DIY Dessert Bars

Who says you need chocolate (or refined sugar and gluten!) on Valentine’s Day? These sweet treats are a great gift for your besties, and make for a beautiful, colorful dessert buffet!

Chocolate-Free Shortcake Bar

  • Bake a biscuit-type shortcake recipe, and cut out individual shortcakes with a large heart-shaped cookie cutter. Really make your guests swoon by keeping the shortcakes toasty with a chafing dish or bun warmer.
  • Prepare a variety of fruit to choose from – sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, sliced peaches or grilled pineapple.
  • Display a variety of toppings, such as mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, brown sugar, red fruit syrups for drizzling, crushed peppermint candies, shredded coconut and pink sprinkles.

Gluten-Free Sorbet Bar

  • Make a variety of red and pink sorbets – raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, cranberry, watermelon or rhubarb. Serve in pretty bowls set in a shallow galvanized tub of ice.
  • Arrange a tray of fresh fruit kabobs that can also be used as toppers, such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and pineapple chunks.
  • Add a cookie tray of gluten-free coconut macaroons (easy to make at home) and gluten-free shortbread cookies (recipes that use rice flour.)
  • For an adult twist, add a tray of gluten-free, fruit-flavored vodka shots to pour over a serving of sorbet.

Refined Sugar-Free Yogurt Parfait Bar

  • Start with a deep bowl of vanilla Greek yogurt (be sure it’s a variety with no added sugar), chilled in an ice bucket. Place it next to a silver tray of parfait glasses or stemless wine glasses.
  • Fill a collection of pretty glass dishes with pureed fruit, including strawberries, peaches, melon, mango, papaya and blueberries.
  • Add bowls of sugar-free granola, and dishes of chopped nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds and pecans.
  • Finish it all off with a selection of sprinkled garnishes such as cinnamon, lemon zest, lime zest and unsweetened coconut.

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