15 June 2007
How to Fête a Friend for Fifty
If you really want to celebrate a friend’s birthday in a big way what you need are several cases of expensive Champagne. Luckily, Monique had that covered. Apparently there really are people who drink Dom like water. I think I’ll take up the habit, as soon as I make my millions. Then I can have a few assistants, an apartment in Madrid, and access to David Beckham’s box seats, too.
Anyway, dear John was celebrating a big birthday, and personally I was shocked since he looks about ten years younger. The secrets are regular facials and honey wheat hair color number seven. Someone should have told Alan Greenspan. The party was taken care of, but I wanted to bring a little something as a favor, you know, besides the cheesy images we had printed on mugs. John loves all things Dutch, he speaks German and Dutch and we go to celebrate Flanders Day at the embassy, with Chimay on tap and freshly made waffles. He is also one of the few people I know who likes licorice, so I wanted to encorporate that into what I was making. I’ll admit I stole this idea for a movie camera made of licorice wheels from Martha, I mean no-one is actually that crafty on their own. Or at least they don't admit to it, ahem.
I put my cameras on these delicious chocolate cookie bases (you could do the same decoration on top of chocolate cake or brownies), and I took red icing to the party so I could make a little star background and write 'happy birthday' or 'you’re a star' on them. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite bring enough and I only got to “Happy B...” before I ran out. Uhhh. So the lesson is, always bring extra icing. Besides that, people might not realize these are wholly edible, in which case you’ll have to break them into chunks in front of your shocked guests. Don’t worry, the horror will fade from their faces as soon as they taste them.
It was a lovely party, and even though I was plied with way more champagne than I should have had, Monique was right when she said, “don’t worry, it’s the good stuff, you won’t feel it in the morning.” I awoke rested and skipped happily down to the DuPont Circle Farmer’s Market. You’ll hear more about that later, but for now, happy birthday to John, who really is a star.
Chocolate Cookie Movie Stars
1 recipe chocolate cookie dough
2 oz melted chocolate
1. Roll out chocolate cookie dough and cut into squares about 6-8 inches wide, you should have 3 squares. Place the squares on parchment-lined or greased baking sheets. Prick the dough in several places with a toothpick, then place in the freezer to chill for at least 10 minutes.
2. Bake the squares in a 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes, until crisp but not darkened. Let cool completely.
3. Sift powdered sugar over the squares. Use melted chocolate the adhere the licorice pieces to the cookie base for the camera’s wheels, lens, and feet. Use the remaining melted chocolate to make a box for the camera body.
4. Use colored icing to draw stars around the edges or write a message.