As some of you may know, I like to celebrate my birthdays in big ways. I have always felt that it's the only day that is truly about you, and since life is a gift, we should celebrate every time we are blessed enough to make it another year around the sun. And so I do. My birthdays typically involve celebrations with family and friends and sometimes houses rented for the weekend or special trips and it's not rare to have itineraries of events. That said, one of my absolute favorite birthday "cakes" was when my sister surprised me with a dessert charcuterie board at my last big birthday celebration before the pandemic.
Now, another great love of mine is a good cheese board, so when you combine my favorite desserts on my birthday on a charcuterie board, you make magic happen. It was truly a beautiful thing. And what a fun way to do something special for dessert that offers a variety so everyone can enjoy a little something.
I loved it so much that I thought would be fun to share how to build a dessert charcuterie.
While charcuterie typically refers to meat and cheese, which I also LOVE, a dessert charcuterie can be made up of all kinds of tasty sweet bites, from chocolate, to fruit, to cookies, and yes, even cheese. Usually, you want to include items that are bite-size or can be cut up into bite size pieces. A good charcuterie board is displayed beautifully, and made up of small bites so someone can "taste" a bunch of different things on their plate.
What should you put on your dessert charcuterie board?
I've included some ideas for inspiration below, but the great part about any charcuterie board is that you can make it your own by including anything you really love. It's always good to make your life easier by combining some store bought items with some homemade items (or hey, all store bought items, no judgment here!).
Strawberries (you can even add some chocolate dipped versions)
Sliced Apples (caramel dipped versions of these are really good)
Chocolate squares, or chocolate anything really, let's be honest, it's all good
Peanut Butter Cups
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Chocolate Covered Caramels
Homemade Brownie Squares
Cookie Dough (a personal favorite of mine)
Blueberry Goat Cheese
Fresh Ricotta (if you want to get extra fancy, you can whip this with some powdered sugar)
Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips
Saltine Cookie Crack
34 Degrees Sweet Crisps
How do I make the Dessert Charcuterie Board?
You want to start with a nice flat board or platter. I prefer wood cutting boards because I like that look, but anything that will fit all of the items you decided to use on your dessert board will work.
I always start any charcuterie by arranging all of my larger items first to help anchor the design of the board. If you're going to be using bowls for any dips mentioned above or for sliced fruit, you'll want to place that first so you don't have to try to make space for it afterwards. It's fun to make curves and S-curves with different ingredients because you end up with a really pretty board. If you are using bowls, you can use the curve of the bowl to create curves with your other ingredients.
If you have a lot of different ingredients, you can also create different heights if you need more room. I love using acrylic risers and adding another level to my boards. You'll want to be sure that your risers are stable and don't move at all before you begin adding ingredients.
Once you are close to being done, you'll have gaps in between items and you can use smaller items to fill in those holes (think grapes or strawberries, maybe some chocolate pieces, or even nuts if you decided to add those to your board). Another trick is to add a flower or herb garnish like mint leaves or rosemary to freshen it up, add some color and fill holes all at the same time.
I'd love to hear about the items you added to your Dessert Charcuterie Board! Feel free to leave a note in the comments or share a post on social media and don't forget to tag @LifeTranscribed.