s'more cups on a table

Tips for Making your Event a Smash

You need a great dessert for Christmas!

Many years ago I went to a hockey game in Chicago. I had an invitation into one of the boxes. It was like a tiny apartment living room with a balcony. Do you know what I remember the most? I recall these little chocolate cups with Baileys and Cream in them. I had never seen anything like it. I can't tell you what else I had.

Desserts are not a part of the meal you can concentrate on after everything else is done. Once I did that and my chocolate cake came out lopsided. I tried fixing it since I had to be done within two hours and I wasn't dressed yet. My kids still remember and laugh at the delicious cake that looked exactly like a cow patty. My brother in law took a picture of it. Enough time has passed now that I can laugh at it, too. That is not how I felt that day or for a long time after.

I don't know about you, but I do know when I go to a party I gravitate to the dessert table. Put something on it I've never had, I'll be dragging my husband over to try it. It really makes mingling easy, too. I just talk about the amazing dessert on the table. A  truly unique crowd pleasing dessert can make your party rememberable.

I've learned many things since that fateful day of the chocolate cake and I'd like to give you a little guide to make your event a success.

Surefire Crowd Pleasing Desserts

If you meet these easy rules, then your dessert idea will probably be a smash:

  1. Are easy to serve as a finger food, such as for appetizers.
  2. Are beautiful to look at and laid out nicely on a decorated table. Presentation is important.
  3. Are familiar enough that the guest already has the general idea of what to expect taste-wise.
  4. Be sure to taste test your choices before the big day.
  5. Make the dessert or order it (like I do!) with some time to spare, just in case. My favorite is the Gotta Have S’mores Options.

Remember, don't settle on any idea because it is beautiful! It has to taste really great, too.

Catering Ideas for Success

2016's Christmas party events and dinners are happening! Here are some of the amazing catering ideas that work hand in hand with a great dessert.

Effective Decoration is a Must

Don't skimp on the decorations! For Christmas this year, get everyone in a feastive mood by creating a warm, inviting atmosphere. Don't do cheesy for your adult parties. Have a Christmas tree, use table clothes the appropriate size for the table, holly, white Christmas lights, well placed candles and some classic figurines. I really love nutcrackers myself. Fake snow is great around the figures. I like to add a tiny bit of white glitter.

For Formal Large gatherings - Bring out the Dessert last

You've probably been to a seasonal corporate dinner or work Christmas Buffet. They are boring and unrememberable in my experience. Everything is impersonal and uninviting. If you are responsible for planning this year's work party I have a great idea for you. It might be a little over the top, but it will bring smiles to faces.  Ask your caterer if you can see their waiters bring out and display the main dessert in a fluid, choreographed manner. You don't need dancing or twirling. What you do need is a little dimming of the lights to get everyone's attention and for the waiters to bring out the last course together at one time to lay them out on tables. Putting a lit candle on their tray will insure everyone knows where to look when the lights go dim.

Your Drink Choices

Super sugary drinks are for kids. Well, someone's else's kids that will go home soon. Let your desserts be the sweet highlight. A light and not too sugary line of options for drinks is perfect. Warm drinks in places that get cold is also a nice touch. Bailey's and Cream is a perfect dessert drink, too. Try to find little chocolate cups!

Make use of Sophisticated Dessert Recipes

If you are a good cook, then pick out something you can make in advance of the party. Do this early enough so that you can pick out a new recipe and shop again, if needed. I wish I had done that instead of being stuck with my cow-patty looking cake! Really what I prefer is to order a dessert. Not from a grocery store, people. Those are everyday foods available to everyone all the time. Not exciting. As long as most gourmet shops have 2 days, you can get anything from anywhere in the United States and avoid the stress of baking everything yourself.

Basically, it is simple. A sure fire way to please your guests with an outstanding event is to have wonderful food and a great atmosphere.

What I have discovered is that when a gifted chef combines expert cooking and vision with a traditional food, something special emerges. This is why I choose to order my desserts from shops like this one. I know I'm getting a crowd pleasing dessert when I let the professionals do it.