Dessert Boards and Charcuterie Boards: A How-To Guide
The holidays are quickly approaching which means its time to dust off those entertaining and DIY gift ideas. Did you know that Dessert Boards and Charcuterie Boards make excellent centerpieces for the holidays and awesome gift ideas? If designing dessert boards and charcuterie boards are new to you, check out this useful guide.
Charcuterie boards are a great addition to any dinner party, event—or even just an afternoon spent watching a movie with friends, family, or (hey, why not) totally on your own. Dessert boards and charcuterie boards are a great way to impress guests—and yourself—with a unique spread that is delicious, thematic, and generally impressive. If you want to know how to make a charcuterie board, you’re in luck: this handy guide will teach you how to make charcuterie boards and dessert boards for yourself, for dinner parties and other events.
Charcuterie boards traditionally have meats, cheeses, and bread. You can make cheese boards, meat boards, or breadboards on their own—but most charcuterie boards have a mixture of all three so that it creates a nicely balanced board.
The key to creating a good charcuterie board is knowing how to pair different cheeses, meats, and bread together. If you have rich and heavy cheeses, you will want to make sure that you have lighter bread or meats to balance it out. Likewise, if you have very rich-tasting meats, pairing them with lighter cheeses can create a nice balance.
You may also want to consider a themed charcuterie board, such as a board containing meats, cheeses, and bread from a specific region. This can be a great conversation starter for a dinner party, to boot!
Dessert boards are a unique spin on a charcuterie board that takes the traditional board of meats, cheeses, and bread and creating a dessert-themed board instead. You can get really creative with dessert boards, so make sure you keep your mind—and palate—open to trying something new. Some ideas for dessert boards include samplers of different types of cakes, pastries, cookies, and other sweets.
You can even go a step further and create a dessert board as a chaser to your charcuterie board. First, serve your guests (or yourself—I’ve been there) your charcuterie board, and then as the evening progresses, bring out the dessert boards for a nice dessert to end the evening.
Tips for Creating Food Boards
It’s important to take the time to plan out your charcuterie boards and dessert boards. A sloppily put together board won’t be a hit—and it won’t be particularly interesting, either. Take the time to create lists of what you might like to include on the boards, and then do your research to see how well they might pair together.
You should also look for the freshest and nicest ingredients you can find for your boards. The key to a great charcuterie board is buying meats and cheeses from a deli or specialty shop; avoid buying cheap “store” cheeses that don’t have as much flavor as the stuff you’ll find behind the deli counter.
And most of all: have fun! Creating these types of boards should be a fun, engaging, and interesting experience. Exercise your creative culinary muscles and have fun creating a board, no matter what type of food you choose for your boards.
S’mores Dessert Board
- 1 box graham crackers you will not place them all on the board, just keep them handy to add more when they run out.
- 5 large strawberries
- 1 bag large marshmallows
- 1 Lindt white chocolate bar
- 4 Reese’s cups
- 4 Peppermint Patties
- 2 Hershey’s Cookies and Cream Bars
- 3 Almond Joy’s
- 4 Hershey’s Chocolate Bars
- 1 Lindt Chocolate bar broken into 6 pieces
- Pick a board to create your s’mores charcuterie board. You can use whatever you want to display your ingredients, just make sure you pick something big enough to hold everything. (You could also go for parchment paper, large plates, whatever you have).
- Place your bowls of peanut butter and Nutella on the board first. Since these items are a bit bigger, you want to work around them. Keep in mind you can move stuff as you work – there is no wrong way to build this board.
- Sporadically place graham crackers in stacks around the board. It will look nice if you have stuff spread out and not all in one area. This also allows ease from people working around the board.
- You will want to start placing the large chocolate sheets, followed by individual chocolates. For this recipe, I placed one an entire Lindt chocolate candy bar on the board, stacked two Hershey’s cookies and cream bars and split the other milk chocolate bars in half.
- Next you will fill in the blank areas with smaller chocolates like Reese’s, Peppermint Patties, truffles, Almond Joy bars, strawberries, and marshmallows.
- Look at your board for empty spots and try and fill them in (for presentation) with marshmallows and smaller chocolates. You can stack things, but not too high unless you are feeding a lot of people.
- **You can add whatever ingredients you want in addition to what is already on here.