Thursday, October 24, 2013

Menu (and recipes) for my 13 year old daughter's Halloween/birthday party tomorrow

My new puppy is sitting on my lap asleep, so I am taking a small break from cooking. For the party, we are going to make mini personal pizzas that the kids get to put together themselves. I will be in charge of the oven. By the time we are done, I will probably need to get out the shop-vac to suck up all the flour I imagine will be everywhere!

Along with the dipping items we provide, the kids get to bring their favorite thing to dip into the chocolate fountain. My daughter has some games planned, along with some movies to watch.

I have already made the pizza dough and hot fudge sauce. The chocolate chip cookie dough is in progress. I still need to do the shopping for the rest of the needed ingredients. And decorate!

So there is the party...and then there is the After-Party! O.K., so it's a sleep over for a smaller number of close girlfriends, but it will be crazy. I think I'll make some breakfast muffins for the morning after, the girls will have a sugar hangover.

Neapolitan mini pizzas -
Olive Oil Dough (recipe will follow)
Leila's Neapolitan Pizza Sauce (recipe will follow)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
diced sweet onions
black olives
diced red bell peppers (from my garden)
pineapple tidbits
Canadian bacon
dried basil leaves
dried oregano leaves
extra-virgin olive oil

Chocolate fountain -
Milk chocolate mix (recipe will follow)

Chocolate chip cookie pie -
Leila's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe will follow)
Leila's Rich Hot Fudge Sauce (recipe will follow)
vanilla bean ice cream
sweetened whipped cream

Snacks -
and perhaps crackers and  Cheese Whiz???...

The Recipes:

Olive Oil Dough
(Recipe from the book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by +Jeff Hertzberg and +Zoe Francois. +

2 3/4 c. lukewarm water
1 1/2 T. granulated yeast (1 1/2 packets)
1 1/2 T. sea salt
1 T. sugar
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
6 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the warm water in a 5-qt bowl or lidded (not airtight) food container.2. Mix in flour without kneading.
3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temp until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approx 2 hours.
4. Chill the dough up to 12 days, or use immediately.

Note: For the mini pizzas, I will break of a fistful with floured hands, then the kids will pat and roll out their dough on a lightly floured counter top. The kids will top their pizzas and I will place them onto a cornmeal dusted pizza peel and slide the pizzas onto preheated (500 degree oven) baking stone. They will bake 8 minutes or so (until browned and bubbly). In theory, this will all come out fine. I may have to just put the pizzas on baking sheets and not use the baking stone. Yup, that's what I'll do. So many pizzas-so little time...

Leila's Neapolitan Pizza Sauce (enough for 2 pizzas) (I am making a larger quantity)
1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
1 t. sea salt or Leila's BioSalt
1 t. dried oregano (preferably Greek)
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, mashed (I mash with the salt in a mortar & pestle)
1/2 t. whole fennel seeds
2 t. brown sugar (packed)
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1. Heat the tomato sauce in a sauce pot along with everything but the olive oil. Gently simmer a few minutes to mellow the garlic (3-4 minutes).
2. Take off the heat and stir in the olive oil.
3. Use or chill for later use.

Milk chocolate mix for chocolate fountain (can also use semi-sweet, or bittersweet chocolate)
For 10-15 guests (6-8 servings per person):
48 ounces (8 c.) Guittard milk chocolate
12 ounces (1 1/2 c.) rice bran oil

For 15-20 guests (6-8 servings per person):
64 ounces (10 1/2 c.) Guittard milk chocolate
16 ounces (2 c.) rice bran oil

For 20-30 guests (6-8 servings per person):
80 ounces (13 1/3 c.) Guittard milk chocolate
20 ounces (2 1/2 c.) rice bran oil

For white or premium chocolate (premium chocolate contains 30-40% cocoa):
For 10-15 guests (6-8 servings per person):
48 ounces (8 c.) Guittard milk chocolate
8 ounces (1 c.) rice bran oil

For 15-20 guests (6-8 servings per person):
64 ounces (10 1/2 c.) milk chocolate
10 ounces (1 1/4 c.) rice bran oil

For 20-30 guests (6-8 servings per person):
80 ounces (13 1/3 c.) milk chocolate
13 ounces (1 2/3 c.) rice bran oil

Melt the chocolate gently until completely smooth in the microwave or double boiler. Add the oil and blend well. Pour into pre-warmed chocolate fountain.

Leila's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 c. real butter, softened or melted
2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. brown sugar (packed)
4 large eggs
3 t. real vanilla extract
1 t. real butter flavoring or caramel flavoring
1/2 t. real almond extract
1 t. liquid lecithin, optional
4 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. sea salt or Leila's BioSalt
2 t. baking soda
4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I also like a 50/50 blend of semi-sweet/white chocolate, or just white)
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans, or macadamia nuts, optional

1. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy, adding the eggs one at a time, until light colored.
2. Add the flavorings and mix in well.
3. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt).
4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
5. Hand mix in the chocolate chips (and the nuts if using).
6. Use an ice cream scoop to easily portion the dough onto a baking sheet.
7. Bake in a preheated 350 oven, 8-9 minutes for small cookies, and about 14-15 minutes for large cookies.

I use silicone mats on my cookie sheets, but regular cookie sheets work fine.
Sometimes I need to add a touch more flour to firm up the dough.
Chilling the dough overnight is good but I usually don't wait.
This make a large batch of cookies. I store the unused dough in the fridge for later use. You can easily halve the recipe. This also freezes well.

Variation: Add to the above recipe, 1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats plus 2 T honey (it keeps the cookies moist longer). Add the honey with the other sugars. Add the oats with the chocolate chips and stir in.

Leila's Rich Hot Fudge Sauce
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. corn syrup
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 ounce chocolate liquor (I use Guittard's OBAN)
1/4 t. sea salt or Leila's BioSalt
1/2 t. real vanilla extract
Optional: You can stir in roasted chopped almonds or pecans at the end.

1. In a microwave or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate carefully, adding the cream a little bit at a time and stirring to dissolve the chocolate completely into the cream.
2. On the stove top, bring the corn syrup and sugar to a boil in a sauce pot, while stirring over medium-high heat to dissolve the sugar.
3. Add the melted chocolate/cream mixture, while stirring.
4. Add the salt and bring back up to a boil. Boil no more than 2 minutes (or sauce will harden too much on ice cream).
5. Take off heat. After it cools down a bit, stir in the vanilla. Bottle and store in the fridge if not being used immediately.
6. warm gently to use over ice cream or other desserts.

That's it for now. I've gotta get cook'in!
Author: Leila Wood.