Shavuot Dairy Dessert Display
I love Shavuot morning; everyone gets up late after a long night spent learning Torah in shul. We usually eat a dairy Yom Tov meal in the early afternoon and then invite several neighbors for dessert.
Since flowers are a dominant theme of Shavuot, decorating the table will be a cinch — just put out all your flower bouquets and use extra vases and flowerpots as serving pieces and catch-alls. For added drama, before Yom Tov, craft some huge tissue-paper flowers and place them into a tall vase in the center of the table — you can also make some small ones to decorate the chairs.
All the cakes and pies on this dessert menu are baked in advance. Just pop them out of the fridge and freezer and set them out on platters and cake plates; everyone will be thrilled with the effort you’ve put into setting it up.
Before the meal, set a separate dessert table in the dining room or in a room adjacent to the dining room. Lay the tablecloth and set out the platters and cake plates. Add cups and napkins, placing dessert forks and spoons into small flower vases or flower pots. Intersperse small flower bouquets between the serving dishes.
Serve your favorite cheesecakes and dairy cakes. Mini cheese Danishes, and other pastries are yummy as well. Serve fruit skewers with dipping sauce and layered ice pops they’re a great frozen treat. For drinks, nothing beats iced tea, iced coffee, lemonade (we love pink lemonade), or cold chocolate milk on a hot day.
■ ● frozen cheesecake ● ■
This no-bake cheesecake is my family’s favorite Shavuot dessert because it tastes like ice cream and cheesecake mixed together. Who could think of a better combination? You can bake the crust yourself or save time by using a purchased graham-cracker pie crust and skip steps 1 – 6.
Ingredients: -9 double graham crackers and 1/3 cup butter, softened, or 1 purchased graham-cracker pie crust
8 ounces whipped cream cheese
½ cup farmer's cheese
½ cup vanilla yogurt
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 pint strawberries or fruit and berries of your choice
How to do it:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Place the graham crackers in the food processor and blend on high until finely ground. Or, place graham crackers into a heavy-duty ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin.
3. Place the graham cracker crumbs into the large bowl. Add the softened butter.
4. Mix the butter and graham cracker crumbs with a spoon (or rub together with your fingers) until combined.
5. Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the side of the pie pan or tart pan.
6. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pie shell from the oven and let cool.
7. Place whipped cream cheese, farmer's cheese, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla sugar into the mixer bowl. Beat at low speed until all ingredients are combined. Increase speed to high and beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
8. Pour the mixture into the prepared or purchased pie crust and smooth with the spatula.
9. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze until firm.
10. Remove the pie from the freezer and thaw for one hour before serving.
11. Wash the strawberries well and cut off the green tops.
12. Slice the strawberries and arrange the slices around the top of the cheesecake. You can use other fruits or berries of your choice.
Estimated prep time: 1 hour plus freeze time
Baking time: 10 minutes Dairy • Yield: 8 servings
Decorate your home with a beautiful flower topiary.
A topiary is a bush or tree that is sculpted, cut, and/or trained to grow into a specific shape. This arrangement mimics the art of true topiaries by forming a silk flower bush into a rounded shape.
What you will need:
- flower pot
- piece of Styrofoam to fit into the flower pot
- silk flower bush of your choice
- 2 twist ties
-green/brown ribbon or floral tape
-glue gun and glue sticks
How to do it:
1. Place the piece of Styrofoam into the flower pot. Trim the Styrofoam if necessary (it should not stick out of the pot). Set aside.
2. Take the flower bush and grasp all the branches, holding them tightly together. Fasten a twist tie tightly around the branches directly under the flowers. If necessary, fasten the other twist tie around the middle of the stems to keep them together. This will form the topiary's stem.
3. Bend the stems until the flowers form a rounded shape.
4. Use the glue gun and glue sticks to attach the ribbon or floral tape to the top of the stem, just under the flowers. Wind the ribbon around the stem, completely covering the twist ties. Hot glue the ribbon to the bottom of the stem and trim the excess ribbon, if necessary.
5. Poke the stem through the center of the Styrofoam in the flower pot. Push down on the stem so that it reaches deep into the pot. Glue it into place if it feels wobbly.
6. Spread the craft glue over the Styrofoam and place clumps of Spanish moss on the wet glue to completely cover the Styrofoam.
7. Tie a ribbon into a bow around the center of the stem.
Estimated time: 20 minutes