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Peanut Butter Whipped Cream/Dessert Party--NEW

Recipe: Peanut Butter Whipped Cream/Dessert Party--NEW NEW

Remarks:

    Holidays provide lots of opportunities to party. Drawback is so many of them are the same. One of the most elegant, unique and fun parties I have gone to at the holidays was a dessert party thrown by my friend Kay and her husband Tom.

    People were drawn to the food at this party. They knew it was going to be desserts (and all desserts), so Iíd venture to guess many of the guests held back on their calorie consumption all day in anticipation of this grand event.

    Good news is the party looked grand but it doesnít have to be difficult to do. Here are my suggestions for a dessert party.

Ingredients:

    2 Tbl of peanut butter (I use smooth but you can do crunchy too). Use a national brand like Skippy or Jif.

    2 cups of whipped topping (a brand like Cool Whip)

Instructions:

    In a medium bowl, put in the peanut butter. Place the Cool Whip on top and use a spatula to fold in the peanut butter. Donít worry if you donít get every bit mixed in. The swirled effect tastes quite nice too! Put dollops of this mixture on top of brownies, chocolate cake, other bars, etc. You can jazz it up even more with some baby-sized chocolate chips to add another textural element. This can also be made with regular, sweetened whipping cream but it doesnít stay as fluffy as when you use the prepared topping like Cool Whip.

Serving Suggestions:

    Set up:
    Put your dining room table against one wall and remove all of the chairs. Put the chairs in another room for extra seating or in the garage and out of the way. This gives plenty of room to gather in the room and ooh and ah at the beautiful desserts.

    Your small plates (at least two per guest) will be set on each end of the table with forks and cocktail napkins. This way, if your guests get one dish too dirty they can set it aside and take another one.

    The desserts will be in the middle of the table, toward the front, and candles, and decorations at the back of the table. This way guests are not reaching over a lighted flame to get at the desserts but your table can be decorated as simply as a few candles or as grandly as your imagination can conjure up. If your table is a high quality wood one you might want to consider tablecloths or some other covering.

    Amount of food:

    You donít need a lot of food for a dessert party. For 50 guests, 6 Ė 7 full-sized desserts that would normally serve 10-12 should be enough. Keep in mind that you are going to cut small portions so people can taste more than one. Be sure to have a cutting/serving utensil near each dessert. I usually cut the first few slices of a cake and leave the cutter balanced between two slices and let the guests control the slicing after that. The desserts hold together better and look nicer this way.

    What to serve:

    When I serve 50 I usually serve one fruit-based dessert, two chocolate desserts, one type of cookie (for those that just want a nibble) and then I can vary from there. At holidays thereís usually an exotic cheesecake and maybe a more savory dessert with a nut base; like a nut tart.

    When you are an excellent baker youíll look forward to choosing your recipes and creating your masterpieces. When you are a dessert lover but a complete novice, have no fear. You can make one or two of the desserts and buy the rest from a bakery or specialty store. The beautifully decorated dessert cakes you can buy will glow amongst your candlelight and decorations. Buy quality, and no one is going to care if you made them or not. They just love tasting the results of your efforts and soaking up the ambience and friendships kindled at your party.

    Even if all you can handle is baking up a box of brownies youíll be all set. What Iíve provided here is one of the all-time favorite concoctions Iíve come up with lately. Peanut butter whipped cream. Even the simplest of brownies or chocolate cakes can be dressed with a dollop of this flavored cream and your guests will moan with delight.

    Drinks:

    Drinks can be as simple as a coffee bar or champagne. Coffee bars are easy. One decaf, one regular. Set near the pots of coffee a few little bottles of coffee flavoring (check your coffee aisle), some raw and regular white sugar, cream and maybe a dish of after-dinner mints. Champagne is easy too. A chiller or two and some flutes. Roseí champagne is big this year so serve a dry champagne and a sweeter one. Ask your retailer for assistance in choosing. Just have someone in the know opening the bottles.

    Set the bar up on another table or buffet across the room or in an adjoining room. This way the crowd circulates and strangers become friends.

Enjoy. Cheers! Zola

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