How fun would this be to create for even a small gathering at home!? Simple Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar
Christmas, DIY & Crafts, Holiday, Parties, Review

Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

This Holiday Dessert Bar post, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and NESTLE®. All opinions and ideas are mine alone, pinky promise! #NestleHoliday #CollectiveBias

Creating a dessert bar doesn’t have to be complicated… Really!

We invited our closest friends over for dinner, and since we hadn’t seen them in what felt like AGES, I wanted to do a little something special to make it up to them, and surprise them with a dessert bar.

How fun would this be to create for even a small gathering at home!? Simple Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

Yes, I know what you’re thinking:

Jessica, you’re crazy.  Who has time to do something like that during the holiday season?

But I’m so ecstatic to tell you that you TOO can create a dessert bar, with a few simple tips and tricks that I have up my sleeve.

What a fabulous “Wow,” factor that this will create, when your friends walk in the door.  They’ll feel extremely special that you “spent all of that time,” creating something just because they were coming over.  But little will they know, it didn’t take hardly any time at all. 😉

Side note: If you’re planning on hosting the holiday’s at your house this year, PAH-leese don’t tackle that task without my Holiday Party Planner.  I use it for all of my parties and others swear by it:

Download it here: Holiday Party Planner

Holiday Party Planner Download. Checklists, menu planner, guest list tracker...

Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

Let me show you the details of the dessert bar that I created here, and I’ll fill you in on easy ways to make it happen.  PLUS… I’m sharing a BUTTERFINGER® Puppy Chow recipe & a Chocolate Chip Surprise CRUNCH® Cookie idea, at the end!

How fun would this be to create for even a small gathering at home!? Simple Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

#1. Tip: Use what you already have.  I say this time & time again… but I mean it.  If you’re creating a holiday themed dessert bar, pull Christmas decorations from other parts of the house, and fill your table with decor.  I guarantee your guests won’t even notice it used to be elsewhere.

Do you see that glorious BUTTERFINGER® Puppy Chow?  Yeah… recipe below.

How fun would this be to create for even a small gathering at home!? Simple Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

#2. Tip: Keep the serve wear neutral.  Since I entertain a lot, I usually keep my eye out for “good deals,” on white or kraft-colored serve ware.  That way, when I decide to host a gathering, I’ll typically have what I need on hand, and can use it at the drop of a hat.  Sticking with white & neutral will typically allow you to easily color coordinate with the theme you have going on.

Yes, that’s fudge.  The NESTLE® CARNATION® Famous Fudge Kit came in super handy, because I was able to whip it up in no-time, add a few festive pieces of peppermint, and it all of a sudden went with the holiday theme.

How fun would this be to create for even a small gathering at home!? Simple Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

#3. Think Pre-Made.  Desserts are EVERYWHERE.  Buying something premade, or semi-made, and adding a special touch to it, making it your own… can put a nice spin on something, and you’ll be a shining star with your creativity.  I literally dashed in to Walmart, grabbed a few of my favorite NESTLE® goodies, and my dessert bar menu was a go.  They always know how to make life easy for a busy gal on the go.

How fun would this be to create for even a small gathering at home!? Simple Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar  How fun would this be to create for even a small gathering at home!? Simple Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

The Chocolate Chip Surprise CRUNCH® cookies below?  Totally snagged a tub of the NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Refrigerated Cookie Dough, rolled it in to small balls and inserted one of the NESTLE® CRUNCH® Jingles in the center and baked it.  Yep… I was the dessert hero, and it hardly took any time.  Tutorial for this cookie below too!

How fun would this be to create for even a small gathering at home!? Simple Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

#4. Mini is in.  Serving the desserts in small portions, is always a hit with my dessert bars.  Guests are able to quickly pick up the item they want and walk away with it.  The small portion sizes allow them to snack on a little bit of everything.

How fun would this be to create for even a small gathering at home!? Simple Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

#5. Fill the table UP!  I have a problem with leaving a dessert table with blank spaces.  I used to be a firm believer that you couldn’t overlap anything, and everything had to be lined up perfectly.  That’s just not the case.  A dessert table doesn’t have to be completed covered in desserts… but if you’re left with empty spaces, fill them up with “something.”  This gives the appearance that it’s “all put together.”  Rather than a, bare… plain looking table, that’s lacking a little somethin’-somethin’.

How fun would this be to create for even a small gathering at home!? Simple Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

So if you follow me on Facebook or Periscope, you may have seen the the little sneak peak video of how I was setting up my holiday dessert bar.  But in case you missed it, you can see that below:

Sneak Peek of Holiday Dessert Table

My Dessert Bar Recipes

So although my dessert bar looks extravagant, it actually didn’t take a long time to prepare at all.  The recipes and items that I chose were so easy to create, and looks FAB on the dessert bar.

BUTTERFINGER® Puppy Chow

“Amazing…” — My friend Ashley.

How fun would this be to create for even a small gathering at home!? Simple Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

BUTTERFINGER® Puppy Chow
Rate this recipe

BUTTERFINGER® Puppy Chow

Ingredients

  • 1 Pkg BUTTERFINGER® Jingles
  • 1 12 oz. box of square rice cereal
  • 1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Place cereal in large bowl.
  2. Unwrap BUTTERFINGER® Jingles, place in a zip-top bag, and crush each candy with a mallet or similar, once until it breaks the candies in to large pieces. Pour crushed candies over cereal. {Keep in mind, you'll still want the candies big enough to pick up with your fingers when eating the puppy chow.}
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. Microwave for 1 minute, and stir. If chips are not completely melted, place back in microwave for 30-second intervals until completely melted.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal/candy mixture.
  6. Stir gently until cereal is evenly coated, being careful not to break too many pieces of the cereal and candy.
  7. Once coated, sprinkle half of the powdered sugar on top of the cereal/chocolate mixture. Stir gently until evenly distributed.
  8. Pour remaining powdered sugar over the mixture, stirring until evenly coated.
  9. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve!
https://fantabulosity.com/tips-creating-holiday-dessert-bar/

Chocolate Chip “Surprise,” CRUNCH® Cookies

“What is that in the middle?  YUM!” — My friend Christina

Surprise Cookies with Crunch Jingles

Chocolate Chip “Surprise” CRUNCH® Cookies

Chocolate Chip Surprise Crunch Cookies

Only 2 Ingredients, friends…

• NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Refrigerated Cookie Dough

• 1 Package NESTLE® Jingles

Directions:

• Grab a spoonful of dough, and place an unwrapped NESTLE® Jingle in the middle of the dough, wrapping the cookie dough completely around the Jingle.

• Bake as directed on the tub of cookie dough.

So what else was on the menu for our friends?

We made it an Italian night, and munched on one of my favorite pizzas:

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® Crispy Thin Crust Pizza, Sicilian Recipe

{This pizza is so good, that I don’t think my guests even knew it was a frozen pizza.} 😉

How fun would this be to create for even a small gathering at home!? Simple Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

Then we also had:

BUITONI® Refrigerated 3 Cheese Tortellini, with the BUITONI® Refrigerated Pesto Sauce.  Holy Moly.  THIS.WAS.DELISH.

BUITONI® Refrigerated Pastas & Sauces, 3 Cheese Tortellini

It was such a fun night.  My friends were so excited about the dessert bar, and we’re already planning our next one.  Guess what my job is?  Another dessert bar… 😉

For other tasty recipes, check out one of my favorite Pinterest boards, NESTLE®’s Flavorful Moments.

Until next time,

Jessica Burgess, Fantabulosity Blog

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3 thoughts on “Tips for Creating a Holiday Dessert Bar

  1. This is such a beautiful spread. I love the food. WOW! YUM! From the decor to the treats served, this is fabulous! -client

    1. Jessica says:

      Awww, thank you so much Heather! It was an absolute blast… and pretty delish. 😉

  2. Diane Holl says:

    So creative live this

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