clever titles for each dessert. Using several different cookie jars and platters added aesthetical interest to the dessert bar and the cute signs tied everything together. She used cookie jars from Target, an Anchor Hocking 3-tier cupcake stand, and silver chargers.

Click here to go to Nikki's site for more details from the dessert bar and her wedding.

(Pictures by Amy Barry Photography)

The dessert bar included:
Mother of the Groom’s Famous Banana Bread
Mother of the Bride’s Sweet Snickerdoodles
Grammie’s Rich 7-layer Bars
Grandma Mo’s Salty Ranch Pretzels
Grandma Kress’s Decadent German Chocolate Cupcake Bites
Mother of the Groom’s Chunky Chocolate Pecan Cookies
Grandma Tootie’s Awesome Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Aunt Sue’s Crunchy Peanut Bars

While not all of these wonderful people are still here, we all still remember the recipes. These were desserts that showed up at major family events or they were always there when you showed up at grandma’s house. My mom and I made several of the recipes including the snickerdoodles, the oatmeal raisin cookies and the German Chocolate Cupcake Bites.

(Pictures by Amy Barry Photography)

I’ve posted all of these recipes before but I wanted to tell you about the slight changes I made to the German Chocolate Cupcake Bites this time around. I used the same recipe but when I made the frosting, I left out the chopped pecans. Instead I frosted the cupcakes and then used pecan halves to top each one. This made for a much more polished look for the cupcakes, really making the presentation much better since the custard frosting can’t be piped like a traditional buttercream. I also baked the cupcakes in plain white liners and then dropped them into decorative blue gingham liners to match the wedding colors. If I would have baked the cupcakes in the blue liners, the chocolate cake would show through too much and you wouldn’t notice the pattern.

(Pictures by Jimmages Photography and me)

Since I've posted all the recipes we made before, I'm going to give you the recipe for the mother of the groom's famous banana bread, which we served in mini-muffin form on the dessert bar.

Banana Bread
Family recipe

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
4 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare pans. Cream together the sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl, add eggs, milk, vanilla and mashed bananas. Mix well. Sift together dry ingredients and add to wet mix. Mix just until well combined.

To make bars, pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake for approximately 40 minutes. To make mini muffins, grease muffin tins and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until golden brown and the tops spring back when touched. Cool completely and serve.


  1. Mmmm, the snickerdoodles were SOOOO good!

  2. The dessert table looks awesome and love that the contents of it were all family recipes. Great idea as was the blue and white colour scheme. Gingham is so cute on the cupcakes.


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