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Dec 9, 2008 05:48 AM

Xmas Dessert Thoughts/Suggestions

I've been put in charge of the desserts for our Christmas dinner. It's mandatory that I make an assortment of cookies, our family's special almond toffee, and a pumpkin pie, but I'm trying to think of something a little different for the final dessert option. I have some stiff parameters: no nuts, no chocolate, and no peppermint. So I was thinking of making a rum cake and serving it with 2 topping options: a caramel-rum sauce or eggnog whipped cream.

Thoughts? Other suggestions? Oh - and does anyone have good recipes for rum cake? I have one, but I'm always looking for comparisons.


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  1. Holiday dinners are inherently large and filling so my suggestion is go with something light and refreshing. Maybe make a sorbet if you have an ice cream turner or a granita if you don't. Egg nog whipped cream sounds delightful, but it also sounds like a gut bomb after a large dinner! ;-) Just a suggestion though!

    4 Replies
    1. re: HaagenDazs

      Great suggestion! I have a grapefruit granita recipe that I adore. I think I will make that for me and my husband - but our Christmas guest list includes people who can't fathom a Christmas feast without a gut bomb after a large dinner :) Ironically, I'm the one who makes the desserts, but also the one just sipping coffee after the meal...

      1. re: RosemaryHoney

        Yeah, sounds like me too!

        There are those that absolutely adore sweets to the point that they leave perfectly good food on their plate. (Not that you have to finish the whole plate at every meal, but if you're not going to eat it, don't take it!) As for me, I find Brussels sprouts with bacon, sour cream mashed potatoes, and juicy roast meats far more tasty than dessert.

        1. re: HaagenDazs

          Have you seen the Shelburne Farms cookbook? If not, it has a recipe for Brussels sprouts with bacon, chicken stock and matchstick-cut apples that I think would make you very happy:

          I love the recipes in this cookbook and have prepared the sprouts this way several times. They get gobbled up.

        2. re: RosemaryHoney

          Rosemary, you sound just like me. Every night, by the time I finish cooking dinner and get to the point where it's on the table, I'm no longer hungry and just want to sit with a piping cuppa and watch everyone else dig in. :-)

          "Yea" to the granita, but since you do seem to be looking for one more item, have you considered a Charlotte filled with a rum or fruit mousse or a bavarian cream? Or, for something a bit lighter, rather than a custard base, how about a Spanish cream? I think it would satisfy the restrictions you're working with, isn't difficult to do, is made ahead, and when unmolded on a special serving piece and passed with a fruit sauce (or more rum, which I'm all for!) has a certain drama--or, at least, panache. ;-)

          I used to serve a raspberry version because I think sometimes their acidity is welcomed after a big meal, yet raspberries are still important enough to be festive. I especially like genoise to line the mold, but if the pastry chef is short on time and takes advantage of purchased lady fingers, I'm perfectly happy to eat that, too!

      2. Since I have to attend dinner out, a cookie exchange, and a baby shower this weekend - I am anticipating a lot of gut bombing going on. So, to give our palates a little zing, I'm bringing a lemon tart with a shortbread crust to the baby shower. Given the load you have to carry with the cookies, pies and candies. This would be a really simple and easy option to round out your menu.

        1. I'm going to try Ina Garten's lemon cake this year. It's gotten some great reviews here and elsewhere.

          2 Replies
          1. re: CeeBee

            I've made this cake in the past. I love it.

            1. re: CeeBee

              if you make Inas lemon cake in a bundt pan, it looks more decorative than a loaf pan. I have done this before with success. It is incredibly moist.

            2. Our Xmas dinner would not be complete without Coeur a la creme with raspberries.

              1. Ina Garten also has a fabulous Pumpkin roulade recipe. Made it for Thanksgiving and it was such a hit, I'm gonna make one for Christmas as well. Sorta like a non-chocolate buche de noel!