Tricks for Your Treats

Boards have exploded in popularity over the last few years. The charcuterie board, in particular, has given us a million new ways to present fun, creative party snacks, and appetizers. With all the harvest and Halloween parties going on (even if it is just your immediate family), I thought it would be truly fun to create an array of chocolate sweets and dips for the ultimate in snacking dessert boards. Enter the “choc-cuterie” board. When it comes to creating any board, you may want to think about balance and variety. Think creamy, salty, crunchy, and even sour. We want loads of chocolate, of course, but we need fresh fruit to cut the richness of this delicious dip. When it comes to choices, the sky is the limit.

Board inventory

(Add amounts that make sense for your small gathering, and don’t forget utensils to keep hands off the food.)

  • Chocolate-covered pretzels
  • Pirouette cookies
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Fudge frosted brownies, cut into squares
  • Candy corn
  • Mint butter cookies
  • Chocolate covered almonds
  • Crunchy pretzel sticks + knots
  • Strawberries
  • Apples, sliced and doused in lemon juice (to minimize browning)
  • Chocolate bars
  • Cinnamon graham crackers
  • 1 12-ounce jar caramel dip
  • 1 12-ounce jar hot fudge
  • Vanilla cheesecake dip

Vanilla cheesecake dip

Yields roughly 2 pints

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces soft cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 5.1-ounce box vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt

Method

Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese 1–2 minutes on low speed. In a separate bowl, whisk pudding with milk 1–2 minutes. While mixing cream cheese, slowly add pudding and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly stream in heavy cream and vanilla extract, then add salt. The mix should be light and creamy with a silky texture.

When setting up your board, place the dips into jars. If you don’t have wooden cutting boards, simply use sheets of parchment paper. I like to arrange the various treats into piles with small scoops and tongs. Tuck each new treat tightly up next to the next treat. Repeat this tucking-and-piling process until you’ve used all your treats. You can never have too many small serving utensils for your guests to enjoy loading their plates with.

Once you’ve arranged all your treats how you like them, snap a picture to remember how pretty it was! Chocolate treat boards are just the beginning, too! Think birthday boards or color-themed boards — veggies, fruits, cookies, pies, whatever! Grouping foods together can make an exciting, delicious, and visually incredible way to serve guests once parties are back again. For now, let your immediate small circle or family enjoy the fun.

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