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Dec 10, 2009 06:08 PM

Non Chocolate Dessert ideas for a buffet?

I'm trying to come up with some good dessert ideas for a buffet, but they all seem to be based on chocolate. So far I've been drawn to a Pomegranate Chocolate Tart, Chocolate Orange Cupcakes and Chocolate Mint Cookies. I figure I can do two of them, but three might be chocolate overload, so now I'm looking for something to add to the dessert options and decide which of the three to drop. Time is an issue, so easy is always good. Being Christmas I love the idea of using pomegranate, orange and mint in the foods but open to other wintery suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. The Cranberry Upside Downer from Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home to Yours. I think I've seen a link to the recipe elsewhere on the boards. Tasty, perhaps even tastier a day later so it's fine to make ahead, and quite easy. Also very visually appealing and festive with the cranberries.

    1. Gingerbreads are a fave around here, particularly the one on epicurious from Gramercy Tavern - which is even better on day two - if it lasts that long. I'll see if I can find the link.

      ETA: here's a chowhound thread on it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/564375
      and the recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      1. If you do buffets, my advice is to buy a trifle dish---tall straight-sided deep glass dish holding at least a quart and a half, standing on a pedestal. ANYTHING you put in a trifle dish will be spectacular on a buffet since what's in the bowl shows nicely through the tall glass sides. You can layer any cake, any custard, any whipped cream, any fruit etc etc: go crazy. Or just a whole trifle bowl full of one fresh fruit or mixed fresh fruit. Or fill the bowl with nice round scoops of different-colored ice creams. You can also use the bowl for a layered salad, contrasting dark green spinach with light green iceberg lettuce with beets with shredded carrots with etc. You get a dramatic visual smack no matter what you put in a trifle bowl---when pressed for time I once layered liqueur-sprinkled bought sponge cake with sliced bananas and whipped cream, and it was fine.

        1. if you do the tart and the cupcakes, i'd go with a non-chocolate cookie (almond crescents, chai spice, frosted butter cookie w/orange zest, jam thumbprints, maple walnut, fig swirls, oatmeal cherry), nut toffee or biscotti. that way you have all dessert categories covered: frosted cake - tart/pie - cookie option.

          these look good though:
          -orange brownies (more like orange lemon bars w/o chocolate):

          -gingerbread apple upside down cake w vanilla whipped cream:


          1. I would drop the mint cookies and in their place make a pecan-based pie or cookie. Mexican Wedding Cakes are a fave of my family, I use the Joy of Cooking recipe. It's basically ground pecans, butter and sugar baked and then rolled in powdered sugar. Easy and delicious.