Starting January 1, you and your loved ones may be trying to steer clear of indulgent treats for a little while, but New Year’s Eve is sort of the Mardi Gras of the holiday season – this is the last hurrah before the healthy resolutions kick in.
So when you throw a NYE shindig, you should feel absolutely free to embrace the sweet and sinful. As the hostess or host with the mostess or most, it’s your duty to provide a spread of delicious and decadent treats inspired by all the things this holiday is known for: champagne, the passing of time and sophisticated style.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration to get your creative New Year’s Eve juices flowing, here are a few festive desserts your guests are sure to love.
Pink Champagne Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches
Champagne and strawberries are a match made in heaven – this classic and romantic duo provides a great balance of flavors that perfectly suits the holiday. Though the weather outside might be frightful, the warm atmosphere in your home will be delightful, so your guests will flock to this stunning iced treat. This is definitely the most involved of all the recipes here, but the time and effort is well worth the reward.
Champagne Ice Cream
The first thing you’ll need to do is whip up your own homemade champagne ice cream, and if you have an ice cream maker, it’s fairly easily done.
- To get rid of some of the alcohol in the champagne so that your ice cream mixture will actually freeze, you’ll need to start by boiling about half of a bottle of champagne (pink or normal).
- Combine together the champagne, 3 cups milk and 2 tablespoons cream and stir.
- Add 1 cup sugar and ½ cup strawberry puree and stir again.
- Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and let set for as long as your individual ice cream maker’s instructions recommends.
- In the last 5 minutes, add a cup of finely chopped strawberries.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe container and let the ice cream harden for at least 30 minutes.
Next, you’ll need to make the macaroon cookie part of your ice cream sandwiches – you can simply make them white, add food coloring to make them a pretty pale pink or even go extra fancy and make them silver or gold using edible spray paint.
- Start by beating together 3 large egg whites with your stand mixer until the whites are nice and foamy.
- Beat in ¼ cup white sugar until the mixture is glossy, fluffy and can form soft peaks.
- In a separate bowl, sift 1 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar and a cup of finely ground almonds.
- Quickly fold this mixture into the egg whites being careful not to over-mix – only about 30 strokes.
- Test your mixture by putting a small amount into a piping bag or plastic bag with the corner cut off and pipe out a disc about 1.5 inches in diameter onto a baking sheet lined with silicone baking mat – if the mixture immediately flattens out, it’s good to go but if it holds a peak, then the batter needs to be folded a bit more.
- When all of the batter has reached the right consistency, transfer to a pastry bag with round tip and pipe onto baking sheet in 1.5-inch circles.
- Let sit out at room temperature for one hour until you see a skin form on top.
- Preheat oven to 285 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Let the cookies bake for about 10 minutes, till set but not brown.
- Cool cookies completely before attempting to fill.
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Once the ice cream is made and the cookies are cooled, you’re ready to assemble your sandwiches. Simply spread a couple of tablespoons of your strawberry champagne ice cream evenly on one cookie, then set another cookie on top. Press down gently, then use a rubber spatula to scrape around the sides so they look neat. Finally let the assembled sandwiches set for at least 30 minutes in the freezer before serving.
Clock Cake & Cupcakes
If you’re looking for a recipe that requires a bit less time and effort to execute, this clock-themed confection should be right up your alley. The best part is that you can use any cake recipe you’d like (either homemade or store-bought mix) as long as you stick to the clock icing.
- Bake one round cake – it can be any size you like, but just make sure it’s large enough that 12 cupcakes will fit around it.
- Bake 12 cupcakes.
- Frost the cake and all cupcakes in the same frosting – any color will do but you’ll get a distinctly New Year’s feel if you do white or black icing.
- On the cake, decorate by adding clock hands in a contrasting color – you may want to make the hands indicate 11:55 for a cute touch.
- On each of the 12 cupcakes, decorate with the numbers 1-12 (either in Arabic or Roman numerals)
- Arrange the cake and cupcakes on a large plate with the cake in the center and the cupcakes evenly spaced around the outside of the cake before presenting.
You don’t actually have to use champagne to give a nod to the bubbly stuff. Simply use a champagne flute shaped cookie cutter to create adorable bubbly biscuits with plain sugar cookie dough. Then add royal icing and a bit of sparkling sugar to decorate – use this great video tutorial for easy step-by-step instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PbXt_ekolg.
Now with these 3 sweet treats to help you ring in the New Year you’ll have the best party on the block! Serve your party guests the sweetest and most beautiful of New Year’s treats. Now you’ve got a few ideas to get you going. Happy baking and of course, happy New Year!
About the Author: Edward Lee is a desserts connoisseur personally and a sweets expert professionally. He is an avid food blogger and the National Accounts Manager for BoDeans Baking Group, one of the country’s main suppliers of ice cream sandwich wafers and cones. For more on sweet trends, tips and ideas, visit http://bodeansbaking.com/blog/
Macaron ice cream sandwiches: http://www.amandajaffephoto.com/blog/2011/07/22/sooooo-hot/
Baking macarons – https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity
Clock cake & cupcakes: http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/12/new-years-eve-cake-ideas/