Charleston, SC, USA

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  • Kim Kimbrough

Hostess Tip

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...

*Sweet & Spicy Pecans

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.


*Baklava Tarts

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.


*Pretzel M&M Hugs

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.

*Chocolate Bark

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!

*Smores Cupcakes

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.


*Chocolate Acorns

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:

-Cannolis

-Min Fudge Brownie Bar

-Boozy Chocolate Truffles

-Donut Bites

-Chocolate en croute

-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?!