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Pastry Queen Parties

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For my sister, Mary Jane (1956–2007)
For my parents, Patricia and Donald Oresman

Copyright © 2009 by Rebecca Rather and Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data on

Alison Oresman file with publisher
Photographs copyright © 2009 by Laurie Smith
ISBN 978-1-58008-990-6
All rights reserved. Printed in China
Published in the United States by Ten Speed Press,
an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Design by Toni Tajima
a division of Random House, Inc., New York. Food and prop styling by Erica McNeish
www.tenspeed.com 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
First Edition
Ten Speed Press and the Ten Speed Press colophon are
registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

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Introduction 1 Sidebar: FRED’S PARTY 36

Belted Galloway Ice Cream
Sandwiches 38
Figgy-topped Pound Cakes 40
Mini Okra Pancakes 8
Plum Tart 43
High’s Hummus with Pita Crisps 9
Kimmie Cookies 45
Sweet-and-Sour Lamb Ribs 11
Garden Party Cocktails 47
Rebecca’s Table Caprese Salad 12
Fresh Corn and Pea Salad 14 Chicken-fried Shrimp 52
Rustic Bread Salad 17 Campechana 53
Sidebar: ARTISAN CHEESEMAKER Marinated Crab Claw Cocktail 55
White Balsamic-Jicama Slaw 57
Roasted Beet Salad with Seafood Gumbo 58
Spicy Maple Pecans and
Chrissy’s Fresh Chèvre 19 Farmstand Tomato Soup with
Arugula Pesto 61
Watermelon Salads with
Tequila-Lime Dressing 23 Sidebar: GULF COAST ENTERTAINING,
Avocado-Cucumber Soup 25
Cajun Catfish Tacos with
Grilled Quail Salad 27 Chipotle Mayonnaise 64
Garden Tomato Lasagna with Pesto 30 Champagne-marinated
Three Pigs Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Shrimp Boil 67
Candied Carrots 33 Crab in Shells 68
Savory Smoked Tomato-Asiago Sidebar: BEACH HOUSE MEMORIES 70
Scones 35

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Big Easy Whole Flounder 73 Peanut Butter and Jam Cake 124
One-Pot Cajun New Potatoes 75 Syrup Cake 126
Lemony Artichokes au Gratin 76 Graham Cracker-Pecan Crunch 127
Pineapple Bundt Cake 77 Grandma Olfers’s Malted
Sidebar: BEACHSIDE FROZEN POPS 78 Mocha Bars 128
Cocoa Cloud Icebox Pies 81 Homecoming Iced Tea 131

Vanilla Sand Dollar Cookies 83 SAN ANTONIO

S’mores Cupcakes 85 TEX-MEX FIESTA 133
Watermelon Mojitos 87 Pork and Tomatillo Quesadillas with
Ancho Dipping Salsa 135
Queso 138
Rosa’s Red Posole 140
Deviled Eggs 93
Lime Soup 143
Layered Salad in a Jar 95
Fiesta Chiles Rellenos 145
You Can Go Home Again
Sidebar: FIESTA 147
Potato Salad 96
Curried Jasmine Rice Salad 97 Chicken with Banana-Basil Mole 148

Double-dipped Buttermilk Fried Beans a la Charra 150

Chicken 99 Cheese Enchiladas with
Slow-baked Brisket with Bourbon Chile Gravy 152
Mustard Barbecue Sauce 101 Rib-eye Fajitas on the Grill 155
Ralph’s Six Rivers Tuna with El Rancho de la Reina Casserole 156
Honey Grain Rolls 104 Puffy Tacos with Bison Chili 158
Sidebar: THE SIX RIVERS RIDE 106 Rosa's Mexican Rice and
Gangy’s Spoon Bread 109 San Antonio Refried Beans 161
Butternut Squash Bread 110 Sidebar: LONCITO’S FOOD SALON 163
Walnut Baked Beans 113 Cinnamon Crescents 165
Butterscotch Brownies with Pequeño Chocolate-Pecan Tartlets 166
Brown Sugar Butter Icing 115 Chubby’s White Pralines 168
Peach-Almond Bars 117 Key Lime-Coconut Cream Cake 171
Hostess-with-the-Mostest Cupcakes 119 Corona Sorbet 173
Sidebar: TAILGATING 121 Silver Bullet Margaritas 175
White Chocolate Cake with White Sangria 175
Spiky Meringue Frosting 122


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CHAPTER FIVEBIG-CITY Mary Jane’s Bean Pot Soup 220
COCKTAIL PARTY 177 Not Really Son-of-a-Bitch Stew 221
Savory Double Cheese Slice-and-Bake Beer-braised Short Ribs 222
Cookies 179 Blue Javalina Grilled Lamb with
Polenta Rounds with Cheese, Quinoa Pilaf 225
Chive Pesto, and Red Pepper 181 Chicken-fried Steak 227
Sidebar: SOIGNÉE SOIREES 182 Stuffed Bandera Quail with
Tuna Spoons 183 Pepper Glaze 229
Party-in-a-Shot-Glass Green Tomato Macaroni and Cheese 231
Oyster Shooters 185 Sidebar: PARTY MAESTRO
Wild Mushroom Turnovers 187 DON STRANGE 233
Sidebar: BETTER ALL THE TIME 189 Achiote-seared Chickpeas 234
Lemon-Ginger Chicken Canapés 190 Butter Beans and Mixed Greens 237
Homemade Potato Chips 192 Sweet Potato Biscuits 239
Cheddar Soup Cups 195 Bud’s Mashed Potato-Creamed Corn
Avocado Pancakes with Casserole 240
Crème Fraîche and Trout Roe 197 Jalapeño Cornbread with Cheese, Corn,
Mary’s Crayfish Pies 199 and Arugula 241


Giant Chocolate Cake with Cowboy
Coffee Frosting 243
Quail Sausage 203 Sohnne’s Mama’s Double-Decker
Blackberry Cobbler 247
Lemon-Chip Cookies 205
Drunken Brandy-Peach Bread
Chile Crinkle Cookies 206 Pudding 248
Chocolate Mousse Cookies Two Ways 207 Maple-Pecan Butter Thins 251
Black-and-White Bars 208 Top-Shelf Tea 252
Big-City Cocktails 211 Smoke Old-Fashioned 253
DINNER PARTY 213 Basics and Sources 254
El Rancho Chopped Salad with Acknowledgments 256
Cornbread Croutons and Creamy Index 258
Poblano Dressing 217
Iceberg Wedge with
Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing 219


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Kimmie Cookies
These light, melt-in-your-mouth cookies are named for my good friend Kim, who started baking them
as a child with her Scandinavian grandmother. While Kim makes them with her kids during the
Christmas holidays, I think they are great for a spring or summer party. I tint the butter icing a light
pink or pale blue. They always disappear quickly: kids love them, adults can’t resist them, and I never
tire of them.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies

Cookies about 2 minutes. Beat in the almond extract and
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room salt. Add the flour and beat on low speed just
temperature until thoroughly combined. Using your hands,
1 cup sugar for the cookies, plus 1/2 cup roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Put the 1/2 cup
sugar for sprinkling (optional) sugar in a shallow bowl and roll each cookie in
2 teaspoons pure almond extract the sugar to coat, if you like.
1 2
/ teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups all-purpose flour Place the cookies about 1/2 inch apart on the
prepared baking sheet and flatten by lightly
Butter Frosting pressing down on the dough with the bottom
1 3
/ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature of a juice glass. (The cookies should be about
1 teaspoon vanilla extract /4 inch thick.) Bake until the bottoms begin to
Pinch of kosher salt turn golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Don’t let
4 tablespoons (or more) whole milk, slightly the tops brown or the cookies will be overdone.
warmed Transfer to a wire cooling rack and frost while
2 cups (or more) powdered sugar the cookies are slightly warm.
2 or 3 drops food coloring of your choice
(optional) TO MAKE THE BUTTER FROSTING: In the bowl of
an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attach-
TO MAKE THE COOKIES: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
ment, beat the 1/3 cup butter, vanilla, salt, and
Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with cooking warm milk on low speed until combined. Add
spray or butter, or line with parchment paper the powdered sugar and beat on medium speed
or silicone liners. until combined. If the icing seems too runny to
spread, add a few tablespoons more of powdered
Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle sugar. If it seems too thick, add more milk, 1 tea-
attachment, beat the butter and the 1 cup sugar spoon at a time, until it reaches the desired con-
on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, sistency.



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depth of flavor, not a pronounced almond taste.
Make the cookies once with the extract and see if
Like most cookies, these are at their very best the naysayers react. If they do—I’d be surprised—
eaten the day they are baked. You can make the you’ll have more cookies for yourself. Next time you
dough and stow it in a container in the refriger- make them, you can substitute vanilla extract for
ator up to 1 week before baking. Make the icing the almond.
and bake the cookies the day of your party. Using a 1-inch-diameter metal ice cream scoop
eliminates the drudgery from portioning out cookie
dough, and insures that your cookies will be of
TIPS Some people dislike the taste of almond
uniform size and bake at the same rate. The best
extract, but I have found that even avowed almond-
scoops are lever-activated and push the dough out
extract haters love these cookies without detect-
and onto baking sheets quickly and easily.
ing their almond flavor. The extract lends a subtle


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To purchase a copy of
Pastry Queen Parties
visit one of these online retailers:

file:///T|/Lyman_Emily/Scribd/Retailer%20Pages/pastry%20queen%20parties%20buyonline.html[12/1/2010 2:17:34 PM]