Any proper party should have a cheese board. At least, any proper party thrown by a host who knows how easy it is to toss a bunch of pretty things onto a marble pastry slab, and call it a day.
So, I'm in the grocery aisles the other day (BTW: I am ALWAYS in the grocery aisles everyday. This is, apparently, 19879% of the daily tasks a food photographer must do.)
For the eight-billionth time, I walk past these Rustic Bakery gingerbread tile cookies. And, I die.
It's like everything I'd ever dreamed about what Christmas was supposed to be had jumped out of my dreams and turned into a cookie. Suddenly, I was compelled against all reason to buy two boxes.
But now, the question: what does one do with pretty little tiles of gingerbread?
Inspired by the whimsical childhood wonder of those cookies, I decided to completely forego a cheeseboard for our next soiree. Making instead a Dessert Board. Filled, like a vision, with snozdoodles and sugarplums. The sort that once danced in your head as a kid. All the magic things.
But first, something for the gingerbread.
I grabbed a container of creamy Italian mascarpone, had plans to honey it and add a bit of spice. Happy coincidence would have otherwise. Entirely by accident, I grabbed a package of coffee flavored mascarpone. Which, as it turns out, is perhaps the finest mistake of 2016. Even my picky eating teen kept slathering it on gingerbread, pronouncing "this frosting is amazing!"
Still a soft drizzle of perfectly caramely raw honey, a sprinkling of toasted sliced almonds. And the mascarapone spread was ready for schmearing all over the gingerbread. Added bonus: it tastes extra beautiful served with a side of real coffee. So do that.
Next up, a quick rolling of honey-nut cream cheese in almonds (chopped pecans would have been nice here, as well) and cinnamon-sugar. And you've got a 2-second sweet cheese ball, which also makes for glorious gingerbread spreading.
Other additions to our tray:
You can add whatever holiday sweets dance in your head, as well. The joy of a dessert board is, anything goes.
That said, I do think clustering like items together makes for a better looking board.
If you're going old fashioned, stick with the stylish olde candies of yesteryore. No colorful gummies.
If, however, you're going for a more playful look, mound on the gummies. Pile on the bright-colored candy canes. Let your imagination fly like the winds of the North Pole.
That was over-the-top. Let's ignore that paragraph.
Arrange it all in clusters and layers on a serving platter, antique cookie sheet or marble pastry slab. Set out, serve and watch your party guests get their ooh's and ahh's on.
Such a merry little way to serve up desserts that'll make everyone smile.
Gingerbread Dessert Board
Serving size varies | Total time: 15 minutes
Arrange the following (or any other favorites) on a serving platter:
- Rustic Bakery gingerbread tile cookies
- Coffee mascarpone, drizzled with honey and sprinkles with sliced almonds
- Honey-nut cream cheese, rolled in pecans or almonds
- Rosemary sprigs
- Pomegranates and/or pomegranate arils
- Honey-brushed and sugared cranberries
- Fresh sliced pears, tossed in lemon juice
- Chocolate Coins
- Candied Ginger
- Ferrara dark chocolate oranges
- Hammond's candy canes
- And these glorious little chocolate frogs
Did you create a Dessert Board this year? I'd love to see it! Share a photo on Instagram and tag me @cheekykitchen