Bubbly Poinsettia and Gorgeous Gougères
2-1/4 cups gin
1 cup grenadine syrup
3/4 cup maraschino liqueur
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Chilled Champagne or sparkling wine
Lemon slices (optional)
In pitcher stir together gin, grenadine, maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice. For each cocktail, fill cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add 1/3 cup gin mixture. Shake well. Strain the mixture into champagne flute. Top with chilled champagne. Garnish with lemon slice or wedge. Enough for 12 cocktails.
From Party Snacks, A.J. Rathbun. These airy puffs can be made in advance and reheated in a 300°F oven for a couple of minutes.
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets; set aside. Lightly beat eggs just until white and yolks have mixed. Put water, butter, and salt in medium saucepan; bring to boiling, stirring occasionally so butter melts. Add flour. Beat vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from pan's sides. Turn heat down; continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes until dough is partially dry.
Remove from heat. Cool for 5 minutes. Add beaten eggs slowly, stirring continually. Stir in cheeses and pepper; combine well. Put dough in large pastry bag or large zipper-top plastic bag. (If using latter, cut off one corner.) Pipe dough into 1-1/2-inch rounds prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until slightly crispy on the outside and slightly doughy on the inside, and golden in color. Serve warm. Makes about 4 dozen.
Photograph: Peter Krumhardt
Many of the props in our photographs came from Material Possessions, 704 N. Wabash, Chicago, IL 60611; 312/280-4885, www.materialpossessions.com.