still looking for a last minute dessert? how does store bought everything and all you have to do is take it out of the packaging, sound? good? good. me, too!
enter my step by step to creating a beautiful, delicious and easiest holiday dessert gathering board everyone will love! most of the products for this post were purchased at trader joes, but they're things you could easily find at your own grocery store! for this board i used:
throw these items in your cart:
- peppermint jo-jos
- snickerdoodle cookies
- assorted flavors of chocolate covered jo-jos
- stoop waffle cookies
- chocolate biscotti
- ginger "snowball" cookies (a take on mexican wedding cookies)
- toffee covered crackers
- chocolate toffee candy
- theo chocolate peppermint cups
- theo chocolate cinnamon marshmallows
- peppermint meringues
- mini marshmallows
- mini candy canes
- chocolate orange slices
- assorted dark and white chocolate squares
- hot chocolate and cinnamon spiced oat milk
let's make it!
here's my step by step to make the easiest holiday dessert gathering board
the first step to assembling this dessert board is to figure out how big you want it to be. for mine, i used several boards closely laid together as i wanted a large spread. this would work best for the anchor part of a dessert table or as the entire table itself! make a smaller version on one large board if you plan on serving more desserts.
next, you'll need to think about how to serve the smaller candies or drink toppings. im a big fan of shallow, wider serving bowls, but since i didn't have any small bowls like this, i used a few 4" tart pans. they worked perfectly in size, color and function. i chose to use a circular cooling rack to link the two boards together and to provide a bit of height for smaller cookies that may otherwise get lost. this could also work if you plan on serving a cake or tart in the middle of the board.
the string provides an inexpensive and festive touch, while also acting a boarder. this is completely optional, of course. other ideas would be ribbons or garland- anything small works for this purpose. you can choose to wind the string through the board(s) or just around the edges.
now for the fun part!
next, start filling in with your cookies and candies! this is the fun part in my opinion. i always start at the center of my board and work out in sections. smaller cookies or those i don't have much of, go in the center. cookies I have lots of start in the center and work out to the edges. for each section of cookies, i try to balance it with another section of similar/same taste or color diagonally on the board. again, let your eye guide you as to what looks best.
I brought in some bigger cookies like the stoop waffle and biscotti to help frame the edges of the gathering board. this is balanced out by the wide and shallow containers opposite the board.
now its time to start filling in the little candies and drink toppings! I used the containers/bowls for these, otherwise they're likely to get lost. these containers aren't directly on the board, but rather act as a large "cookie" to frame an edge of the board. its all about balance and truth be told, i moved them serval times before landing on this position. just do what looks best to you!
as far as candies, you can use any you like or you know you'll guests will like. jelly beans, m&ms, sprinkles, fruit candy canes, chocolate covered cherries, or even dried fruit works well, too!
for the finishing touches, i love bring in herbs or edible flowers to my savory boards. with this thought in mind, I decided to small pieces of chocolate covered orange slices to fill in any spaces i hadn't already filled in with cookies.
don't forget the drinks!
finally, the drinks! for this spread, i wanted to use complementary flavors. with so much peppermint, chocolate and ginger in many of the cookies and candies, I chose to do hot chocolate and cinnamon spiced oat milk. you could really serve any drinks you like. its also nice to have a more adult option, so a nice dessert wine, moscato, mulled cider or spiked coffee would be a great addition.
I hope this step by step shows you how easy it is to throw together a very impressive dessert board. a board with minimal effort and with many things you already have around your house. the only question now is- when are you making one?! have a wonderful, restful and restorative time with friends and family. don't forget, they are the most important part of this crazy time of year. see you next year! (2020, how crazy is that?!) - megs
some homemade cookie inspiration:
- maple chocolate chip cookies
- double chocolate chai tahini cookies
- cheesecake filled spiced sugar cookies
adapt this for a cookie box:
when this post was first created, 2020 hadn't happened yet. to make this easiest holiday dessert gathering board more "2020 friendly," turn this into a simple cookie box! drop off the boxes to friends and family or send them as a car package. here are a few of my favorite boxes and how to make them:
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