by Sarah Russo
We love charcuterie boards as much as the next cheese-and-cracker junkie but there always seems to be something missing and it’s the sugar! Why not step out of the traditional board this holiday season and try making a cookie inspired charcuterie platter instead?
Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when making your very own charcuterie board:
- Use both salty and sweet components
Having a combination of different flavors will take your board to the next level. We may love sugar, but sometimes you just need a little salt to cut back and really enjoy everything. Try adding pretzels, chex cereal, ritz crackers, assorted nuts, or popcorn.
- Add sauces, jams, and dips
You can add any flavor of sauces and dips, but choose ones that will compliment your choice of cookies and other treats. Some fan favorites include peanut butter, cookie butter, salted caramel, chocolate frosting, nutella, etc.
- Play with textures
Using a variety of textures not only makes the board visually appealing, but it also will taste extremely satisfying. Crunchy pretzels, graham crackers and hard candies will play nicely with the creamy dips and soft marshmallows, cookies and cake slices.
- And last, but certainly not least – have fun with it!
Making your very own charcuterie board should be a fun experience. Invite your friends or your family to come help out and join in on the assembly process.
What to Use
The best part about a holiday-inspired board is that you definitely do not have to make all or any of the components! This DIY can totally be thrown together with store-bought ingredients and still be arranged on a beautiful platter. Head to your grocery store or a local bakery to grab some of your favorite treats. (but if you want to make one, two or twelve elements then go right ahead!) Here’s what we suggest adding to your cookie board:
Candy: M&Ms, candy canes, Hershey kisses, Reese’s pieces, gum drops, fudge squares, Andes mints, soft caramels, candied nuts
Cookies: Rice Krispies, chocolate fudge covered Oreos (or your favorite flavor!), Christmas tree cake slices, Graham crackers, chocolate wafer cookies, brownies, gingersnap or gingerbread man cookies
Garnishes: Candied citrus (orange or grapefruit slices look beautiful), sugared cranberries, pine springs, fresh berries
How To: Step by Step
- Pick out your charcuterie board
The only real equipment needed for this ‘recipe’ is a board. We recommend using a large cutting or serving board that is either wood, slate, or marble. (it won’t matter if there’s some scratches because it’ll be covered with all the delicious treats… but hopefully not for long). You’re also going to want to pick out some small bowls for the little candies and dips.
- Arrange your small ramekins across the platter
The key here is to only use a few bowls, maybe 3-4 so you don’t crowd the platter. If you’re working on a smaller plate then we’d suggest less ramekins, but it’s really all up to you. Fill them with dips and spreads like peanut butter, nutella, and cookie butter, or with little candies like M&Ms, reeses pieces, or gum drops. The choice is yours.
- Start Pilling on the Cookies!
Here comes the fun part. Start placing your cookies on the board, starting from the outside and working your way in towards the center. Feel free to do what looks good to you and lay them out in handfuls. Pro Tip: It actually looks best when cookies overlap, don’t look too neat and tidy, and aren’t just on one side of the board. Space them out and let them mingle with one another!
- Fill in the Gaps
The best charcuterie boards are overflowing with goodies. Use smaller treats like pretzels, candy canes, hershey kisses, or marshmallows to fill in the empty spaces around the cookies.
- Finish with Garnishes and Serve
It’s almost time to dig in! Once the board is filled and the final touches have been added like dried orange slices or springs of pine, you’re all done. The last step is to eat and enjoy!
We would love to see what your holiday charcuterie board looks like this season. If you recreate this idea, be sure to tag us @bakedmagazine on Instagram (we promise not to be too jealous of all your delicious creations).