5 Sweet New Year's Treats

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When it comes to New Years, there's no such thing as too much sweet stuff. Which is why we've put together a list of five sweet treats to get you through the night, one savory sugar punch at a time.

1. The Dependable One: Sweet Tart Punch

Have this first delightful treat ready when everyone arrives, and keep it in large quantities. They'll be coming back for more over the course of the evening, so just keep the bowl filled. As a plus, it's a non-alcoholic treat, meaning you won't have to bat the kids' hands away from it every few minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 (46-oz.) cans unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 (2-liter) bottles ginger ale
  • 1 gallon lime sherbet
  • 2 trays ice cubes

You will need a large punch bowl, a large punch serving spoon and several plastic cups.

Directions

  1. In a large punch bowl, combine pineapple juice, ginger ale, lime sherbet and ice cubes.
  2. Mix well and serve immediately.

2. The Sweet Snack: Berry Delight

After the mingling has ended and the punch is dwindling, people like some snacks. Well, we've got the classiest choice for you right here, and it will impress everyone so much that even you may not believe that you made it yourself.

Ingredients

  • 4 (6-oz.) packages fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon framboise liqueur (non-alcoholic alternative: grenadine)
  • 1 2/3 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 (3-inch) bakery meringue shells, broken in pieces

You will need a 10-inch sauté pan, a fork, a heat-friendly stirring spoon, an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, serving glasses and individual spoons

Directions

  1. Pour the lemon juice, two packages of the raspberries and 1 cup of sugar into a 10-inch sauté pan. Crush the berries lightly with a fork and bring the mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is syrupy. Fold the remaining two packages of raspberries and the framboise/grenadine into the hot mixture and refrigerate until very cold.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream, the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla together on medium-high speed until it forms firm peaks.
  3. In decorative glasses, layer a spoonful of the whipped cream, a spoonful of the raspberry mixture and then a few meringue pieces.
  4. Repeat once or twice, depending on the size of the glasses, until the glasses are full, ending with berries and a dollop of cream on top.
  5. Serve with spoons.

3. The Entrée Dessert: Pumpkin Spiral Cake

For a little more substance as the night goes on, keep up with the sweet teeth by providing a delightful cake. You'll have to make it the day before, but believe me, it will be worth the preparation. With a little holiday spice and some definite New Year sweet, it's a fiend of a treat.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

You will need a 15x10x1-inch baking sheet, parchment paper, cooking grease/spray, a large non-terry cloth dish towel, a sifter (optional), 2 large bowls and a whisk or beaters.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 15x10x1-inch baking sheet. Place a sheet of parchment paper on it, and then grease the top of that. Spread a large (non-terry cloth) dish towel on a table and sift powdered sugar over it.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Mix in pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
  3. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. Spread into prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until cake is cooked through. Remove from oven and immediately invert onto prepared dish towel. Remove parchment paper. Starting from the short end, carefully roll up the cake in the dish towel, and set on a rack to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, make the filling: Mix together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. When the cake is cool, unroll it and spread it with the filling. Carefully roll the cake back up without the towel, starting at the short end. Trim off the ends and refrigerate to firm up for at least one hour.
  7. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar, slice and serve.

4. Late Night Snack: Baked Liqueur Apples

Time to put the kiddies to bed, because the liqueur has officially arrived. For a real forget-me-not treat, try these baked apples, whose honey nut cores will have your guests on their knees begging for more.

Ingredients

  • 5 or 6 apples
  • 2 cups cedar nuts (or pine nuts)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 teaspoons sweet liqueur
  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 1/4 cups honey
  • 1/2 glass red wine
  • Cinnamon

You will need a cookie sheet, butter, ice cream and a serving platter.

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Extract the apple core of each apple and place apples on a well-buttered cookie sheet.
  2. Mix the nuts with sugar and liqueur and put this mixture inside each apple. Sprinkle cinnamon and put a piece of butter on top of each apple. Mix honey with wine and pour this sauce on the stuffed apples.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with ice cream.

5. Midnight Madness: Champagne Cocktail

It's almost midnight, and everyone needs a drink to toast with. For a classic but sweet touch, bring this cranberry champagne cocktail to the table. It won't disappoint, and you'll ring in the New Year with the magical touch of perfection.

Ingredients

  • Absolute Pear Vodka
  • Champagne
  • Cranberries

You will need cocktail glasses and small teaspoons.

Directions

  1. Pour 1 or 2 shots of pear vodka in a glass and fill up with champagne.
  2. Garnish with a spoonful of fresh cranberries.

Ring in the New Year, or even just a new night, with some amazing sweets. You won't regret the dietary indiscretion.

Last Updated: January 18, 2012
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About Emelie Battaglia Emelie Battagila is a contributing writer for Idealhomegarden.com

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