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3 Tips for Creating Festive Desserts

(NC) Extravagant holiday desserts can be accomplished hassle-free if you know what you're doing. Follow these tips to create seasonal cheer with delicious treats and make moments you and your guests won't soon forget.

1. Rethink the dessert spread. Instead of offering different types of desserts, consider impressing guests with a fondue bar. As an alternate to time-consuming double boiler recipes, use a high-performance blender such as a Vitamix Professional Series 750 to make a decadent sauce in about 15 minutes. For a seasonal twist, make a chocolate orange fondue. Serve it in a pot with skewers of marshmallows, pound cake, and fresh fruit.

2. Keep cookies on hand. Keep guests jolly all day long by having cookies at the ready. Bake a batch of shortbread cookies and store in airtight containers. Add a slice of white bread to allow the cookies to absorb moisture without adding an odd taste. You can also freeze cookies so they stay fresh for a few months. Pull the treats out a couple of hours before guests arrive for a freshly baked taste.

3. Sprinkle some homemade sugar. One ingredient that isn't a pantry staple but is often required in holiday recipes is powdered sugar. Forget running to the busy stores and make your own in 30 seconds by blending granulated sugar and a bit of cornstarch. Then sprinkle on top of that gorgeous chocolate cake or mix with egg whites and vanilla extract to create frosting for decorating gingerbread houses.

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