Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fabulous fall wedding desserts include autumn childhood favorites

Apple pie, pumpkin pie and cheesecake are trends in fall desserts
By guest blogger Sharon Naylor

This is the third in a multi-part series by Sharon Naylor on fall wedding topics. (Read her second piece on fall wedding entrees here.)

There might not be a better season for fabulous desserts! Just think of the creamy, indulgent tastes of pumpkin pie and cheesecake, the tart perfection of a great apple pie or sweet strudel topped with homemade vanilla bean ice cream and a drizzle of caramel.

The cooler weather mixed with autumn’s bounty of fantastic fruits adds up to delectable dessert options for your wedding, as well as for pre-wedding parties like bridal showers and rehearsal dinners.

As you plan your dessert menu, think about the tastes of the season and the desserts you’ve always loved in the fall, from Thanksgiving apple pie to butter pecan ice cream on top of a pecan pie slice, to simple sugar cookies cut into fall-themed shapes and iced with orange frosting.

Brides and grooms love to take the tastes of their autumn childhood memories and incorporate them into their wedding celebrations. Your baker can create a collection of desserts for you, or you can DIY these fall dessert dishes. You might, as some brides and grooms have done, design your wedding cake to include fabulous fall flavors like a maple buttercream filling (and then decorate the cake with sugar paste autumn leaves).

Here are the leading trends in fall-favorite desserts:

Everything apple:
• Apple pie, traditional-style
• Apple pie, with nuts and cranberries baked in
• Apple pie, with pears and cherries mixed in
• Apple strudel
• Apple crisp or cobbler, with fresh ice cream on top
• Apple tarts, with cinnamon-baked apples on top of Chantilly Cream in graham shells
• Apple-flavored ice cream with caramel sauce -- a twist on the caramel apple
• Apple spice cake with vanilla or cream cheese frosting
• Apple and cinnamon crumb cake with confectioner’s sugar icing drizzle

A plethora of pumpkin:
• Pumpkin pie, traditional
• Pumpkin pie, with pears and nuts mixed in
• Pumpkin cheesecake
• Pumpkin cheesecake bites
• Pumpkin cheesecake brownies
• Pumpkin mousse
• Pumpkin mousse, swirled with white chocolate mousse
• Pumpkin ginger mousse
• Pumpkin mousse cake -- pumpkin cake with pumpkin buttercream filling
• Pumpkin crème brulee
• Pumpkin Bundt cake with cream cheese frosting
• Pumpkin ice cream
• Pumpkin frozen yogurt
• Pumpkin cupcakes frosted with maple vanilla buttercream frosting
• Pumpkin cupcakes frosted and filled with vanilla buttercream
• Pumpkin-flavored sugar cookies, iced with vanilla buttercream or lemon-flavored frosting

Cheesecakes:
• Traditional cheesecake with no topping
• New York-style cheesecake
• Cheesecake topped with cherries
• Cheesecake topped with apple and cinnamon crumb topping
• Vanilla and chocolate-swirled cheesecake
• Vanilla and pumpkin-swirled cheesecake
• Cheesecake sampler: various slices of flavored cheesecakes

Creamy goodness:
• White chocolate mousse with cherry sauce swirl
• Chocolate mousse with cherry sauce swirl
• Soft-serve pumpkin ice cream
• Soft-serve vanilla bean ice cream with a variety of nut toppings and caramel sauce
• Butterscotch pudding
• Pistachio pudding
• Cannoli filled with pumpkin and vanilla mousse swirls

Tasty trifles:
• Pumpkin mousse, pound cake squares, whipped cream and cherries arranged in layers in a large, glass trifle bowl, or in individual serving glasses
• Pound cake squares, vanilla pudding, pumpkin mousse, chocolate chips and whipped cream layers arranged in a trifle bowl or in individual serving glasses
• Pound cake squares, butterscotch pudding, pumpkin mousse, pears, chocolate chips and whipped cream, with caramel drizzle on top, all arranged in single-serve trifle bowls or serving glasses
• Gingersnap cookies, apple pie filling, and whipped cream layered in single-serve glass bowls or serving glasses

Crowd-pleasing cupcakes:
• Pumpkin-flavored cupcakes with pumpkin buttercream frosting and fall-colored sprinkles
• Apple pie-flavored cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting
• Red velvet cupcakes with cranberry buttercream frosting
• Spice cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
• Dark chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and candy corns on top

Tiny bites, big impressions (Note: All of these tiny bites work triple-duty as dessert bar features, take-home favors and treats for out-of-town guest welcome baskets in their hotel rooms):
• A sampler of fudge squares, such as vanilla, peanut butter, maple, butter pecan, pumpkin, walnut chocolate and more
• Frosted cookies in fall leaf shapes
• Frosted cookies in fall colors
• Turtles
• Petit fours frosted in chocolate, orange, yellow and red
• Truffles filled with pumpkin buttercream
• Truffles filled with cherry buttercream
• Chocolate chip and cranberry cookies
• Pecan walnut brownies

Sharon Naylor is the author of "1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding” as well as over 35 additional wedding planning books for brides, bridesmaids and the moms.

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