If there is one thing I love about the festive season it’s getting together with family and friends with good food, good wine and lots of laughs. This year Christmas and New Years is not quite the same for us because we are half a world away from our family and friends in Australia. But we feel so lucky to have made some beautiful friends in Switzerland over the past year. So because for most of us Switzerland is a second home, we’ve been making new Christmas traditions together!
Another thing I love about festive celebrations is getting delegated to bring a plate of food along to get togethers. I always secretly have my fingers crossed for dessert – don’t we all?! So a few weeks ago when I Jason and I were given dessert (yay!) for a Christmas get together with friends I did a little happy dance.
I’ve been lusting over the beautiful grazing boards I’ve seen all over Instagram and Pinterest lately – and have been especially inspired by queen of pretty platters Alison Wu (you must check her out on her blog and Instagram). So there was no question in my mind about what we would be bringing! As well as being beautiful I loved the idea of creating something that was full of healthy treats and encouraged everyone to huddle around and share.
So if you’ve been the ‘chosen one’ for a Christmas or New Years dessert this year (high-five!) you might just want to consider a dessert grazing board of your own. I decided to include lots of star shaped fruit, dairy-free sugar cookies and drumroll please… cookie dough hummus dip (yes sweet hummus is a thing, and yes it’s delicious)!
Healthy, Fresh + Festive Dessert Grazing Board
Serves: 6 people
Coconut Oil Sugar Cookies with Naturally Coloured Icing
I used this incredible recipe by Oh Lady Cakes, it was oh-so easy and you wouldn’t even know that they are dairy free! I’ve adapted the icing recipe slightly using natural crushed raspberry and blueberry powder for colouring and dried edible flowers to decorate (for those in Switzerland these can be found in Coop). I also decided to leave some of the cookies un-iced for dipping in the cookie dough hummus!
- 6 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
- 3/4 cup powdered cane sugar
- 3 tablespoons almond milk, warm
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Coop crushed raspberry powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons water, warm and divided
- 1/2 cup powdered cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon brown rice syrup
- Reto & Oscar dried edible flowers
- Coop crushed raspberry powder
- Coop crushed blueberry powder
- Small star shaped cookie cutter
- Medium star shaped cookie cutter
You can find the cookie cooking instructions here.
- While the cookies are cooling, prepare the icing by mixing together the raspberry powder and 1 teaspoon of the warm water. Add the powdered sugar and the remaining water, and mix until the sugar is combined (it should thicken considerably). Add the brown rice syrup and whisk just until combined.
- Make sure the icing is thick enough to hold its form but not so thick that it doesn’t settle into a smooth finish after you’ve spread it. Test it out by spreading some onto a cookie that didn’t turn out so well and wait a minute to see if the icing settles nicely. Also makes a great bonus taste tester cookie! I simply used a small icing spatula and spread the icing over each cookie in a thin layer. After you’ve iced each cookie sprinkle with raspberry powder, blueberry powder and/or edible dried flowers.
Leave some cookies un-iced for dipping in the hummus!
Cookie Dough Hummus
I found this yummy recipe at dontwastethecrumbs.com. I was quite sceptical about a sweet hummus but it was actually really nice and I it got great reviews from everyone. Which was lucky because I didn’t have any kind of back up plan!
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
- 1/4 cup cashews (level if pieces, slightly heaped if whole)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup*
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons rolled oats
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon salt*
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup Lindt dark chocolate, broken into chunky pieces
- Sprinkles and fresh flowers to decorate, optional
- Combine all the ingredients except the chocolate in a blender or food processor. See notes for the maple syrup and salt.
- Blend or puree the ingredients until everything is smooth and combined well, about 2 minutes.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and serve; alternatively, store the hummus plain and add chocolate pieces, sprinkles and fresh flowers just before serving.
* Maple Syrup: Adjust the amount of maple syrup to your liking. You might be able to get away with less, but we’ve found that this amount is just enough to counteract the “chickpea” taste. You also might find yourself needing less the more times you make it, as your taste buds will adjust.
*Salt: If you’re using canned beans and/or salted cashews, start with 1/8 tsp of salt. Taste the hummus when it’s done and add more as desired.
In Switzerland (as you can imagine) tropical fruit is quite a treat! So I stocked up on anything tropical I could find and then got creative with my chopping. You could really use any seasonal fruit that you prefer. Just make sure you include a few things with a good texture for being cut into shapes. Good fruits for shapes include rockmelon, watermelon, pineapple, dragon fruit and mango, because they hold their form well. I used star shaped fondant/icing cutters for an extra festive vibe!
- 1 x pomegranite
- 1 x pineapple
- 1 x mango
- 1 x kiwi fruit
- 1 x dragon fruit
- 1 x star fruit
- 1 x grapefruit
- 1-2 x passionfruit
- 1 x punnet of raspberries
- Small star shaped fondant/icing cutter
- Medium star shaped fondant/icing cutter
- Gather all your fruit and chop it up to create lots of different shapes and textures. Refer to YouTube for cutting tutorials when required!
- For the fruits that are suitable for cutting into shapes, slice and cut using your star cutters.
Once you have your cookies, hummus and fruit all ready to go arrange them on a platter by slowly layering and building up the texture. Top with star shaped fruit, fresh flowers and edible dried flowers. Serve within 2-3 hours of assembling and let the dessert grazing board, sweet dipping fun begin!
This is the first time I’ve posted about food so I’d love your feedback and of course if you make this dessert grazing board yourself I’d love to hear how it went down!
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