Monday, May 24, 2010

Something Sweet for Someone Sweet: Jenn's Bridal Shower!

Hi friends! Good to have you back here at the Barbershop. You may guess from the title of this post that it's a bit different than my usual posts...and it is! My good friend, Jenn, is getting married this July, and her bridal shower was this past weekend. And I was fortunate enough to be hired to bake for the shower! So fun! Jenn's matron of honor, Meg, asked me if I'd be willing to bake for the occasion, and of course I said yes. If you don't know this by now, I love to bake. ;-)

Warning: this is a rather long post! I've got a lot to say 'bout this one! :)

Okay, back to business... What was on the menu for Jenn's bridal shower? Well, we had three different kinds of cupcakes and sugar cookies. Mmmmm, sweet treats in honor of a very sweet lady! I had so much fun planning for the shower. I knew that I'd be baking for it back in March, so I put my thinking cap on right away as to what I should make. I decided on three kinds of cupcakes: double chocolate cupcakes with chocolate or vanilla frosting, classic golden cupcakes with chocolate or vanilla frosting, and lemon cupcakes with strawberry filling and lemon buttercream frosting. Phew! And for the sugar cookies, I decided to make some with icing and some with frosting. I have actually previously blogged about three of these four items are the Barbershop links for ya. ;-) Chocolate cupcakes, lemon cupcakes, and sugar cookies.

Chocolate cupcakes!

Lemon cupcakes with strawberry filling!

Sugar cookies!

I'll go into a little more detail about each recipe here too... :) So, for the chocolate cupcakes, this time around I added mini chocolate chips to the batter. Can you ever go wrong with extra chocolate? I think not! For each recipe for Jenn's shower, I made sure to try them out beforehand too...I wouldn't want my first time trying a new recipe to be an important occasion like this one! I had made the chocolate cupcake recipe a couple times before, so I knew it was a winner. And that was confirmed again at the shower!

As for the golden, or vanilla, cupcakes, I cut it close for my trial run of this recipe! I hadn't found a time to make them until about four days before the shower when I made them for a coworker's birthday. They passed the quality control test of my coworkers with flying colors, so I knew I had a "keeper" recipe! This is the one recipe I haven't blogged about yet, but I'll provide you with a link to the recipe I used (which was a recipe of the Food Networks' Barefoot Contessa) here. I did not use her frosting recipe, however. In fact, for both the chocolate and vanilla frostings I made, I used a favorite blog of mine, Our Best Bites.

Golden cupcakes!

Our Best Bites claims that their vanilla frosting is perfect. I would certainly say it's close! I really liked this frosting. It wasn't too sweet, but just sweet enough. And it was light and almost silky in texture. Deeelish! This is totally a recipe I'll make again. It does take a little extra work since you actually cook part of the frosting, but I think it's worth those extra few minutes. I'd say the same about Our Best Bites' chocolate frosting too! It's another super recipe and one that I'll be making again and again, I'm sure. If you've ever been a baker who tends to shy away from making your own frosting, I encourage you not to do that; instead, try either of these frosting recipes. Once you do, I think you'll make your own more often! ;-)

Here are a couple close-up shots of the vanilla and chocolate frostings...soooo good.

Isn't that flower pretty? It's edible and can be found at King Arthur Flour!

Lemon cupcakes with strawberry filling and lemon buttercream frosting... Do these sound familiar? Perhaps you've seen them at the Barbershop before! These were a favorite item of many gals at the shower, apparently...that's the word on the street anyway. ;-) If you happened to read my earlier post about these cupcakes, you may remember that I made a small blunder with the frosting that time. I used skim milk even though the recipe called for whole milk, and the frosting didn't turn out fluffy. :-( This time I used whole milk, and it was so much better! The strawberry filling in these is reeeeally yummy and makes the cupcakes a bit more special, I think. And it's not just adding strawberry jam either! It's a delicious homemade filling that you can read about here. Here is a picture of the cupcakes before I topped them with frosting.

Sugar cookie time!!!! These were a major hit at the party, I must say. As many of the lovely ladies said, what's not to love about sugar and butter, the two main ingredients in these cookies?? My mom gets full credit for this recipe too. I used the recipe she's been using for years!! I had a lot of fun decorating these too! As I mentioned earlier, I used icing on some of the cookies and frosting on the rest. I have a confession to make though... I did NOT make the icing! This was the one item I did not make from scratch for the shower. Instead, I used a handy dandy icing mix from my favorite King Arthur Flour. Sooo easy! You only need to add water to the mix, stir, and voila, you have icing! For the frosting, I used my mom's famous recipe; I tinted half the batch a pretty light pink and the other half a nice, springy green. Fun fun!! I have a lot of sprinkles, as evidenced here. :) And this isn't all of what I have either!

Meg had sent along pictures from a shower she had attended that had "I do" on the cookies. I replicated that, as you can see. Only about 6 more weeks 'til Jenn and Jason are saying those two words! :)

The shower was quite lovely all around. Meg and Jenn's bridesmaids, Lesley and Tiffany, really did a fabulous job! A wonderful time was had by all as we celebrated the beautiful bride to be, Jenn!! Here are some pictures from the special occasion.

Setting up...

Champagne anyone?! ;-)

Enjoying sweet treats!

Now, the shower was lingerie-themed, so I won't post too many pictures of Jenn's gifts, which generally kept with the theme... I'd like to keep this blog G-rated. ;-) But here is one picture of the beautiful bride as she's opening a gift!

I am very glad I was able to be part of Jenn's special day... It was truly a pleasure to bake for the occasion! We are all so happy for Jenn and Jason!! Here is a picture of them from last fall, when Mike and I went apple picking with the lovely couple...

Wishing you two all the best! ♡


  1. You are such a wonderful wonderful friend Colleen! And a fabulous lady in the kitchen. Your sweets and such thoughtful ideas were an incredible part of making this day as special as it was! Thank you SO VERY MUCH!

    The ladies are still talking about your goodies! :)

    Much love hun!

  2. Thank you, Jenn! It makes me happy to know that the treats were part of your happy occasion and that people enjoyed them!! :)

  3. Such BEAUTIFUL displays, sista! No wonder people were asking you if you did this for a living! You can do anything! :-)