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    Make-Ahead Party Food with Recipes (Sweet and Savory!)

    This menu of Make-Ahead Party Food is pleasing for any dinner party, cocktail party, birthday, wedding reception, and beyond! Featuring both sweet and savory, each appetizer is served in its own shot glass so your guests can grab-and-go while they mingle.

    Christmas is now a memory, and it’s hard to believe the New Year is just days away. Like many of you, I’ve been eating well this week, capturing some fun moments, and generally trying to soak up all the holiday spirit and goodwill before it slips away. So, I wanted to share the little workshop party we held before our holiday break.
    Both savory and sweet, this menu of make-ahead party food requires little cooking, – just some assembly required. These appetizers are adaptable to any gathering, although I find them so cocktail party-worthy!

    Much like My Holiday Open House Menu, I created these appetizers so I could spend more time with my guests instead of being tethered to the kitchen. After years of being both host and cook, I rely on make-ahead recipes. For a cocktail party feel, I love using clear shot glasses to make single servings. They are an inexpensive investment, like this pack of 40 for under $20. And they can be reused forever!

    Everything Bagel Hummus Shots with Grilled Crostini
    This is a good one to make if you have guests that are vegetarian or vegan. Buy prepared plain hummus and stir in some toasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and a little garlic powder. Pipe the hummus into the bottom of 15 shot glasses. Then top each with a little Everything Bagel Seasoning just before serving.
    Serve the hummus shots with a grilled crostini standing upright or bagel chips balanced on top. Consider assembling a few with gluten-free crackers on a separate tray for guests with gluten intolerance.

    Marinated Mozzarella
    No cooking, no baking, just assemble and serve! Slice block mozzarella into 1-inch cubes. Then, make a dressing of olive oil, Italian spices, garlic powder, and chopped sundried tomatoes. Mix it all together and add in the cheese; toss to coat. It’s so easy and it looks special. It tastes special, too! The creamy almost blank canvas flavor of the mozzarella is enhanced by that garlicky herbaceous flavor. One tip – be sure to use a good condiment-worthy olive oil!

    Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail Shooters
    This is an easy evergreen appetizer that just requires dressing up some large cooked cocktail shrimp. Bloody Mary mixer is the stand-in for cocktail sauce, which is lighter and so flavorful. Charleston Bloody Mary Mix is my go-to for this appetizer. Add a little to the bottom of each of 15 shot glasses, and top with skewered shrimp that have been finished like any good Bloody Mary – with a squeeze of citrus and a generous grind of black pepper.

    Charcuterie Cones (or Shot-cuterie, if served in shot glasses)
    This cute appetizer is a good segue from our savory fare to the sweet. Why? Because it contains both sweet and savory bites. Include salted nuts, a square of sharp cheese, dark chocolate pieces, dried fruit, rosemary sprigs, artisan crackers, blue cheese-stuffed olives, berry and salami skewers.
    The cones don’t have to match each other exactly. It’s good to make a few veggie friendly cones and gluten-free options. I used biodegradable natural wood cones for serving (along with cone holders), because they hold a little more food than a shot glass. But you can use 3 oz. shot glasses even small Mason jars.

    Citrus Supremes with Prosecco Sabayon
    They say good things come in small packages, and this is especially true for this little bubbly-inspired dessert. Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and prosecco in a bowl over simmering water until thickened. It doesn’t take long at all to make a luscious sabayon. As for the citrus, you could spend a lot of time with the messy business of segmenting grapefruits and oranges. Or, you could just buy a big jar of Del Monte’s Citrus Salad. This no-sugar added option does the work for you.
    Layer sabayon into shot glasses and top with the citrus. A few pomegranate arils on top of each shot will make them even prettier.

    Bourbon Ball Ganache Shooters
    And now for something completely different! Skewered bourbon balls are made for dipping into the silky bourbon ganache they’re perched atop. This utilizes my favorite 5 Minute Bourbon Ball recipe. Bourbon balls can be made far ahead of serving because they mellow with time. These were perfect for the holidays but I can’t wait to make them for a Derby Day treat.

    Eggnog Panna Cotta with Spiked Cranberry Sauce
    Regular blog readers know that panna cotta is my go-to for make-ahead desserts. This particular flavor combination is more for winter holidays. You can find the recipe for it right here. However, if you’re looking for more evergreen flavors, check out this post for White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Orange Chocolate Sauce.
    Make-Ahead Party Food on display!
    I hope you’ve enjoyed this departure from the usual post. The recipe card will include most of the recipes with a couple links to the desserts that already live on the blog. I hope you can use this post as a resource to help increase the enjoyment of your gathering, while minimizing your work!

    Make Ahead Party Food Menu (Sweet and Savory!)

    Heather Baird

    Get a head start on making delicious appetizers for your next gathering. Use shot glasses to portion single servings so your guests can grab-and-go while they mix-and-mingle.Everything Bagel Hummus Shots, Marinated Mozzarella, Bloody Mary Shrimp Shooters, and Charcuterie Cones offer savory flavors. While Citrus Supremes with Prosecco Sabayon, Bourbon Ball Shooters, and Eggnog Panna Cotta with Spiked Cranberry Sauce round out the party with sweetness.The Charcuterie Cone recipe is for 15 near matching cones; however, I suggest you vary some of the cones to accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free guests.Please note that prep and cook time is approximate.

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    Prep Time 2 hrsCook Time 21 mins2 hours chill time 2 hrsTotal Time 4 hrs 21 mins

    Course AppetizerCuisine American

    Servings 15 people

    Equipmentshot glasses 15 for each recipe, 1.5 oz. capacitycocktail skewersToothpicksbiodegradable wood cones optional
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Everything Bagel Hummus Shots10 oz. plain hummus 1 container1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds2 teaspoons Everything Bagel Seasoning for garnish1/4 teaspoon garlic powder1 baguette sliced into 1/4-inch piecesOlive oilMarinated Mozzarella1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil1 teaspoon Italian seasoning1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley1 tablespoon sun dried tomatoes in herb oil chopped1/4 teaspoon garlic powder16 oz. block mozzarella part skimChive sprigs optionalBloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail Shooters15 large cocktail shrimp cooked peeled with tails on1 lime zested and juicedFreshly ground black pepper16 oz. Bloody Mary Mix Charleston recommendedParsley sprigs for garnishCharcuterie Cones6 oz. salted almonds8 oz. dark chocolate bar tablet style for breaking15 Turkish dried apricots15 blue cheese-stuffed olives1 pint fresh berries raspberries and blackberries12 oz. thin cut salami rounds8 oz. sharp cheddar block cubed15 cocktail onions15 sprigs rosemary for garnishAssorted crackersCitrus Segments with Prosecco Sabayon2 cups mixed citrus segments such as Del Monte no sugar added Citrus Salad9 egg yolks1/2 cup granulated sugar3/4 cup Prosecco3 tablespoons pomegranate arils such as POM wonderful POM-POMSBourbon Ball ShootersBourbon Ball Recipe prepared to fit inside shot glasses1 cup semisweet chocolate chips1/2 cup heavy cream1 tablespoon bourbonEggnog Panna Cotta with Spiked Cranberry Sauce (linked)
    Instructions Everything Bagel Hummus ShotsCombine the hummus, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and garlic powder in a bowl. Mix well. Place in a piping bag or zip-top bag with the corner snipped. Pipe about 1 1/2 tablespoons of hummus into the bottom of each of 15 shot glasses. Place all of the glasses inside a 9×13 baking pan with sides taller than the height of the shot glasses. Cover with plastic wrap until party time.Drizzle baguette slices with olive oil. Drizzle a nonstick grill pan with olive oil and heat until the oil shimmers. Grill bread slices on both sides and set aside to cool. When cool, place bread in a zip top bag and store until ready to serve.1 hour before serving, sprinkle each hummus shot with a little bagel seasoning. Stand a baguette slice upright into the shot glasses. Place shot on a tray and serve.Marinated MozzarellaCombine the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Cube the cheese small enough to easily fit into shot glasses. Add the cheese cubes to the olive oil dressing and toss to coat.Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. The marinade may solidify a little due to the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. This is normal. Allow the bowl to stand at room temperature until the marinade loosens. Stir to coat.Skewer 2-3 cubes of marinated mozzarella on toothpicks and place inside 15 shot glasses. (You may have leftover cheese cubes, which can be placed in a bowl near the shot glasses with toothpicks for guest refills.) Place the shot glasses in a deep 9z13 inch baking pan taller than the shot glasses. Cover with plastic wrap. Before serving, add 1-2 sprigs of chives to each glass, if using. Spoon some of the marinade in the bottom of the bowl over the cheese cubes in each glass just before presenting.Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail ShootersPat shrimp dry with a paper towel. Place on a shallow plate. Drizzle with lime juice and zest. Grind black pepper generously over the shrimp. Place one shrimp threaded onto fifteen 4” cocktail skewers. Cover with plastic wrap until party time.Pour Bloody Mary mix into fifteen of 1.5 oz. shot glasses, approximately 1/3 of the way up the glass. Top each glass with a skewered shrimp and garnish with a parsley sprig. Present on a serving tray or tiered stand.Charcuterie ConesDivide salted almonds between the bottom of the cones. Place a square or two of chocolate into each of the cones. Add apricots. Thread olives and salami on skewers. Thread two or more berries onto some skewers. Stand skewers upright into each cone. Add a cube of sharp cheddar to each cone.Garnish with rosemary sprigs. Add artisan crackers to each cone or have them on a platter nearby.Citrus Segments with Prosecco SabayonPat citrus segments dry with paper towels. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until ready for assembly.In a stainless steel bowl over simmering water, constantly whisk the egg yolks, sugar and Prosecco until mixture reaches 160° and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Let cool, then cover with plastic wrap so that it rests on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Make this up to two days ahead.Divide sabayon evenly between 15 shot glasses. Top with citrus segments and garnish with pomegranate arils. Serve with small cocktail or demitasse spoons.Bourbon Ball ShootersSkewer bourbon balls with a 4-inch long cocktail skewer. Place in an airtight container and store at room temperature.Combine the semisweet chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Heat at 100% power in the microwave for 1 minute. Let stand 1 minute. Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms, then stir in the bourbon. Store in a lidded jar in the refrigerator until party time.Before serving, heat the ganache in the microwave until liquid and pourable, about 45 seconds (heat in 30 second intervals). Divide ganache into the bottoms of each of 15 shot glasses. Top each with a skewered bourbon ball for dipping. Consider including small demitasse spoons so guests may enjoy every last dop of bourbon ganache (plastic silver cocktail spoons are available at most dollar stores!).
    NotesTo further shortcut the hummus recipe, Boar’s Head makes a prepared Everything Bagel Hummus which is gluten-free and vegan.
    Make room in your refrigerator ahead of time! The beauty of make-ahead doesn’t come without one caveat; you will need lots of refrigerator space. 
    Using heavy-bottomed real glass shot glasses adds a nice touch. These are inexpensive and can be reused. I’ve linked in the blog post a set of 40 for under $20. You may also search thrift stores and charity shops for shot glasses that cost even less!

    Keyword bloody mary shrimp cocktail, bourbon balls, charcuterie cones, citrus sements, easy appetizers, everything bagel hummus, finger foods, make ahead party food, marinated mozzarella, panna cotta, prosecco sabayon, shot glass appetizers, shot glass desserts, shrimp cocktail

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    Christmas Dessert Board

    Learn how to make a crowd-pleasing Christmas Dessert Board! Build your own board around a homemade touch, while adding semi-homemade and store-bought treats.

    ‘Tis the season for lots of sweets! And what better way to serve them to a crowd than with an abundant, filled-to-the-brim dessert board? I was asked by my friends at to create a guide for building a board that won’t keep you in the kitchen all day. This assembly holds everything your party guests could ask for, including scratch-made shortbread cookies, rich layered cheesecake bars, and a host of semi-homemade and purchased sweets.

    One dough, three cookies!
    This scratch-made cookie is perfect for filling up real estate on a large dessert board. And who doesn’t love shortbread? Whip up one barely sweet shortbread dough and divide it into three portions. Then, add sweet or savory ingredients to each dough. Toffee-chocolate chip, orange-cranberry, and savory smoked cheddar jalapeno cookies are all made from the same dough! Get the recipe at at this link: Gift or Enjoy: Endlessly Customizable Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe.

    Layered cheesecake bars.
    This is another homemade touch that will really make your dessert board special. Cheesecake bars are classic, but this recipe gives them a twist. Make three flavors of cheesecake from one pan of cheesecake bars: Peppermint Patty, Cookies ‘n Cream, and Pecan Pie. Get the tutorial and recipe on Endlessly Customizable Layered Cheesecake Bars.

    Semi-homemade treats.
    Some ready-made sweets just need a little dressing up for the holidays. Crushed peppermint and holiday sprinkles can make ordinary sweets look magical! And they’re easy to put together (kids can help!). Find instructions to make these treats in the photo gallery on

    Purchased sweets.
    Seek out colorful and beautiful ready-made ingredients to make your board extra-festive. You can’t go wrong with Sconza’s Holiday Jordan Almonds. I admire this company so much, because they take such care to make all of their sweets beautiful – so you can take them straight from the package and add them to your arrangement. I also used their Milk and White Chocolate Cherries and Gingerbread Toffee Mixed Nuts.

    Christmas Dessert Board
    The photo gallery on has all the information on how to put your own board together, including choosing a board, using containers, and styling tips for a gorgeous spread. See it all in a clickable slide show HERE on
    Related recipe: The Ultimate Southern Brunch Board with Homemade Pimiento Cheese

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    Homemade Peach Cobbler in a Cone

    For a handheld take on a classic spoon dessert, try Homemade Peach Cobbler in a Cone! It’s so fun to serve at picnics and summer barbeques.  

    Summer peaches are in season, and that means making lots of homemade peach desserts. They taste like a bite of pure summertime. This Peach Cobbler in a Cone is 100% more fun than peach cobbler in a bowl. The idea came from an article I read about a food truck in Florida serving peach cobbler in waffle cones. Kind of genius, right? (For those interested, it was NuNu’s Sweet Soul Food – I can’t find the cones on their current menu, but I’ll take one of everything else, please!)
    Since I won’t be traveling to Florida any time soon, I decided to make my own version at home. It’s so fun to serve and even more fun to eat! Portable peach cobbler is practically made for summer barbeques. My homemade version comes à la mode, because I always have a scoop of ice cream with warm cobbler.

    Start with a stick of butter.
    First, preheat the oven. Then melt a stick of butter in an 8×8 inch baking pan in the preheated oven. This will take about 3-5 minutes.

    While the butter melts, mix up the batter. It’s made of simple pantry staples and can be whisked together in a snap.

    Fresh, frozen, or canned?
    Use any of the above when it comes to this cobbler. You’ll need about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of peaches, which is about 5 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced. Thaw frozen peaches and measure 2 1/2 cups in a glass measuring cup. The same goes for canned peaches (drain them first!). It usually takes two 16 oz. cans but the amount of peaches inside each can will vary between manufacturers.
    If using fresh or frozen, toss the peaches with sugar. You can first taste-test the sweetness and add more or less to your personal taste. Canned peaches will need very little if any extra sugar.

    Layer the ingredients.
    Pour the batter over the melted butter. That looks like a lot of butter, doesn’t it? Trust me, it all works out in the end.

    Then pour the peaches on top. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of ground cinnamon. The batter and peaches will trade places in the oven as the cobbler bakes. Pretty neat!

    While you wait for the cobbler to bake, dress up some waffles cones with melted white chocolate and cinnamon-sugar.

    Let the cobbler cool. Then get to stuffing those cones! You can serve this warm or at room temperature. It’s so good warm with ice cream on top.

    Speaking of ice cream, top the cone with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or your favorite flavor – caramel would be amazing). Then pile on more cobbler. You could forgo the ice cream altogether and make it a strictly cobbler cone. However, it’s hot as blazes here in the south, so we won’t be skipping it.

    The sweet vanilla bakery scent and crunch of the waffle cone combined with sweet peaches and sticky cobbler crust? How could that ever be a bad thing? And topped with ice cream – get outta town. Crazy delish.
    I think we can all agree that Homemade Peach Cobbler in a Cone is the best way to enjoy peach cobbler in summertime. Kids will love it. Everything is more fun in an ice cream cone!
    Related recipe: Fried Peach Shortcakes

    Homemade Peach Cobbler in a Cone

    Heather Baird

    When you’re craving a taste of summer, try this easy homemade peach cobbler that’s served in a cone. Ready-made waffle cones can be found at the grocery store near the frozen foods section. Use your favorite ice cream flavor for serving. Vanilla bean is classic, but caramel or even coffee ice cream would be a wonderful accompaniment.Recipe readers: The cobbler batter recipe contains no eggs. This is not a mistake.This recipe serves 6-8, depending on how much ice cream you use to fill the cones. You can, of course serve this cobbler straight from the pan instead of serving it in a cone. See the recipe notes on how to use any kind of peach you may have on hand. Fresh, canned, or frozen.

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    Prep Time 20 minsCook Time 1 hrTotal Time 1 hr 20 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American, Southern United States

    Servings 6

    Equipment8×8 inch baking panIce cream scoop
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Peach Cobbler1/2 cup unsalted butter3/4 cup all-purpose flour1 1/4 cups granulated sugar divided2 teaspoons baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt I like fine grain sea salt3/4 cup whole milk1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 1/2 cups sliced peaches1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon.Waffle cones1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar6-8 ready-made waffle cones4 oz. white chocolate meltedAssembly1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream for serving
    Instructions Peach cobblerPreheat the oven to 350F.Place the stick of butter in an 8×8 inch baking pan and melt in the oven, 3-5 minutes. Remove from the oven once the butter is completely melted.In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk and vanilla. Whisk until a consistent pourable batter forms.Toss the peaches with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.Pour the batter over the melted butter, then top with the peaches. Sprinkle on the ground cinnamon. (As the cobbler bakes, the crust will rise to the top and the peaches will sink to the bottom.)Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the crust is browned and well set. Remove from the oven and let cool to warm.Dipped waffle conesIn a small bowl, stir together the ground cinnamon and sugar; pour on a shallow plate. Place the waffle cones on a large sheet of parchment paper. Dip the top edges of the cones in the white chocolate.Roll the edges of the cones in the cinnamon-sugar. Let stand until set, about 10 minutes, or place in the refrigerator to speed setting.AssemblyBreak apart the pan of cobbler with a spoon.Fill cones with cobbler to the top edge of the waffle cone. Top with a scoop of ice cream, then top the ice cream with more cobbler. Serve immediately. Cobbler cones can be served warm or at room temperature.
    NotesUse canned peaches: Drain two 16 oz. cans of canned peaches and place them in a glass measure. You should have 2-2 1/2 cups of peaches. (Some internet sources say one 16 oz. can = 2 cups of peaches. Technically, this is not true. The weight includes the juice – be sure to get 2 cans.) Omit tossing the peaches with 1/4 cup of sugar. Canned peaches in syrup are sweet enough.
    Use frozen peaches: Thaw 16 oz. bag of frozen peaches completely in the refrigerator overnight before using. Toss with sugar as directed.
    Use fresh peaches: Peel and slice about 5 medium fresh peaches; toss with sugar as directed.
    Make ahead: Coat the inside of the cones with melted white chocolate. This will keep the cones from becoming soggy over time. You’ll need two 4 oz. bars of white chocolate to generously coat all 6-8 waffle cones. Let stand until set, Fill cones with cobbler and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and top with ice cream before serving.
    Leftover cinnamon-sugar from dipping the cones can be sprinkled on top of each assembled cone.
    The real food innovators are food truck chefs, if you ask me. This recipe was inspired by  NuNu’s Sweet Soul Food (truck), purveyor of southern specialties.  With thanks to them, I formulated this recipe for home bakers.

    Keyword easy, fresh peaches, handheld desserts, July Fourth desserts, peach cobbler, summer dessert, vanilla ice cream, waffle cones

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    A Vegetarian Farmers Market Brunch for

    Throw The Ultimate Vegetarian Farmers Market Brunch! Turn your veggie haul into the season’s best brunch dishes.
    Spring Vegetable Frittata
    A few weeks ago, I loaded up my car with all the spring produce to make (and shoot!) A Vegetarian Farmers Market Brunch for The scene was just perfect all around with temperate, sunny weather and big teakwood table on which to display all of our dishes.
    I’ve developed four delicious brunch recipes – both savory and sweet – along with instructions for an all-inclusive spring cheese board. I’m including some teasers and links in this post, but you can view the entire gallery right here.

    Fresh and Savory.
    Spring vegetable frittata (lead image) is such an easy main dish to make, and incredibly versatile. Take full advantage of all the tender new asparagus at the market, and don’t be afraid to pivot the ingredients as we move into summer months. Serve it with my Arugula Salad with Homemade Orange Poppy Seed Dressing.

    Roasted New Potatoes with Spring Herbs is another side dish I developed to perfectly compliment the frittata. It’s hearty and filling, yet light with a citrusy note. Serve the potatoes over a bed of spring greens for additional herbaceous flavor.

    Okay, this cheese board –swoon. It’s got a lot going on, and all of it is wonderful! The Ultimate Vegetarian Cheese Board ‘recipe’ is more of a guide for selecting spring cheeses. (Did you know cheese can be seasonal?). With it, we’ve added lots of other ingredients, such as comb honey, candied nuts, preserves, and lots of crunchy spring veggies for dipping.

    Here we’ve made a slightly smaller version of the cheese board to fit on a tabletop! A platter works well in place of a large serving board.

    The sweet stuff!
    What’s brunch without pastries? These Strawberry-Rhubarb Scones take advantage of rhubarb’s short season, and have buttermilk tang. I usually find scones to be quite dry, but these have a tender, moist crumb. My recommendation? Split one while warm and slather in butter!

    Lemon and blueberries together? You just can’t go wrong! Especially if those flavors are wrapped up in sweet yeast dough and baked farmhouse-style in a cast iron skillet. Get the Cast Iron Lemon-Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls right here. (Side note, developing this recipe inspired me to create these strawberry sweet rolls!)

    Special thanks to my colleagues (and friends!), a.k.a. the team that made this happen! HGTV editor and stylist Camille Smith, (Get her Strawberry Shrub recipe right here) stylist and art director Jill Tennant, and stylist and crafter Ann Nelson.
    View the entire gallery of brunch images at this link on
    Please note: Some of you may not be able to view these recipes on due to geo-blocking, which is a necessary security measure. Unfortunately I can’t change this, but I’d be happy to send the recipes to those who comment below (just fill in your email address – it will stay private!).

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    Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes

    Make Movie Night even more fun with Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes! Buttery yellow cupcakes are topped with popcorn-flavored Swiss meringue buttercream and garnished with crunchy theater-style popcorn.

    I’ve always loved experimenting with the flavor of popcorn in my sweets and baked goods. Back in 2014, when I was writing Sea Salt Sweet, I developed a silky, salty-sweet Buttered Popcorn Panna Cotta (page 147, for those that have it). Corn is sweet by nature, and already holds buttery notes. I think the flavor works remarkably well in desserts.
    Today I’m adding another to the recipe index: Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes. They have true butter popcorn flavor, in a Willy Wonka’s Candy Factory kind of way. Or if you’re a fan of Jelly Belly’s Buttered Popcorn Jelly Beans? Well then. These are the cupcake version!

    The flavor makers.
    Start with my butter yellow cupcake recipe as the base for this confection. Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs, then add in the magic ingredient: Buttered Popcorn Flavoring Oil. Fat is an excellent carrier of flavor, so mixing it in at this stage with the butter ensures it will disperse well throughout the batter.

    Add the dry ingredients and mix well until a thick pale yellow batter forms. Then scoop the batter into the cavities of a lined cupcake pan. This recipe makes exactly 12 cupcakes.

    This step is optional, but I couldn’t help myself. I lightly brushed the top of each cupcake with melted salted butter. This just creates another layer of buttery flavor.

    The right buttercream for the job.
    Swiss meringue buttercream is the perfect choice for these cakes, and I’ll tell you why. It does not crust like American buttercream does. When a frosting ‘crusts’ it means the outer layer sets and becomes un-sticky. The popcorn garnish needs to be added just before serving so it’s nice and crunchy. Frost these cupcakes well ahead of time with the Swiss buttercream, and the frosting will keep its freshly piped texture. Well enough to hold on the popcorn just before you serve them to guests.

    Pop your own corn, if you’d like. But the color and flavor of this prepackaged Brim’s ‘Movie Theater Butter” popcorn is a ringer for the real thing! I love it, and it’s made right here in Tennessee, too!

    Pipe a big double swirl of buttercream on top of each cake and top with a handful of popcorn. I used a large open star pastry tip, which is Ateco 828.

    You can find the super-cute ‘TICKET’ cupcake wrappers right here, and the red and white stripe cups here.

    Adventurous eaters and fans of Jelly Belly’s Buttered Popcorn Jellybeans will love these cupcakes! They’re perfect for family movie night. Or bookmark this recipe for next year’s Oscars viewing at home.
    Check out my (award-winning!) Olive Oil Jalapeno Cornmeal Cake with Candied Citrus, if you’re just dipping a toe in to experimenting with corn flavor in desserts. It’s a good gateway to popcorn in desserts, and a wonderful ending to any meal.

    Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes

    Heather Baird

    Amaze your friends with the true flavor of buttered popcorn in cake form! Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes are delicious buttery treats that are perfect for the big game or family movie night. Please note, the Swiss meringue buttercream uses salted butter in this recipe, to convey the flavor of salty buttered popcorn. You may have buttercream left over if you don’t pipe a big double swirl as pictured. You may opt to halve the buttercream recipe if you plan for a more modest amount of frosting.

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    Prep Time 20 minsCook Time 20 minsTotal Time 40 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 12 cupcakes

    EquipmentCupcake pan12 cupcake liners6 “ticket” cupcake wrappers optional6 red and white stripe baking cups optional
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Cupcakes1/2 cup unsalted butter softened3/4 cup granulated sugar2 large eggs at room temperature1 dram bottle LorAnn Buttered Popcorn Flavor .125 oz1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt1/2 cup buttermilk at room temperatureSwiss meringue buttercream and garnish4 large egg whites1 cup granulated sugar1 1/2 cups salted butter at room temperature1 dram bottle LorAnn Buttered Popcorn Flavor .125 oz.Yellow gel food colorOrange gel food color3 cups prepared movie theater style popcorn such as Brim’s
    Instructions Yellow butter cupcakesPreheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and medium speed until fluffy and lightened in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the buttered popcorn flavor. Scrape down the bowl and mix to incorporate once more.In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the creamed mixture. Begin and end with flour, and mix on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and fold together any bits of remaining butter or flour by hand.Using an ice cream scoop, or a 1/4 cup measure, divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups.Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes or until they spring back when pressed in their centers. Allow them to cool in the pan for 3 -5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.Buttered popcorn Swiss meringue buttercreamPlace a saucepan filled 1/3 full of water over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.In a large stainless-steel bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over the simmering water and cook while whisking intermittently. Cook until the mixture is hot (110°F) and you can no longer feel sugar granules when the mixture is rubbed between your finger and thumb. Transfer the hot mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed for 10 minutes or until a thick, shiny meringue forms that holds stiff peaks. The bowl should feel cool to the touch. If it doesn’t, refrigerate the meringue in the bowl for 10 minutes. Return the bowl to the mixer and swap the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment.Beat the room temperature butter into the meringue one cube at a time on medium-low speed, waiting to add the next cube when the previous cube disappears. The batter will deflate with the butter addition, and may even look curdled (if the butter was the slightest bit cold this happens), but this is normal. When all of the butter is added, beat the mixture on high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the buttered popcorn flavor. Add drops of yellow gel food color until a bright yellow hue is achieved. Add 1 or 2 drops of orange food color to bring the hue closer to the color of theatre style buttery popcorn. Scrape down the bowl and beat on high speed until fluffy and the color is consistent.Place the buttercream in a large pastry bag fitted with a large French piping tip, such as Ateco #828. Pipe a large double swirl of buttercream on top of each cupcake. Don’t top cupcakes with the popcorn until just before serving.Just before serving or displaying cupcakes, top each with a handful of crunchy theater style popcorn. The popcorn will become hydrated over time, so serve within an hour of garnishing.
    NotesOptional step: While the cupcakes are still slightly warm, brush their tops with a little melted salted butter. This adds an extra layer of buttery flavor. About 2 tablespoons will be more than enough.
    Use your favorite ready-made popcorn for this recipe, or you can pop your own. I love prepackaged Brim’s movie theater-style popcorn for this recipe.
    Swiss meringue buttercream video tutorial can be found in this blog post. 

    Keyword butter cake, buttered popcorn, movie night, swiss meringue buttercream, yellow cake

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    Pina Colada Cupcakes

    These tropical Pina Colada Cupcakes have crushed pineapple, coconut, and rum in the batter. The coconut icing is sweet and creamy – like a vacation in cupcake form!

    We’ve been enjoying the first few sunny, spring-like days here. I’ve been aching for days like these while growing tired of winter’s landscape. I know pina colada flavors are more popular in summer months, but I just couldn’t help myself. March started off with my dad having heart surgery. Which, as you can imagine, was scary and anxiety-inducing. (He’s going to be just fine!) But after all the grey days, and the hospital ambiance, I felt like needed a vacation – even if it’s in cupcake form.
    Chock-full of pineapple and coconut, and topped with light coconut buttercream, these Pina Colada Cupcakes are just the little respite I needed.

    Batter mixing.
    Start by creaming sugar and butter together, then adding eggs one at a time. This is a predictable beginning for cake making, and the quantity of batter is easy enough to manage using a hand mixer.

    Next, add in all of the batter’s liquid ingredients. This includes a big dose of rum. Coconut rum will give you the best flavor, but if you just have regular rum on hand that’s fine too. The alcohol content will cook out during baking and leave behind the concentrated rum flavors. If you’d rather not use alcohol, you can substitute an equal amount of canned coconut milk with a half teaspoon of rum extract.

    Fold in the flavor!
    Mix in the flour until a fluffy cake batter is formed. Then, fold in flake coconut and crushed pineapple. For this recipe, I prefer unsweet flaked coconut, but most home bakers will have sweetened flaked coconut on hand. That will work too, the end result will just be slightly sweeter. I recommend giving the sweetened coconut an extra chop before adding it to the batter. It can be rather stringy otherwise, and shortening the strands makes for a nicer texture in the cakes.

    Fill the muffin cups with the batter. A trigger ice cream scoop does the job just right, about 2/3 full.

    Simple piping.
    After the cupcakes are baked and cooled, frost them using a simple coconut buttercream made with butter, confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, and coconut extract. I used a piping bag fitted with 1/2 inch round decorator tip to pipe a circle of frosting around the outer edge of each cake. You can do this too, or simply smear on a little frosting around the edge with an offset spatula. Either way, dip this first layer of frosting in toasted coconut flakes.

    Then, use a bag of frosting fitted with a closed star piping tip to make a tall swirl inside the toasted coconut circle.

    Add a maraschino cherry on top, and if you’re feeling fancy, decorate them cocktail-style with a mini paper umbrella (found here).

    I sat each cake inside pretty gingham paper cups for a pretty presentation. You can find them here. You can bake the cupcakes directly in these liners, but they are bigger than standard liners. Since most people use regular paper liners, I wanted my recipe testing to reflect that. You’ll get about 16 cupcakes in standard liners.

    The ingredients for these Piña Colada Cupcakes are simple and widely available year-round, so that’s when you should make them. Meaning, whenever you have the craving for them (or need a mini vacay!).
    If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, but still sweet and tropical tasting, check out my Tropical Ambrosia Salad!

    Pina Colada Cupcakes

    Heather Baird

    It doesn’t have to be summer to enjoy these tropical cupcakes! They’re great year-round. So refreshing and full of pina colada flavor.
    See the recipe notes for tips on how to serve these with no alcohol added, and for my favorite alternate whipped cream topping. It’s chilly and creamy – perfect for the warm days ahead.

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    Prep Time 20 minsCook Time 22 minsTotal Time 42 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 16

    EquipmentCupcake tins (2)Cupcake liners (16)Trigger ice cream scoop, optionalDisposable piping bags (2)Large 1/2-inch round decorator tipLarge closed star decorator tipPaper cocktail umbrellas, optional
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Cupcakes1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour sifted1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature1 1/4 cups granulated sugar3 large eggs at room temperature1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract3 tablespoons whole milk at room temperature1/4 cup coconut rum or plain rum mixed with 1 teaspoon coconut extract1/4 cup unsweet flake coconut or sweetened flake coconut chopped finer1/2 cup crushed pineapple drainedCoconut Buttercream1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt1/3 cup heavy whipping cream plus more to thin if needed2 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract1/3 cup toasted coconut for garnish (see notes)16 maraschino cherries drained and patted dry with paper towels
    Instructions CupcakesPreheat the oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with 16 cupcake liners.Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; whisk to combine.In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, milk, and rum, and mix on low speed. Beat for 3-5 minutes until the consistency is smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.Add the flaked coconut and pineapple; fold in by hand.Divide the batter between the prepared pans, filling each cavity about 2/3 full (a trigger ice cream scoop is perfect for portioning!).Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.Coconut buttercreamIn the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat together the butter and confectioners’ sugar on low speed. When the mixture is just combined, add the salt and mix again. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add the heavy cream and coconut extract. When just combined, raise the speed to high and beat for 5-7 minutes. Add more heavy cream to reach smooth piping consistency, if needed. Beat until the frosting is lightened to almost white color and fluffy.Transfer 1/2 of the frosting to a piping bag fitted with the 1/2-inch round tip. Transfer the other half to a piping bag fitted with the large closed star tip.Place the toasted coconut on a shallow dish.Pipe a circle of frosting around the top edge of a cupcake using the 1/2-inch round tip frosting bag. Immediately dip the edges of the frosting into the toasted coconut (see video for technique).Pipe a swirl of frosting in the center of the cupcake using the large closed star tip frosting bag. Top with a maraschino cherry and a cocktail umbrella.Repeat the process with the remaining cupcakes until they are all frosted and decorated.
    NotesFlake coconut: I use unsweet flake coconut for this recipe, which is finer and drier than sweetened flake coconut. You can use sweetened flake coconut instead. It tends to be damp and stringy, so chop it finer before adding it to this recipe. The end result will be slightly sweeter.
    To toast coconut, sprinkle it on a 13×9 baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before using on the cupcakes.
    Whipped cream frosting alternative: To make these chilly for summertime, replace the coconut buttercream recipe with homemade whipped cream. Beat 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream in a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup of fine granulated sugar while beating. Beat in 2 teaspoons coconut extract. Divide whipped cream between the designated piping bags with decorator tips and pipe as directed.
    No alcohol version: Replace the 1/4 cup of rum with 1/4 cup canned coconut milk; add 1/2 teaspoon rum extract to the recipe. You can also use 1/4 cup of pineapple juice in place of the rum. It may curdle the batter a little due to the pineapple enzymes, but will become more consistent when the flour mixture is added.

    Keyword coconut rum, crushed pineapple, flake coconut, heavy cream, maraschino cherries

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    Baked Brie Bread Ring

    This Baked Brie Bread Ring makes for a great appetizer but is also delicious eaten on its own. Brie cheese melts in the oven as soft seeded yeast rolls bake around it.

    Soft, melty cheese paired with puffy yeast rolls – what could be better? This is an appetizer that I could make a meal out of!
    I’ve had lots of different versions of baked brie, but most are dessert-like, wrapped up in puff pastry or phyllo dough with jam and brown sugar. Or just a big melty wheel served in a baking dish with crostini or baguette slices on the side. Weeks ago I’d spotted a baked brie bread ‘flower’ in one of those fancy mail order food catalogues. It looked delicious, and the rolls had a variety of seasonings. It was like a bread sampler with cheese! I had to see if I could recreate something similar at home. Besides, the big wheel of brie I had in my refrigerator was getting close to its expiration date.

    Yeast dough in an instant (almost).
    Start with my easy yeast dough recipe. It’s made with flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, water, and olive oil. If you don’t have instant yeast in your cupboard, then I recommend getting some! It’s so easy to use and has wonderful rising power. You don’t have to bloom it before using – just stir it right into the dry ingredients. I have always used Saf instant yeast and it’s never let me down.

    However. If you only have active dry yeast on hand, I’ll include blooming and mixing instructions in the recipe notes. It will work also, it just needs to be activated with a little sugar and warm water.

    Shape the rolls.
    After the dough doubles, punch it down and roll it into about a 9 inch long sausage shape and cut into 9 equal portions. I just eyeballed this, and my rolls were similar in shape but not exact. You could weigh each dough ball for a precise presentation.
    Form each dough piece into a ball. To do this, gather the edges of a dough piece and pinch them together, then roll the ball under a cupped hand. Move your hand in a circular motion; the tacky part of the pinched dough should catch on the work surface, and the dough will roll itself into a tightened ball. You can see this technique in action in this Hot Cross Buns post. There are two animated GIFs that may help you better understand the method.

    Room to grow.
    Use a large baking sheet or a pizza pan to on which to bake the brie bread ring. At this point, I realized I didn’t yet have my brie wheel prepared. I needed to trim the off the top rind and my rolls were already ready to rise! So – I just used the brie packaging as a stand-in. Place each roll around the ‘brie’ wheel, close together but not touching.

    Egg wash the tops of the rolls and sprinkle on your choice of seasonings. I used black sesame seeds, Aleppo pepper flakes, (so good, and not hot!) and chia seeds. The chia seeds were a stand-in for poppy seeds. I am almost out. Now I think I prefer chia seeds to poppy seeds for a bread topping!
    I swapped in the wedge of brie easily, and let the buns rise for about 20-ish minutes. They should rise enough to just touch each other.

    Golden and delicious.
    Bake the brie and rolls together. The bread will puff and bake together forming a cohesive ring that corrals all that melty brie. Garnish the brie with lots of coarse black pepper (I used a medley of black, white, and pink peppercorns) and toss on some scallions. If scallions aren’t your thing swap in some chopped rosemary or fresh thyme leaves.
    The yeast rolls are neutral enough to tip to the sweet side, if you’d like to give this dish a dessert makeover. I could see the brie topped with cooked apples, maple syrup, fig jam, a drizzle of honey, cranberry sauce – the sky’s the limit! It could also be a magnificent addition to a big cheese board served with cold cheeses, grapes, apple slices, pears, pecans – practically anything that inhabits your charcuterie stash.

    The best part is dunking the puffy yeast rolls in the melted cheese center. Warm melted brie is so luxurious. This would make a wonderful dinner party treat – either as an appetizer or alongside a main dish. And, it’s holiday-worthy! Serve it at Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving. It’s such a wonderful spin on a baked brie recipe. The flavors are endlessly variable!

    Baked Brie Bread Ring

    Heather Baird

    This all-in-one baked brie with bread rolls is a wonderful appetizer or side dish for a dinner party or anytime you’re entertaining! I make the dough on a KitchenAid stand mixer with a dough hook. To make this by hand, see the recipe notes. I also use instant yeast. If you only have active dry yeast on hand, instructions can also be found in the recipe notes for blooming the yeast.For best results, use a scale to weigh the flour. Flour weight should be right at 500g, which is about 3 1/2 cups, but not precisely 3 1/2 cups.

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    Prep Time 20 minsCook Time 30 mins1 hour 20 minutes proof 1 hr 20 minsTotal Time 2 hrs 10 mins

    Course Appetizer, BreadCuisine American

    Servings 8

    Equipment1 large baking sheet or pizza pan1 Pastry brush
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 2 teaspoons instant yeast (7g)3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour unbleached (500 grams)1 teaspoon granulated sugar1 teaspoon salt1 1/4 cups warm water 105-110°F (300 ml)3 tablespoons olive oilFlour for dusting16 oz. wheel of brie President brand recommended1 egg1 tablespoon cool water1 tablespoon black sesame seeds1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper flakes1 teaspoon chia seeds1/4 cup scallionsCoarsely ground black pepper or pepper medley
    Instructions Place the yeast, flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Stir together briefly with a whisk. Turn the mixer on low and add in the warm water and olive oil. Allow the dough hook to stir the ingredients together until a cohesive dough is formed, about 3-5 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead for 8 minutes with a timer set. The dough should be smooth and elastic, and not sticky.Transfer the dough to a bowl spritzed with cooking spray; turn over once and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1 hour.Meanwhile cut the top rind off of the brie; keep refrigerated until ready to use.Once the dough is doubled, gently deflate it with a closed fist. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into an even baton about 9 inches long and cut into 9 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball by pinching the edges together and rolling them on a work surface under a cupped hand.Line a large baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper. Place the brie in the center of the pan. Arrange each dough ball around the brie so that they are close together but not touching.Beat the egg and cool water together in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to coat each dough ball with the egg wash. Sprinkle 3 rolls with the black sesame seeds, 3 rolls with the Aleppo pepper, and 3 rolls with the chia seeds. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise, 20-30 minutes, or until the rolls are puffed and just touching each other.Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.Bake the assembled rolls and brie for 20-25 minutes, or until the rolls are well puffed and just starting to brown. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F and bake 5-7 minutes more, or until a little more golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Scatter scallions grind pepper over the runny brie. Serve warm on the pan. Use the bread rolls to dip into the melted brie.
    NotesActive Dry Yeast Instructions: If using active dry yeast for these rolls, bloom 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast with the sugar in the warm water. When the mixture is foamy, stir in the olive oil. Add the flour and yeast and mix until a soft dough forms.
    Knead by Hand: To knead by hand, deflate the dough after the first proof and transfer to a work surface. Knead for 10 minutes by hand, or until smooth and elastic. (Lightly flour surface if needed.) Shape and bake as directed.
    Shaping Technique: See this Hot Cross Buns post for bun shaping visuals (scroll down a little). There are two animated GIFs that display the pinching/rolling technique.
    My Favorite Brie: President brand brie is available at most US grocery stores. It is mild and much less sharp than other brie cheeses I’ve sampled. To be frank, some brands of brie smell like a gym sock (sorry, it’s true!). President brie is made with cow’s milk in Wisconsin, and is creamy and mild. I recommend it for this recipe. You can also swap in a 16 oz. camembert wheel for the brie if you prefer.
    Bun Toppings: Use your choice of bread toppers for this recipe, such as ready-mixed artisan bread toppings, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, and red pepper flake.
    Sweet Variation: For a sweet variation, top the rolls with nuts such as chopped pistachios, pumpkin seeds, or roll in cinnamon-sugar. Top brie with raspberry jam, fig jam, apple butter – or any of your favorite sweet jams or preserves. Add a drizzle of honey. The flavors are only limited to your imagination!

    Keyword Aleppo pepper flakes, all purpose flour, chia seeds, instant yeast, olive oil, sesame seeds

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    Easy Swiss Chocolate Fondue (2 Ingredients!)

    This recipe for Swiss Chocolate Fondue couldn’t be easier to make. It goes well with an array of dippers such as cookies and berries, or serve with potato chips and pretzels for a salty-sweet bite.

    For those looking for some easy holiday entertaining, this rich Swiss Chocolate Fondue could be just the thing. I’m planning to make it again for our intimate New Year’s Eve dinner party. I first spotted this recipe in the book “Great Party Fondues” by Peggy Fallon. I almost dismissed it because of its few ingredients. The revelation happened when I tasted it. The fine, meltable Swiss chocolate bar, Toblerone, stirred together with hot cream makes an almost instant fondue with nuances of honey and almond nougat.

    You’ll need six large Toblerone bars for this recipe, aside from the heavy cream. Heat the cream and add the bars a little at a time until melted – and that’s it! .

    Pick your dippers!
    This is where things get really fun. Anything goes, really, but I’d recommend having at least one fresh option. There’ s really nothing like a plump fresh strawberry dipped in warm chocolate fondue. However, we grabbed practically everything that was dippable for this spread. Raid your snack cabinet before you load up on things from the grocery store. If you’re like me, you already have some good snacky things on hand like pretzel rods and prepackaged biscotti.

    The fondue pot is optional. Seriously.
    Fondue pots are beautiful and cozy-looking, but really all you need is a saucepan, a trivet, and dinner some forks. The only time the burner is needed during a dessert fondue is if it stands too long and starts to set up. I haven’t had that happen yet. And even then, the burner only has to be on for a minute or two while stirring constantly. You can always re-heat the saucepan of fondue on the stove top and return it to the trivet.

    The candy bars have chopped almonds in them, so scattering on a few sliced almonds for garnish seemed appropriate. This is optional, of course. But it makes a pretty presentation.

    The great thing about fondue is that it’s both entertainment and meal. Or in this case – dessert! It will always be one of my favorite things to serve for a party of 4-6. It always seems to bring a sweet spirit and good conversation. This chocolate fondue reheats well, and if by chance there’s any left over, it can be refrigerated for later.
    If you’re also interested in some cheesy fondue-ing, you can find my very favorite tried-and-true Classic Cheese Fondue right here. Along with some fondue etiquette.

    Easy Swiss Chocolate Fondue (Toblerone Fondue)

    Heather Baird

    Toblerone is a high quality Swiss chocolate bar that blends honey and almond nougat with milk chocolate. You can find it at most US grocery stores and for purchase online.
    Serve this dessert fondue as a fun ending to a special meal. Include dippers like fresh fruit, angel food cake chunks, pound cake squares, crisp lady fingers, and salty-snacky foods such as pretzels.
    Yields about 2 cups of fondue.

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    Prep Time 5 minsCook Time 7 minsTotal Time 12 mins

    Course DessertCuisine Swiss

    Servings 8

    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 3/4 cup heavy cream6 bars Toblerone with Honey and Almond Nougat 3.5 oz. each, broken into pieces
    Instructions In a medium-sized saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until steaming, stirring constantly.Add pieces of chocolate a handful at a time. Stir after each addition. Let the chocolate partially melt before adding more.Lower heat so that cream and chocolate do not scorch, and stir until all chocolate is melted. Transfer to fondue pot immediately.
    NotesThis recipe is adapted from the book Great Party Fondues by Peggy Fallon. Her version spikes the fondue with 2 tablespoons of cognac, stirred in at the end. 
    A scattering of sliced almonds on top makes a nice garnish for the fondue. 

    Keyword heavy cream, Swiss chocolate, Toblerone

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