Throwing a bridal shower for one of your nearest and dearest is a daunting task. You’re responsible for celebrating the bride-to-be in a way that everyone will love, so you want to get it right. Instead of stressing, take on the assignment in stride: After all, it’s an honor to host this event.
Not sure where to begin when it comes to planning? Here’s how to throw a memorable party for the bride, including some sweet and easy recipes:
How To Throw A Memorable Bridal Shower
Pick a Location for the Shower
Once you’ve finalized the date and have an approximate guest count, you should then decide where you want the party to take place. If you have enough space to host the bridal shower at your house, that is the most traditional option. If not, consider the home of a relative who is close to the bride. You can also host a bridal shower at a restaurant, a private banquet room, or any venue that speaks to the bride’s interest, such as an art gallery or spa. When in doubt, ask the bride for her opinion!
Choose a Bridal Shower Theme
Once you’ve finished collecting the addresses and the final guest list has been approved by the bride-to-be, it’s time to choose a bridal shower theme. While having a theme isn’t an essential part of bridal shower planning, it can be the perfect way to add some personality to the party with invitations, food options, and decor. Feel free to get as creative as you like—for starters, some popular options include a brunch and bubbly theme, a rustic theme, wine tasting theme, or even a flower arranging party.
Send Out the Shower Invitations
Plan to finalize, purchase, and mail out the bridal shower invitations about six to eight weeks prior to the event. This will give guests plenty of time to clear their schedules, buy a gift, and let you know if they’re unable to attend.
Purchase the Bridal Shower Decor
Once you’ve chosen your bridal shower theme, it’s time to kick your bridal shower decor shopping into high gear. You don’t have to go all out unless you want to—look for items such as mylar letter balloons, customized posters, tassel garlands, and photo backdrops that will instantly make the space feel personal for the bride. Fresh flowers and candles are great options, too!
Plan the Menu
Consider the theme and the bride’s favorite dish to dream up a spread that packs flavor, style, and creativity without breaking the bank. If the bride is crazy for barbecue, then order brisket from her favorite smoker and fill out the spread with condiments, biscuits, and sides bought from a local grocery store or made at home. And if she’s more of a dessert person? Plan sweets and treats that are easy to eat while mingling and drinking. Here are some tasty ideas:
Preheat your oven to Bake at 400°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Set out all of your ingredients before beginning and beat four of the eggs into a bowl until they are smooth.
Place the water, salt, sugar, and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to ensure the butter is melted before the water boils.
As soon as the water boils and the butter is melted, immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and add the flour all at once, mixing quickly. Return the saucepan to the stove and stir vigorously for 15-20 seconds until the mixture forms a ball around the spoon and is beginning to leave a film on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat.
Allow the dough to cool for 5-10 minutes so that it won’t instantly cook the eggs. Add about 1/4 of the beaten eggs to the pan and beat them in with the wooden spoon. The mixture will seem lumpy and strange at first, but as you continue to beat it will become cohesive and smooth.
Repeat this process three more times with the rest of the beaten egg. At this point, you will want to test the dough. Hold up a scoop on your spoon and turn it sideways. If the choux dough stays in a firm ball or falls off of your spoon in a ball it needs more egg. You want it to fall off in thick but smooth ribbons. To achieve this consistency, beat the 5th egg until smooth, then beat in tiny bits of the egg until the dough is ready.
While still warm, transfer the choux dough into a pastry bag fitted with a piping coupler. In one continuous squeeze, make balls of dough that are about 1 1/2” on the tray, leaving at least an inch between them. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, then remove them from the oven and pierce the side of each with a skewer or a sharp-tipped knife. Return the puffs to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the tops are a deep golden brown.
Repeat the baking process with any remaining dough.
For the Pastry Cream:
In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the milk. Add in the flour, cornstarch, and salt and beat until smooth with no lumps remaining. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, warm the 2 cups of milk and maple syrup over medium heat until it is steaming and small bubbles are forming around the edge. Pour small amounts (a few tbsp at a time) into the egg mixture, and whisk it in until smooth. Do this with about half of the milk to bring the eggs up to a similar temperature, then whisk it all back into the pot. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook the mixture while whisking briskly and constantly. Do not leave it for even a second, as the maple syrup can scorch easily and the eggs will curdle.
Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture is thick, about the consistency of yogurt. Immediately remove it from the heat, then whisk in the vanilla extract and butter until it is completely melted. Pour the mixture into a clean bowl and cover it with plastic wrap so that it is touching the cream. Set it in the refrigerator until it is completely chilled.
To fill the puffs:
Fit a piping bag with a round piping tip and a coupler (something like Wilton’s round tip 8) and fill the bag with the pastry cream. If the cream has set thicker than you would like, whisk in a tablespoon of milk at a time until it has reached the desired consistency. Spoon the maple pastry cream into the bag.
Find the slits in each of the puffs, and insert the piping tip into it. Squeeze the pastry cream into each puff until it is filled. Sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar and serve. Store in the refrigerator.
If you are looking for some sitdown sweets, these cakes are bound to impress even the pickiest of brides.
Break up the cookie dough in a medium bowl, add the pumpkin pie spice, and knead until thoroughly combined.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the center of the Medium Pizza Stone. Roll out, leaving a 1″ border from the edge.
Bake until the edges are lightly golden brown, about 17–19 minutes.
To brown the butter, melt in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, the butter will foam up a bit, then subside. Watch carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl to stop from cooking.
To make the frosting, whisk the powdered sugar, heavy cream, maple syrup, and browned butter until smooth.
Let the cookie cool for 10 minutes, then loosen from the stone to prevent sticking
Once the cookie has cooled completely, evenly spread the frosting. Use a spoon to make a swoop design.
Pipe a whipped cream border around the cookie. Top with English toffee bits.
Maple Syrup Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour or 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Grease and flour a 10″ fluted tube pan; set the pan aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until well combined. Add egg, egg yolk, and maple syrup; beat for 1 minute more. Alternately add flour mixture and hot water to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Spoon batter into the prepared pan; spread evenly.
Bake in a 375°F oven for 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool completely. Spoon Maple Icing over cake and sprinkle top with walnuts. Makes 12 servings.
Maple Icing: In a medium bowl beat 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbsp softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat in 1/4 cup pure maple syrup. Beat in 1 cup additional powdered sugar. Add milk, 1 tsp at a time, to make drizzling consistency (2 to 3 teaspoons total). Makes about 1 cup.