Holiday Entertaining: Easy Christmas Desserts for Stress-Free Entertaining

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Even the most seasoned cook can benefit from a few back-pocket, easy-to-make desserts they can whip up with little effort over the holiday season. Here is a list of goodies that go from pantry to platter in no time at all, leaving you stress-free and with plenty of time to spend schmoozing with your guests.

Trifle
This is the ultimate make-ahead dessert, simply because it is best when served at least one day after it’s made. Purchase the sponge cake, ladyfinger cookies and custard from the supermarket for easy preparation. Consider making individual servings instead of one large portion, for a most sophisticated presentation.

Pomegranate Panna-Cotta
The name alone sounds like a fancy concoction created by the most seasoned cooks, but nothing more than a few ingredients and fifteen minutes of time can result in one of this year’s easiest desserts. Play around with holiday flavours, and consider swapping the pomegranate seeds for fresh cranberries or tangerines.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
No-bake desserts are just about the easiest type to make. Press some crushed cookies into a pie plate, and top with a blended cream cheese/sugar/pumpkin mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. You will be so thankful that you didn’t plan for a dessert that kept you standing in the kitchen while your guests were having a jolly time without you.

Biscotti
These twice-baked biscuits are a cinch to put together, and one simple recipe can easily be customized to suite your tastes based on the combination of dried fruits and nuts incorporated into the batter. These crisp and crunchy cookies are perfect for dipping into mugs of hot cocoa, mulled cider or decadent steamed coffee. Cranberry-Pistacchio Cornmeal Biscotti are a seasonal favourite for many home cooks, and can be made well in advance of your celebratory activities. They also package up nicely for last minute homemade gifts.

Festive Meringue Desserts
Fifteen minutes is all is takes to get this stunning dessert on the table. Purchase or make meringue nests, and fill them with berries, whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Voila! A spectacular dessert for your holiday table.

Photo source: Yourkdale blog: Fruits and Spice and Everything Nice

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