Thursday, November 29, 2007

~I need your help~

My church is having an adult Christmas dinner, and I've been asked to provide a "dessert centerpiece" for one of the tables. There will be 8 tables, and 8 different ladies making the desserts. The word "centerpiece" is making me a little nervous. My goal is to make something very pretty and yummy but not something that is going to take me hours in the kitchen. I'm not looking to blow everyone's socks off (but, hey, if you can come up with something that is so fabulously easy and knock-down gorgeous at the same time, let me know. I'd be willing to knock a few socks off. *Giggles*)

The tables are round, and a friend has a number of cake stands and tiered plates I can borrow.

14 comments:

Melody said...

What about petit fours? I've not made them though, so I don't know how difficult they are.

If you have a cookie press, you could make some spritz cookies. There's a ton of different recipes out there to choose from so it's not like you'd be limited to one flavor.

As far as elegant though. . .I'm a bit out of ideas on that one. Just make sure you take pictures - I'm sure whatever you make will turn out beautifully!

Jennifer said...

A cupcake Christmas tree?
A Christmas Cake?

Heather said...

How about a gorgeous cake? I saw a Chocolate Almond Upside Down cake on Martha Stewart last week and have been wanting to make it ever since. (And she said you can substitute whatever type of nuts you want...I am thinking that pecans would make a great turtle cake!) http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/mslo/menuitem.fc77a0dbc44dd1611e3bf410b5900aa0/?vgnextoid=bdea0c91aea46110VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&autonomy_kw=upside%20down%20cake&rsc=ns2006_m14

I also spotted a Citrus Poppyseed Cake
http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/citrus-poppyseed-cake-by-martha?lnc=6edddfc3832ee010VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&rsc=photogallery_baking-recipes_food_baking-recipes_p3 a Ginger-Pecan Cake
http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/ginger-pecan-cake?lnc=6edddfc3832ee010VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&rsc=photogallery_baking-recipes_food_baking-recipes_p6
a Gingerbread Cookie Tree (cute idea!)
http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/mslo/menuitem.fc77a0dbc44dd1611e3bf410b5900aa0/?vgnextoid=a9a9ad948aa0f010VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default
a Gingerbread Icebox Cake (are you noticing a trend here?)
http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/mslo/menuitem.fc77a0dbc44dd1611e3bf410b5900aa0/?vgnextoid=0ad49027de9b5110VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default

I hope the links are helpful!

Kim said...

I suggest getting one of those tiered platters - maybe from a thrift shop and make different items for each layer - you can even have fruit on one, cookies on another, fuge, cupcakes etc...

You could do the same thing on a large platter and just arrange it into wedges of different mini desserts.

I think more than one item is best and will suite more tastes.

But I am sure anything will be enjoyed.

Ashleigh said...

What about a chocolate trifle? These are SO unbelievably easy and stunningly beautiful. This is long, but here's the "recipe." So, so easy.

1 box chocolate cake mix (plus egg, water, oil and whatever else is called for in the mix directions)
1 medium container Cool Whip
1 pkg. chocolate chips
1 large box instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk (for pudding)
*small amount Heath toffee bits (optional)
*caramel and/or chocolate syrup (optional)

Bake cake according to package directions. Cool. Break into roughly 1-2 inch pieces. While cake bakes, mix pudding and milk according to package directions. Let stand in refrigerator until ready to use. In a stemmed trifle dish, cover the bottom with a layer of cake pieces. Layer about half the pudding on top of the cake, then about half the chocolate chips, then half the Cool Whip. Repeat layers. (Keep in mind that the layers will be visible... you want it to look *pretty*.) If desired, sprinkle Heath toffee bits and drizzle caramel and/or chocolate syrup on top. You could even use strawberries or another (not in season ;)) red berry and some holly leaves to decorate the top and make it look Christmasey.

Arlene said...

So, long time no comment, LOL! But, I'm back to your blog (don't ask me how I lost track of my favorite blogs; I'm really not sure myself!) Anyway, I'd recommend a trifle, too. Here is a delicious and easy recipe for a Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle. You could just use boxed brownie mix, and no one would know the difference. Trifles are always so pretty with all those yummy layers and colors; especially if you're able to use a really pretty bowl! I'm sure whatever you make will turn out wonderfully! Don't forget to post pics of the finished product!

Charity said...

You can stack two or three or the cake plates for a tiered look. A variety of little things would be fun, and stick some Christmas-y candy in for an extra touch. I love my cookie press - sugar cookie dough tinted green with my tree shaped design always look cute and sooo easy! Sounds like a fun project!

Arlene said...

Oh, I forgot to say -- the recipe is posted by one of my personal friends. Sherry has a lot of experience in the cooking/catering business, so she knows food, and she knows what people like! If she posts a recipe, it's pretty much guaranteed to be a hit!!!

*And, if you're interested to see the kinds of things she makes (and made while running her business in Japan) go here and drool... and then go here, click on her recipes and reviews and drool some more! Get your recipe cards/notebook ready, because I promise you will find something new to add to your collection! :~)

Okay, done with my "plug" for her, LOL!

annecourager said...

yep - lots of good ideas here. My first thought was trifle, also. Looks beautiful in a pedestal bowl and OH so easy.
Second choice would be a truffle tree (expensive, because truffles are) or a cupcake tree.

Mrs. Pear said...

Seeing as you can borrow a footed cake plate, may I suggest what I always do?

No matter how simple the cake it will look beautiful if it is cooked in round cake pans, layered, and if you are not a pro at cake decorating or do not have the time, simple place a couple flowers around the bottom or some other seasonal finery that you can find.

Of course make sure the flowers are edible! :-)

Scribbit said...

Well it's not a quick one but if you ever want to wow them in a way that can't be topped, do the truffle tree.

I posted it last year in December and it's a topiary made with homemade truffles. It'll make you look like Queen Martha herself.

But for something easier, I'd suggest the recipe I'm posting on Sunday--it's a sure bet, there's no place on the planet where you can get a greater concentration of chocolate.

But if you need something for this weekend how about a pretty raspberry cheesecake? It looks festive. I think I posted a white chocolate raspberry one that's a favorite of ours . . .

Ashley said...

I would make a cake, maybe a bunt cake. Chocolate dusted with powdered sugar and some holly or other flowers in the middle. Placed on a cake stand, lovely!

80 said...

Get a nice gold "charge plate." You can find them at "hobby lobby" or any such store.

Make this cake in a simple bundt. It's not my recipe but it has impressed all who have had it. I put a spin on it to take it up a knotch.

Here is the list of simple ingredients.
1 Chocolate cake box mix (I like Betty)
1 8oz cream cheese soften
2 eggs
1 can evaporated on
2 Condensed milk
Pecans (lots, crumbled)
Raspberry or any other fruit sauce (my notch but certainly not needed)

mix the cheese w/eggs and one can of each milk.
spray your bundt. pour about 2/3 of mix. Set aside.
Make cake according to box. Pour about 2/3 on top of milk mix.

bake 375 for 45 -50 min. yum. Cool cmpletely. and refrigerate in bundt till ready to serve.

Turn unto a nice plate of charger that has been covered with clear saran. Beautiful huh?
Pour the condensed milk slowly over cake overlaping it in a zag manner along with the fruit sauce. Now top with pecan and presto!

Let me know if you try it!
80

80 said...

oops, the extra mix ~~~ lol. Pour into a small round cake pan. cook along side the other.

This one is for you to enjoy at home with your hubby as there won't be left overs from the party one. lol.