‘Tis the season to be jolly, but entertaining need not be as difficult as you might think. With so many parties and festivities already going on, I think it’s a nice time to keep it simple yet indulgent, and what could possibly be easier to manage than a dessert party?

Tis the season to be jolly!

Tis the season to be jolly!

Desserts hit the sweet spot, and everything can be organized and prepared in advance. Dessert buffets are most welcome on New Years Eve too – a last big splurge before starting your New Years resolution to  eat healthier. You can even turn the baking into another win/win situation by making it a fun activity to do with the kids while they are on school break!

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Some tips to help you get ahead:

  • Prepare cookies, bars, cupcakes, cheesecakes and cakes days ahead (most can be safely stored in the freezer for up to a few weeks in advance)
  • Bake then cool completely to room temperature before storing
  • Next line up on trays – wrap in plastic wrap – label the goodies before storing
  • Decide which of these you will need … serving pieces – plates – flatware – napkins – glassware – tablecloths
  • TIP: desserts can be arranged so beautifully you probably won’t even need a centerpiece, but poinsettias dotted around the house might be nice
Dessert buffet

Dessert buffet

Dessert Buffet Menu

Lemon Bars

Raspberry Beret Bars

Mini Vanilla & Chocolate Cupcakes

Individual Lava Cakes

Plum Crumble a la mode

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Individual Pecan Pies with Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Banana Rum Cheesecake

Red Wine & Blood Orange Poached Pears

Red Wine & Blood Orange Poached Pears

Red Wine & Blood Orange Poached Pears

The day before the party:

  • Prepare individual pies and bake them – cool and store at room temperature
  • Remove cheesecake, and bars from freezer – place in refrigerator to defrost
  • Use a small scoop for ice-cream balls – place an inch apart on a non-stick cookie sheet or use wax paper so they won’t stick together – wrap in plastic paper and return to freezer
  • Prepare poached pears – cool – cover and store in refrigerator
  • Prepare the plum crumble, cover and refrigerate – ready to bake off and serve warm on the night
Plum Crumble

Plum Crumble a la mode

The day of the party:

  • Prepare the lava cake batter – pour into prepared molds – refrigerate until ready to bake and serve warm
  • Use a ruler to mark your bars prior to slicing – trim the edges first
  • Wipe the blade of the chef’s knife between each slice to have clean portions
  • Before plating dust the tops with finely-sifted powdered sugar
  • Use paper muffin cups for portions – arrange bars and cookies by stacking them high on a serving platter
  • Ice and decorate cupcakes and cakes – plate them
  • Use raspberries – strawberries – mint leaves for decoration
  • Bake lava cakes and plum crumble just before serving
Holiday indulgences

Holiday indulgence

Here are some suggestions for the beverage station:

  • Coffee and Tea
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Fizzy Water
  • Dessert Wine
  • Liqueurs
  • Rum Punch
Tis the season present

Relax and enjoy your guests and your own party!

Now go mingle and have a blast at your own party. Clean-up will be easy too – just load the dishes, glasses, and flatware into the dishwasher, since most of the pans were already done in advance.

Members can find all of the dessert recipes above on my website. If you are not a member yet – it is the perfect time to join! The Personal Chef Approach makes healthy eating so much more accessible for those New Years resolutions, and purchasing a yearly membership now will lock in 2013 prices throughout 2014. Watch the video above to learn more about how the PCA works.

« Previous PostNext Post »
%d bloggers like this: