Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dessert Platters

Here are a few different ways I like to make dessert platters to bring to a party. In the summertime, I like to use Hydrangea leaves under the desserts and fill the middle with berries. In the fall/winter time I like to use decorative paper and use seasonal fruits such as grapes, figs or kumquats in the middle. I also like to use white paper muffins liners (standard size) to make it easier to pick up and eat, it looks nice too. I think it's nice to bring something a little different, not your standard bakery platter.

Also, see below the recipe for the stain glass sugar cookies (shown below as the stars). These would be fun for this time of year if you cut out different holiday shapes.

Fourth of July platter of cupcakes, oatmeal cookies, sugar cookie stars

Thanksgiving platter with mini pumpkin pies, caramel brownies, coconut squares,
mini apple pies, lemon cake and snickerdoodle cookies

Holiday Platter with macaroons, lemon "circles", jam filled butter cookies and
chocolate cookies with caramel marscapone filling

Holiday Platter with coconut squares, Mississippi Mud cookies and Margarita cookies

Stain Glass Sugar Cookies:
Makes 36 three inch cookies
3 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
Hard candies, such as life savers

1. To make the dough, whisk together flour and salt in a small bowl.

2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on med-high speed until creamy, about 2 mins. Gradually add in the sugar and beat until light and fluffy; about 3 mins. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each egg.

3. Add in the flour in 3 additions mixing on low speed and mix.

4. Place the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and cover; place in the refrigerator until firm enough to roll out; 2 hours or overnight.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the candy filling. Place the same color candies in a plastic bag and crush into a powder with a rolling pin.

6. Roll out the cookies on a floured surface to 1/4' thickness. Cut out the cookies to the shape of your choice and then cut out the centers of the cookies with a smaller shape and remove extra dough. Fill each space with the powdered candy. Do this very carefully using a spoon to place it in the center. Try not to get any candy on the cookie itself.

7. Bake the cookies for 10 mins until lightly brown. I recommend baking these on the upper level of the oven to keep from browning too much. Remove from oven and cool completely on the baking sheet. Do not place on cooling rack or the candy center will come apart.

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