My sister Meg's amazing pastry skills

It's been a bit too serious around here, so here's some fun. I think I'm pretty good at savory cooking, but when it comes to pastry I definitely need more practice. However, my little sister Meg is an amazing pastry chef. She graduated from the French Culinary Institute and used to work at Toraya in New York, and has also done a stint as a speciality cookie designer. She decided some years ago to stop being a fulltime chef, but she still does some catering. She recently catered the wedding of her friends Bennie and Tyneia in Florida. These are the party favors - all beautifully packaged by her...

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...and this is the amazing Gothic themed wedding cake, complete with ghoulish skeleton bride and groom. Meg says it took her 3 days to make this cake.

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Here's what Meg says about the sweets and the cake:

The party favors were 2 sweets, cut into bite sized squares. One was called Rocky Road squares. A Chocolate-marshmallow-peanut combo. So easy to make, and usually do so for kids I babysit for. They're a hit with kids and they can certainly participate in the preparation. I tossed the squares in some unsweetened cocoa powder to offset the sweetness for a more sophisticated taste, and also I thought it would help with the hot humid climate here in Florida. The second set of squares were what I call Coconut Crunchies. It consists of a thin graham cracker bottom, topped with coconut flakes, chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Any time I make these, they never stay around for long. Everyone I know say they are addicting and I'm asked by many of my friends to make them their own tray.

Both these recipes were originally from my friend's mom, which I've been putting my own personal twists to.

The cake was all made from scratch. It was a marble cake with 3 layers of Chocolate-almond butter frosting, which then was also covered in a vanilla butter frosting, before it was completely covered in a chocolate quick pour fondant, which I dyed black for the gothic look. I matched the grey from the skeleton bride with the left over vanilla frosting.

I'm so proud of her. I've been trying to nudge her back into the cooking world...who knows, maybe someday. ^_^

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