Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Figgy pudding is out, divine dessert platters are in!
Was "figgy pudding" actually ever really in?...who knows. What I do know is this season, traditional holiday desserts can move over as you showcase a stunning platter filled with diverse and delightful confections that will visually excite your guests, even more than the sugar high they are about to experience.
Here are a few of my favorite items to get you started...
For many people, candied nuts are a holiday tradition, and the spicy recipe I linked definitely kicks them up a notch. Had I not been delivering these to a client's party, I would have eaten the entire bag - they are so addicting! I suggest stashing a few away for yourself before putting them out, as they will quickly disappear.
Note: In addition to pecan halves I used pecan pieces, so I could create clusters of various sizes.
These little bites sure do pack a lot of flavor! Mixed nuts glazed in warm honey with a hint of cinnamon, displayed in the perfect "pop-able" vessel.. What more could you ask for?
Note: You can find recipes and read more about why I'm obsessed with Athens Mini Fillo Shells here.
The festivity to effort ratio on these is wonderful. The design of the Hugs and the red and green candies cover your bases and save you from hours above a piping bag.
Note: I did a few trial pieces first. Ultimately, I decided to cut the tops off the candies before baking them so I could push the M&M further down without the chocolate spilling over the sides. Also, it is super important you use Silpat or parchment paper - I tried with aluminum foil and the chocolate didn't melt as well.
I've done a lot of experimenting with chocolate bark - incorporating peppermint essential oil (this is a must for the holidays!), marbleizing with food coloring, adding a variety toppings, and utilizing different chocolate flavors. This dessert is super versatile, so I did not include a link - you can simply follow the instructions on the back of the Candy Melts bag (the easiest kind of chocolate to use) and then let your imagination run wild.
Note: The only way you can mess up chocolate bark is by over-heating it, so have a little patience!
I did not link a specific recipe because all the ones I looked at were super complex and I felt I could simplify it on my own...starting with using boxed cake mix (sorry, not sorry). First, I lined the bottom of the baking cups with crushed graham crackers, then, I layered on vanilla flavored cake and baked the cupcakes. Next, I cut out the center, filled it with marshmallow Fluff and topped the whole cupcake with a homemade chocolate buttercream frosting. For the full effect I decorated each miniature confection with chocolate pieces, mini marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs.
Note: Filled cupcakes are better in miniature form so the filling doesn't make the sweet too dense or rich. Plus they are cuter, duh.
An especially big hit with kids, this treat is super easy to make and will bulk up your board. I like to do themed elements as much as possible and the acorn shape is great for the holiday season.
To make a simpler platter, feel free to use sweets that require no additional work.Top favorites include:
-Boom Chicka Pop Popcorn (Hot cocoa marshmallow, White Chocolate Peppermint)
So, what do you think? Have I convinced you that a dessert board is the way to go this year?!