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(StatePoint) A chill is in the air, string lights sparkle around every corner and holiday cheer spreads from ear-to-ear of adults and children alike. Thoughts of bonbons, gingerbread houses, decadent cakes and fresh-baked cookies weave in and out of dreams.
Extravagant desserts can be a reality without being a hassle. Follow these four tips to create holiday happiness in the form of sweets for all and make moments you and your guests won’t soon forget.
Keep Cookies On Hand
The easiest way to spread dessert joy with visitors is to have cookies at the ready. Bake a batch of shortbread cookies and store in airtight containers. Add a slice of white bread to allow the cookies to absorb moisture without adding an odd taste.
You can also freeze cookies so they stay fresh for a few months. Pull the treats out a couple of hours prior to desired eating time and once loved ones arrive, they’ll taste freshly baked.
Rethink the Dessert Spread
Instead of offering different types of desserts, consider impressing guests with a fondue bar. As an alternate to time-consuming double boiler recipes, use a high-performance blender, such as a Vitamix Professional Series 750, to create a delicious sauce in about 15 minutes.
To add a seasonal twist, make a chocolate orange fondue. Serve it in a pot with skewers of marshmallows, pound cake and fresh fruit.
Sprinkle Homemade Sugar
One ingredient that isn’t a pantry staple but appears in a lot of holiday baking and decorating is powdered sugar. If you find a recipe calls for it and you don’t have any handy, you don’t need to run to the busy store. Simply blend granulated sugar and a bit of cornstarch to make powdered sugar in 30 seconds. Then, sprinkle it on top of that gorgeous chocolate cake or mix frosting for decorating gingerbread houses.
Not all desserts come in cake and cookie form. Mix after-dinner cocktails with a festive twist to surprise your guests. The best part is drinks are quick and easy to make.
Create a dessert cocktail, such as the Brandy Alexander. Blend brandy, chocolate ice cream, chocolate milk and ice cubes until the drink meets your desired consistency.
For the younger crowd, peppermint hot chocolate will do the trick. Ditch the powder packets and make a quick, homemade recipe. Use a high-performance blender, such as a Vitamix, to crush peppermint sticks, then add chocolate chips, cocoa powder and milk. Blend until steaming. Top both off with a dollop of whipped cream.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with these quick dessert tricks. Best of all, you won’t have to spend all day in the kitchen, which will leave more time for making great memories with family and friends.