Monday, January 30, 2012

Frost Bites: Ice Skating Party Menu

For Mary Ashley's recent ice skating birthday party, guests gathered at our house before heading to a local ice skating rink. Our figure skaters warmed up with steaming mugs of hot cocoa and sweet treats at our mid-afternoon party.

Ice Skating Party Menu

Birthday Cake
Iced Sugar Cookies
Hot Chocolate
Strawberry Cocoa
Marshmallows & Sprinkles
Bottled Waters

Ice skate and mitten cookies from favorite Etsy baker Lisa from Batches were the perfect complement to a cup of hot cocoa. Aren't these precious?

I appreciate the detailed approach Lisa takes with each cookie. Notice the silver shimmer of the silver figure skate blades and the frosty sparkle of the white icing frame. You can see -- and taste -- this baker's passion in every cookie.

Guests topped their mugs with marshmallows and sugar sprinkles. I will keep this apothecary jar full of these white and strawberry marshmallows through Valentine's Day.

I dipped the rims of our Irish coffee mugs in melted Wilton Candy Melts to carry out our color scheme of pink and aqua. Wilton sugar sprinkles added a frosty finishing touch to the mugs. This has to be done as soon as a glass is dipped because the candy melts harden very quickly. (A few of the rims missed getting sprinkled because I thought I could do several before added the sugar.) After the party, the candy melt rims dissolve quickly under hot water.

My friend Stacey came about 30 minutes before the party to help with last-minute details. I asked her to prepare the strawberry cocoa while I put together the hot chocolate. I like to make flavored hot chocolates, but kept this version simple for our little skaters

Ice Skater's Hot Chocolate

Perfect before or after hitting the ice for an afternoon of skating.
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 pinch salt
2/3 cup boiling water
6 cups skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup half-and-half
Sweetened whipped cream or marshmallows, optional
Combine cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a heavy saucepan. Add the boiling water, and stir over medium heat until the sugar melts and you achieve a thick liquid. Stir in milk and heat until very hot, but not boiling. Stir in vanilla and half-and-half, and remove from heat. Divide the hot chocolate between 8 to 10 mugs. Top each serving with whipped cream or marshmallows.

I discovered strawberry cocoa on Pinterest. Pretty and pink, this would be a sweet treat for Valentine's Day. Find the recipe here.

The icing on the cake was this birthday cake. I made a three-layer cake using smaller cake pans hoping to cover it with a cloche for a snow globe effect, but with the ruffles of icing and fresh flowers and greenery, it still came out too big. It turned out pretty, though, and several guests didn't realize it was a cake until it was time to light the candles.

I wonder if Mary Ashley wished for figure eights on her 8th birthday?

After cocoa, cookies and cake, we headed to the ice skating rink. A couple of buckets of bottled waters kept our skaters hydrated during their afternoon on the ice.

Still to come, favors perfect for a cold winter's day.

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