I love to make charcuterie boards. They're a family favorite, and you'll find them at my house on occasion, but especially at the holidays. I love the way that you can mix and match the meats, cheeses, and condiments to make your own personalized treat. It got me thinking...why can't you do something similar with desserts? So, I present to you: my Fall Dessert Charcuterie Board!
Making a big tray of mini desserts isn't anything new. That said, I wanted to mimic the feel of a charcuterie board. The way it's eaten. How you can mix and match flavors to find your favorite treat. This Fall Dessert Charcuterie Board does just that!
Below I have labeled all the sweets on my board. Some have recipes on the blog...check out the "Other posts you may like" links at the end of the post!
There's definitely no rules here, but this was my thought process for putting together my board:
Flavors. For me, this was key to determine up front. You definitely want the flavors of the sweets on your board to complement each other. A good way to ensure this is to stick with seasonal flavors. Once you have your flavors determined, start to think about combinations of those flavors. For my Fall board, I went with: bourbon, maple, honey, pumpkin, sweet potato, cinnamon, apple, cranberry, pecan, and salted caramel.
Textures. I wanted to make sure that there were a variety of textures to mix-and-match on the board. Think: soft, chewy, crunchy, crisp, smooth.
Dippers. Now that you've considered flavors and textures, try to determine some dippers! That is, plain(ish) treats that you can jazz up with a dip or spread. I made my [Honey Sugar Cookies], [Maple Cinnamon Cookies], and [Apple Cider Doughnuts]. I omitted the glaze in all three recipes, so that you can dip in the flavor of your choice. Fruit always has beautiful color and flavor, so I added some apple sliced! Other dipper ideas: madeleines, marshmallows, bite-size pieces of pound cake or sweet bread, brownie/blondie bites, and rice krispie treats!
Dips. This is where you can think about the fun flavors to pair with your dippers! I chose to make a salted caramel dip and a pumpkin cheesecake dip for my Fall board. You could also choose to include jams, jellies, or nut butters!
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Ready-made. I also wanted to have some ready-made items on my board for additional grazing opportunities. No dipping or spreading, just grab and enjoy! I included mini [Apple Cider Cranberry Cupcakes], bourbon-soaked cherries, maple meringues, sweet potato caramels, candied pecans, and gummy apple candies. Other good options would be glazed or frosted doughnuts, frosted or filled cookies, truffles, macarons, and mini tarts/pies.
Colors. Once you've determined what treats you'd like to include, think about what colors will be on your board. Think about adding complimentary colors of frosting, sprinkles, or garnishes. I knew that my sweets were going to be very brown/beige, so I made sure that my cupcakes were colorful, I added two colors of apples, and punched up the color with the gummy apple candies. I then went and pulled the fall theme together by tucking some wafer paper leaves on the board.
So would you consider serving a Dessert Charcuterie Board at your next holiday? I'm not sure that I could skip the traditional pies following Thanksgiving dinner, but I think when my guests see this post they might make a request for the ultimate in dessert grazing. 😉