Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Button Royalty

There is surely something satisfying in seeing the smallest thing done so thoroughly. . .
                                   ~ Charles Dickens on 
Victorian buttons
My parents just got back from a little southern plantation tour around the New Orleans area. On their trip they stopped at a shop that is the creator of my new little obsession. Southern Living magazine says Grandmother's Buttons is “the best shopping in town,” while Victoria magazine quoted “Once you step into the former bank lobby, there’s no turning back: Visitors linger for hours at the teller windows tendering jewelry displays.” These magazines and many others have made the trail to historic St. Francisville, Louisiana to visit their grand bank building turned destination gift shop and jewelry studio. Most are surprised to find both a plentiful supply of unique button jewelry, and a sophisticated, eclectic assortment of gifts, clothing and accessories on such a sleepy and history-steeped residential street. 

I have know about Grandmother's Buttons for awhile now due to the fact that my mom's shop 1871, in Galveston, TX is one of their retail suppliers. I even sold a necklace to one of her customers, while I was pretending to be a volunteer at 1871.haha. If you have not checked out Grandmother's Buttons you are missing out!!!! Each piece of jewelry is an unique refurbished piece of history. 

When you become a frequent shopper at Grandmother's Buttons they reward you has being "Button Royalty". A few weeks ago they held the sweetest Button Royalty event at the St. Francisville Main Shop. I fell in love with the event so much I had to post some of the recipes and the invite.

They crafted a signature cocktail for the event, the Citrus Crown, using El Guapo Cucumber and Lavender bitters, made just down the road in New Orleans.
The Citrus Crown:
One shot of Vodka
One pony shot of St. Germaine
A liberal dashing of Lavender Bitters

Complete with tonic water and a splash of grapefruit juice
No party for Button Royalty would be complete without a plate of button cookies, with “sewed” thread icing.

Their variation on Button Sugar Cookies from Cooking Melangery:
3/4 cup of butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Assorted colors of paste food coloring
In a bowl cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and sat.  Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.  Stir until soft dough forms. Divid dough into two parts.  Tint each with a different food color.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for two hours.
Remove from refrigerator, one color at a time and on a lightly floured surface, roll dough until just over 1/8″ thick.
Cut 2-inch rounds with round cutter. Next on each round, just in from the edge, mark with a smaller round cutter, approximately 1.5 inches diameter, pressing slightly, but not pushing through. Run a metal spatula underneath the dough, to make sure it is not sticking to the table, sprinkle with flour underneath as necessary.
With top of a small #3 piping tip (or with straw) cut 2 or 4 holes in the centre of each cookie so it resembles a button, make sure to push down to the counter so the small pieces fall out.
Lift dough with metal spatula onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment, collect scraps and repeat.

Follow the same method with another color, being sure to clean your work surface between each.
Refrigerate buttons for 15 minutes before baking.
Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes.
1 cup confectioners sugar and 4 teaspoons milk
Mix sugar and milk in a medium bowl until it becomes a paste
Pipe the icing onto the cookies using a small, round tip.
Hope you enjoy these treats, visit the Lousiana shop or find a retailer near you, or start ordering Grandmother's Buttons online.

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