Chef-Worthy Dessert Hacks for the Holidays

Not only is it Holiday Party season, its dessert season! Im not much of a baker, or a dessert builder in general, but I have picked up a number of great tricks along the way to make easy desserts impressive. Heres to little fuss, not too many ingredients and delicious sweets! 

Picture Credit: Blender Babes

Flavored Whipped Cream: Specifically booze-laced whipped cream. I use boozy whipped cream a lot. Its a great elegant way to add some finesse to a simple dessert.  Grand Marnier, Kahlua, or any flavored Liqueur is the only addition you need to the cream before you whip it.  Add this to some fresh berries, figs or even cookies and pound cake and you have a wonderful Holiday dessert that is a elegant and tasty! Ditch the store bought and make your own! Its a lot easier than you think, especially with a stand mixer. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can also get by with a blender, or even a large mason jar! 

Picture Credit: Foodnetwork.com

Chocolate Fondue: Throwback to the 80s with this classic dessert. Its very easy to construct the fondue sauce - melt chocolate, add cream. Assemble some dipping items like strawberries, gram crackers, pretzels, marshmallows... the sky is the limit! Fun and festive for everyone. Don't worry about a fondue pot, just bring the pan over to the table!

Cookies Cookies Cookies: No doubt you will have your fair share of cookies during the holidays. But, if you're not a baker how do you navigate this classic and sometimes expected dessert? Sometimes, you gotta bust out the measuring cups and just make some cookies. A great trick and tip; only do it once, but make enough for the whole month. I like to make two different cookies, but do it in bulk. Sometimes I quadruple the recipe. Once the cookie dough is made, I lay out some plastic wrap and portion out enough to roll into 3" diameter logs. By rolling them out into logs, you can slice dough into perfect cookie size portions, and bake fresh! I freeze my dough and cut just enough for what I need that day. Works like a charm and makes you look like a pro serving warm cookies! 

Fancied Fruit: Be a hero. Serve a fresh fruit dessert during the holidays. But, snazz it up! Although berries aren't in season, they are pretty available at most grocery chains. Toss the berries in Lemon Zest and some Brandy, Dark Rum or other sweet Liqueur. Serve with some store bought cake and you will be a star! Also great with the boozy whipped cream! 

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Dessert Pizza: Easy and also very kid friendly, this dessert requires little and produces a lot. Buy some frozen pastry dough (puff pastry sheets, pie crusts, or even real pizza dough). Roll out and bake to package directions. Then smother with Nutella and top with any toasted nut, coconut shreds or fruit and you have your self a winner! Great holiday activity for kids too! 

Picture Credit: Zagat

Affogato: The Italian classic dessert is way easier than the name sounds. Add a shot of espresso (or a shot of strong coffee) over a scoop of vanilla ice cream and serve. Its super delicious, and a great cap to a heavy holiday meal! Get creative and top with nuts, cookies or even switch up the ice cream to salted caramel, chocolate, or tres de leches! 

About the Author

After six years in the kitchen and many extraordinary events, Kellan has become more than a chef, he’s cooking up experiences. From small intimate dinner parties, cooking lessons, and family meals to large corporate bar-b-ques, beer dinners, and holiday soirées, the Kitchen has it covered. Kellan and crew are not just cooks and servers, they’re hosts, cocktail gurus, and burgeoning sommeliers. With a focus always on the food, Kellan’s Kitchen also pays great attention to hosting, vibe, comfort and the vision of the host. Everyone must walk out with a smile, full belly, and sometimes a nice buzz.