Ina's Country Dessert Platter

The Country Dessert Platter from this episode is super easy to prepare!

Related To:

This is an incredibly easy platter to arrange, even if you don’t have time to bake! Buy a delicious and beautiful assortment of cookies, bars, and pastries from your local bakery and you’re almost done. At Barefoot Contessa, I choose things that are both colorful and easy to eat with fingers. Remember, lots of baked goods look delicious on their own, but grouped together, they can look very brown. I mix colorful things like lemon bars, pecan bars, brownies, cookies, strawberries, figs, and slices of lemon cake.

Start with a platter that is round or oval and particularly one that is very flat. I like to use something simple, such as silver or china. Place doilies on the bottom of the platter. Cut each cake or bar into large bite-sized pieces; pastries cut too small tend to look like a dog’s breakfast, too large and the platter looks unapproachable. I like to cut our large brownies into two finger-sized pieces and to cut the slices of cake in half.

The design of the platter is very simple. I follow good Japanese principles. “Earth” is a solid element, which grounds the design; “sky” is something taller, which curves upward; and “water” is something spilling forward. In all good design, the eye wants to be drawn to one focal point. I arrange slices of cake down the middle of the platter to give the arrangement grounding. I place the pastries in paper muffin cups and arrange them in a flowing pattern around the cake. Then I pile strawberries and figs or grapes high to give some height to the design. Then I add some cookies and lemon or hydrangea leaves to fill in the spaces.

I tend to prefer platters that appear more casual than formal. There’s a fine balance, however, between casual and just plain messy. I think if you follow these simple steps, no matter which pastries or fruit you use, you will be thrilled with the results.

Note:  For this episode, Ina used pecan bars, coffee chocolate bars, a round shortbread, a round chocolate cookie, biscotti and long-stemmed strawberries.

 

1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved

 

Yield: Varies, depending on amount of ingredients

Total Time: 15 minutes

Keep Reading

Next Up

Have Drinks with Ina (Kind Of)

Her go-to sips and bites revealed.

Ina Garten Bio

Get to know Ina Garten, host of Barefoot Contessa.

Quiz: What's Your Ina IQ?

Take this quiz to find out how well you know the Barefoot Contessa!

Restaurant Revisited: Clueless in the Country at Heather's Country Kitchen

Find out how Heather's Country Kitchen is doing after its transformation on Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible.

What Is Country Fried Steak?

What is the difference between country-fried steak and chicken-fried steak?

How to Set Up a Cheese Platter

While creating a cheese platter is simple, having a few simple tips in your back pocket will ensure a sure-fire winning cheese course every time.

Dessert Fails

Sometimes, despite our best intentions, things go wrong when baking. We've got a couple of common dessert fails that our viewers sent in. We'll tell you what went wrong and how to fix it!

Quiz: What Dessert Are You?

Are you sweet like a jelly doughnut or flaky like the crust on your favorite pie? Take the quiz to find out which dessert you are.

Latest Stories