Harry Potter Party Food!

18 Sep

Since starting my job, where I have a decent amount of downtime, I’ve rediscovered how much I love reading for fun (textbooks zap that right out of you).  While making a list of books I wanted to read, I finally gave in to Harry Potter.  I borrowed all the books from a friend, and they quickly became a huge part of my summer.  As I write this, I am about 2/3 through the final book, and I HATE it when a series of books is over.  I desperately need want to find out what happens, but at the same time I want to prolong the ending as long as possible.  Ugh.

ANY-who, in my travels through the food blogiverse (is that a word?), I randomly came across something that made me as giddy as a kid with a cupcake.  Maybe that’s because it was a cupcake.  A Butterbeer Cupcake, to be exact.  With booze, even.  Oh yes.  And I thought to myself, gee, I can’t just make these for the heck of it (well, I could, but…), so maybe I’ll have a party for the sole purpose of making these cupcakes.  Best. Decision. Ever.

So, with the party being fully on, I was in search of other Potter-themed food.  I didn’t need to look any further: the same blog that featured the cupcakes also had a Sorting Hat made of pita bread.  Menu: check.  You lucky ducks get a twofer post.  Without further ado, here are my creations!

Butterbeer Cupcakes
Makes 18

Source: Cook Like a Champion via Amy Bites

For the cupcakes:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 T. butterscotch schnapps
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream soda

For the filling:
5 1/2 ounces butterscotch chips (half an 11 ounce package or a little less than a cup)
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup butterscotch filling
1 T. butterscotch schnapps
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar
Splash of cream soda (as needed)

To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350º and line cupcake pans with liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add both sugars and continue beating until well combined. On low speed, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the cream soda and buttermilk. Mix until just combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full, then bake for 15-17 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the filling by combining the butterscotch chips and heavy cream in a glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and fill each cupcake just until the filling comes to the top.

To make the frosting, cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the butterscotch filling, schnapps and salt and beat until well combined. On low speed, beat in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add cream soda as needed to thin the frosting. Frost cupcakes and drizzle with remaining syrup.

Butter Queen’s Notes:

  • You are required to use the gold cupcake liners.
  • The butterscotch ganache is sort of a pain in the Crumple-Horned Snorkack, and I would advise against filling the cupcakes with a pastry bag and tip like I did.  It was my last resort, and it was a MESS, as in, all over the floor, stepped in it, butterscotch footprints on the white carpet…do yourself a favor and get the squeeze bottle in advance.

Pita Bread

Source: Cook Like a Champion via Diamonds for Dessert

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water (80-90°F)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 cups all-purpose flour

Combine sugar and water in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast and allow the mixture to proof for 10 minutes. Add in 3 cups flour, one cup at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Set aside for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours. The sponge will get a stronger flavor the longer it sits. (I left mine out about 4 hours.) After the sponge has had time to sit, stir in the salt and olive oil. Stir in an additional 2 cups flour. Knead dough by hand for 8-10 minutes or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook for 5 minutes. If the mixture is too moist, add flour in 1/4 cup increments until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. Place back in the large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise 2-3 hours, or until dough has doubled.

To make the Sorting Hat, preheat oven to 350º. Form a large cone, about 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide, out of aluminum foil. Punch down the dough and remove 2/3 of it, keeping the remaining third covered. Lightly flour a work surface and spread the dough out into a large circle so that it’s large enough to cover the foil cone. Spray the cone with cooking spray and cover it with the dough. Pinch the dough to create the eyes and mouth, and in various places to create wrinkles. Place face side up on a baking sheet.

Form the remaining 1/3 of dough into a 10 inch circle. Place on a baking sheet and use balls of foil to make the hat brim ruffle. Bake both pans for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and increase heat to 425º. Spray the face with nonstick cooking spray and stand upright. Place both pans back in the oven and continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack, then place the face on top of the hat bottom when ready to serve.


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