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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Academy Award Party Tips with M&MS

It’s the Academy Awards again! Admit it, how many of you think the real winners are on the red carpet instead of picking up the statue? I have been hosting Oscar parties the last few years now. The best events have lots of treats and a lot of styles. An easy treat to celebrate American cinema is the classic candy of M&M’S. I use them to bring color and texture to desserts. You can totally pair them with your outfit or movie theme.

If you are walking your own red carpet, make sure to wear a color that flatters you. If you can’t do a custom gown, the key to making a dress look expensive is one that fits you well. One of my all-time favorite looks was Viola Davis at the 2012 Academy Awards wearing a custom green Vera Wang gown. This dress looked so great on her because it worked with her skin tone and the bodice highlighted her face. Just for fun, I re-interpreted this look with the famous Green M&M’S.

I also made boozy chocolate cupcakes. I used chocolate liqueur, which gives the cake a moist texture and chocolate buttercream. I topped it with a crispy M&M to match Viola’s dress. Have fun with the recipe:

Chocolate Liqueur Cupcakes: (Makes 12)

3 oz.  High-quality dark chocolate chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup brewed espresso
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons butter
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons Chocolate Liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with the paper cup liners (I like the foil ones for glam events).
Pour hot espresso over a large bowl of the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Set aside the bowl.
Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla into the cooled chocolate until the mixture looks smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
Divide the batter evenly into the cupcake tins. Bake for approximately 17-19 minutes, until just firm to the touch. Cool on rack for 10 minutes, and then remove cupcakes from pan to cool completely.

Chocolate Liqueur Buttercream 

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 to 3 tablespoons Chocolate Liqueur

Cream the butter with an electric mixer. Add 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. Mix until combined. Add chocolate liqueur. Mix at high speed until light and fluffy, adding more sugar and/or liqueur until desired consistency is reached. Add your buttercream to a piping bag (I like to add a star tip) and frost.

Top with a crispy M&M for crunch!

To make your guests feel like VIPs, make sure you have good lighting. An inexpensive flood light in a flattering hue or even lots of tea lights can make that happen. If you have a screen (or sheet) you can project the Academy Awards onto, it looks very impressive.

If  you need more tips for impressing on the red carpet, these little guys can help you out. What are your favorite tips for hosting an Oscars party?
Presented by M&MS.

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