December 27, 2008

The Broke Socialite's Primer To A Swanky Dessert Party!

High school was a wonderful time in my life...I remember it almost like it was yesterday. I grew up in a small town where there were few outsiders; strangers were an anomaly. My parents were also born and raised there, so our network of friends and family was extremely extensive.

Oh, I had some of the best friends a girl could ever wish for! After graduation, life took us all in separate directions (literally from coast to coast) but we've managed to remain connected.

For the first time in nearly 20 years, our core group of friends will reunite and enjoy dinner together this evening. After dining at One. Midtown Kitchen, we'll come to my home for desserts, champagne, coffee and conversation.

The concept of the dessert party is not a new idea but it's always so much fun. I've outlined steps to a wonderful gathering focused on sweets:

1. As always, establish your budget and determine the tenor of your soiree: will you bake goodies on your own, invite others to bring their favorite desserts, or outsource to a bakery?

2. Create your menu. Offer a variety of palate poppers in different flavors and textures. Also, think "sexy and grown-up". My menu will consist of: vanilla bean cupcakes, chocolate brownies, fruit tarts, individual tiramisu, canoli and a salad of mixed berries. I will also offer Champagne (check my primer on budget-friendly Champagnes), decaffeinated coffee, and sparkling water. Do also think about grabbing peach nectar for mimosas. There is a Farmer's Market bakery with rock-bottom prices nearby; so I'll spend no more than $25 there.

3. Make sure that your stemware inventory is in tact. You'll need champagne glasses and coffee mugs.

4. Speaking of dishes, bring out your better dessert plates, napkins, forks and spoons. If you haven't these items in your inventory, try discount stores such as Target or Ross. I recently bought a dozen dessert plates for less than $10. Keep your eyes peeled for deals throughout the year so that you'll be prepared. As far as serving ware is concerned: a tiered platter and a couple or three serving trays should suffice for your buffet.

5. Ambiance is important and candlelight is always reliable. Place a couple of hurricanes on the buffet and a floral arrangement will beautify your spread. If you have a separate bar area, votives will be great!

6. Spend a bit of quality time developing a play list: think music you'd hear in a lounge or create a theme. My play list will be comprised of music that was popular during our high school hey days!

7. This final step is critical: HAVE FUN! Planning, of course, is key. Though this is a soiree that can be pulled together in a short time frame, shop several hours in advance to alleviate stress.

I'll be sure to post photos post-soiree.

What's your favorite dessert?


  1. Hmmmm...I really have to think on this one because I'm not that big on dessert. I never truly HAVE to have one after dinner and when we do get a dessert I usually just have a couple of bites off my husband's plate. I like anything with raspberry I guess so if I saw something with a bit of raspberry in the description...I'd vote for that.

    I love your tips for the dessert on top of thangs!

  2. My favorite dessert is pralines! They are more candy, but I can eat them all day everyday. Where are the photos after the soiree?

  3. This is a great idea. Never really thought of a dessert party. During the holiday, my girls from high school and I throw a huge holiday party, but before the big night, everyone always meets up at my house. A dessert party theme is a great idea for next year!


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