Friday, October 1, 2010

Drink in the Sweet Pleasures of Autumn with This Casual Dessert Party

I have a date with a cup of Pumpkin Spice Coffee, served up warm with a dollop of whipped cream—I’m setting a small but lovely dessert table for a handful of my closest friends, and hope you’ll find a likeminded opportunity this year to host a seasonal gathering of your own.

October and November are perfect for savoring spicy, aromatic and super sweet flavors associated with Fall; whether you’re cooking a figgy pudding, roasting pumpkin seeds, or sniffing crisp red caramel-covered apples during the fall carnival—you can’t help but revel in the aromas that practically cling to you this time of year—right along with the sweaters you just pulled out of storage.

This is an ideal time to play hostess since the hectic pace of the full-on holiday season has yet to begin. Extend this cozy invite before everyone is too busy—or too frazzled—to join in the fun of an informal party.

Cue my Fall Equinox Dessert Feast! What am I serving?

Well…inspired by the October 21st holiday I just read about (would you believe it’s National Pumpkin Cheescake Day?), I’ve decided to do a Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake; she’ll be big and marvelous, and take center stage on my table. The rest of my desserts consist of Chocolate Spice Cake with Caramel Toffee Frosting—so fitting for this time of year with its cinnamon clove smells, so inviting as you step in from the changing leaves…I could go on and on…—and last but not least, my Butterscotch Pudding with Toasted Almonds that I plan to serve from a real pumpkin shell! (Grab a carving knife, some newspaper, and get to work hollowing out a smallish pumpkin, so that you, too, are good-to-go serving your pudding the same way!)

You can prepare the pumpkin cheesecake 1 or 2 days in advance; the other desserts require some refrigeration time to set—see the recipes for complete instructions. My point in mentioning this is that you should prepare everything for this dessert party well in advance of show time!

One of the cool things you’ll notice about these desserts—aside from OMG!Flavor—are their colors, which are going to match the scented candles I’ll put out for the occasion. I also found a surprisingly nice (for its 40% mark-off from an original price of $30!) pumpkin/fall foliage centerpiece from Michael’s; browsing the aisles, there today I saw a lot of crafting tools from Martha Stewart’s product line—and was glad I just featured one of her Halloween party prep gadgets in my Favorite Things on the Nana Network.

Hop on Top Nana’s Facebook page and hit “Like “for weekly news feeds on more family fun with a culinary twist!

But in between work and play on the computer, get on the horn and arrange to have your friends over for dessert between now and Thanksgiving. A good rule of thumb for dessert parties on a smaller scale—which means between 4 to 7 guests—is to make 2 pots of coffee, reserve 2 bottles of wine and have, between the array of desserts offered, about 70 small servings on hand; that means cutting dainty slivers of cake, but almost everyone—in anticipation of that 3,000 calorie meal on gobble-gobble day is watching their figures anyway—and trust me, you’ll have enough food on hand with this party menu so that the napkins provided dab some VERY happy mouths—SPOILER ALERT: the frosting on my Chocolate Spice Cake is particularly mouth lickin’ good.

Come in from the first cold snap of the year, my friends, and enjoy some sweet treats with me!

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails