I don’t have as much time to devote to party planning as of late, and all that it entails with three little ones, but when it comes to Christmas merry-making? Make way! Still, there are times when I can’t get an entire “party guest worthy” meal on the table while still living and enjoying life with my family. I’ve found that a simple way to keep any festivity lively, bellies happy and allow conversations and laughter to mingle together long after presents have been opened or introductions have been made is with plenty of delectable sweets and good drinks… and that is something I can always deliver.
We had a family Christmas party this past weekend while my parents were in town with us, and the console table behind the couch was converted to a festive holiday dessert and coffee bar! Here’s how I gave it a dose of delicious Christmas cheer…
A Festive HoliThe Best Gingerbread Cookie Recipe:
To create a dessert and drink bar that is just as much a part of the decor as it is the tasty centerpiece of the party, start with a blank slate, like our cleaned off console table and add in festive touches like branches of green, pine cones and sprigs of berries. I used what we already had on hand, dug through a little stash of Christmas decor and rounded up some pine cones from our fireplace (we collect them when out at the park as they’re great to use in the fire).
Build up vertically with cake plates, trays and dishes. I’m a little bit of a tray hoarder, and so I just browsed a couple of rooms to round up my supplies. A mirrored tray held white mugs and hot chocolate toppings and a gold tray displayed glass mugs and a carafe of freshly brewed coffee. Trays keep similar items corralled and of course, are easier to carry from kitchen to table… to wherever else your tray of goodies may end up.
Next, the COFFEE. Since there were just as many kids at our party as there were adults present, we opted to keep our drinks options to something warm, cozy and family friendly. We’ve been trying the new Keurig 2.0 recently and I think I’m in love with how easy it is to use and customize… hello multiple drinks a day! (I’m already dreaming up coffee-infused foods and desserts as well as specialty drinks! Any ideas you’d like to share?) For our dessert bar, we used the Keurig 2.0 550 to brew a full carafe of coffee for the adults that needed a little boost, along with syrups, cinnamon sticks, whipped cream and other toppings to flavor and dress the cups. Because it’s simple to use, my daughter brewed individual cups of hot chocolate for herself and anyone else that wanted a ho-cho as needed, and as you can imagine, it was quite often. For those we offered candy canes, mini marshmallows and straws as garnish.
Of course, it can’t be a dessert bar without sweet treats to temp the palette. What is a party without plenty of treats to choose from, right? I happened to have a couple of hours free on a Saturday morning and with Christmas tunes echoing through the halls, we did some merry-making of our own in the kitchen and baked up some Christmas sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies and at my husbands special request, “some chocolate chip cookies while we’re at it.” Needless to say, throw in a chocolate bundt cake we were set for a dessert bar. But even if you don’t have a stash of homemade goodies, store-bought ones displayed well are just as festive (and who knows, depending on the cook could even look or taste better!).
We had such a great time enjoying a night of good treats and fun games (and a few prezzies too) with friends and family so close to Christmas. And I’m looking forward to much more… I’ll be sharing some more of our coffee inspired dishes soon!
- 1 1/2 cups softened butter (3 sticks)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup molasses
- 5 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for rolling the dough)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 Cup Confectioners Sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk
- 2 teaspoons corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar until smooth.
- Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.
- Mix in molasses.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, and add to the wet mixture. Combine until smooth.
- Flatten your dough onto wax paper or plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for two hours.
- Once dough is chilled, roll out onto a well floured surface.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut your dough into desired shapes and place on a lined or greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on pan for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Add confectioners sugar to a mixing bowl and mix on low with a wire whisk.
- Add the milk, corn syrup and almond extract and whip until smooth.
- At this point, you can leave icing white, or divide into small bowls and add food coloring.
- Pour into squeeze container or a ziplock bag and cut a small hole in the corner to decorate cookies.
Details: Table // Gold Tray // Mirrored Tray // Cake Stand // Gold Charger // White Mugs // Glass Coffee Mugs (similar) // Mercury Hurricane Vase // Coffee: Keurig 2.0 c/o // Hot Chocolate // K-Carafe Coffee // Straws
This post is sponsored by Keurig. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that make this blog possible!
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