Brighten Up Holiday Desserts with Citrus

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but colorful, tasty desserts are delightful. If you’re looking to turn a plain ho-hum looking dessert into a bright ho-ho-ho dessert, take a swing through the citrus section on your next shopping trip. Citrus pairs well with a variety of dessert flavors – from adding a pop of excitement to classic pound cake to brightening up a dense chocolate dessert. Here are some of our favorite ways to add a tangy citrus zing to holiday desserts.

Easy On the Edge

If you’re looking to add a little pizzazz to the presentation of a holiday cake, try this tip. Place your cake in the middle of a white serving dish, making sure to leave a few inches between the cake and the edge of the dish. Using a sharp knife, slice several red grapefruits and limes into 1-inch thick semi-circles. Alternate the grapefruit and lime slices around the edge of the plate to create an attractive, festive, edible border. To bring the presentation together, add a dusting of powdered sugar over everything.

Santa’s Sleigh

Glazed pound cakes are classic holiday treats, so if you want yours to stand out from the crowd, take a note from the man in red himself by turning your cake into a sleigh full of goodies. First, use your favorite pound cake recipe to create a loaf-shaped cake. After it has cooled, place the cake on a large serving platter. Using a good knife, cut a section out of the cake where the “goodies” will be placed. Next, make several strips of lemon and lime zest using a citrus zester with a nice channel tool. As soon as you make your glaze mixture, use a spatula to spread the glaze on the sides of the cake and along the top. Before the glaze cools, affix your lemon and lime zest in a decorative fashion. To outline the edges of your sleight, use some of the zesting strips or colored icing. For the bottom runners of the sleigh, you can use Pepperidge Farm’s Pirouette Cookies or candy canes. Fill the “goodies” section with mandarin oranges, blueberries, and strawberries. (Dare we suggest chocolate-dipped strawberries?) As a final touch, use a thin piece of brown ribbon for the reins.

Citrus Butter Cookies

If you like cookies, citrus, zesting, and humor, you should try this delicious recipe from the Pioneer Woman: Citrus Butter Cookies.

Frosty’s Hat

What’s better than a chocolate cake? Two chocolate cakes! You can capture the magic of Frosty by recreating his hat as an edible, delicious treat for your friends and family. To make the cake itself, you can use your own special recipe or a boxed mix, as long as the end result is a dark brown colored cake. You’ll need two sizes of cake pans, though you could make two equally sized cakes and just cut one into a small size. After you bake the two cakes, let them cool completely. Using a good knife carefully cut the larger cake in half horizontally so that you create a thin cake for the brim of the hat. Next, cut the other thin half to be the same size as the smaller cake. Now you’re ready to assemble the hat. Next, spread a thick layer of chocolate icing in the center of the “brim” cake. (To an added boost of flavor mix some fresh orange peel zest into your batch of icing before you spread it on the cakes. Place the small, thin cake on top of the iced section. Orange and chocolate are amazing together.) Spread another layer of icing on top of the thin cake and place the other cake on top. Now comes the fun part: decorating! If you want to add red, you can use strawberry slices or cut semicircles of red grapefruit to create a “ribbon” around the base of the hat. Want people to be green with jealousy? Use limes instead. Another option is to use orange slices to create the petal of a flower, with curled lemon zest in the middle. You can use the chocolate icing to attach your citrus and fruit decorations. Finally, add a dusting of powdered sugar will give the hat that special, snowy touch.

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