Snowberry Santa [Christmas 2012]

Desserts and Sweets, Recipes

When we saw this adorable picture of anthropomorphized strawberries on which credited Claire K as the original creator, we just knew it would be the perfect dessert for a holiday gathering we hosted. Strawberries are pretty hard to find this time of year, so you can bet that come February, I’ll be whipping up a batch of these and celebrating Christmas all over again!

Snowberry Santa

Ho Ho Ho! says Snowberry Santa

Fear not if your strawberries are not uniform in size. There’s nothing wrong with a snowberry Santa that’s had a few more cookies in his bowl full of jelly than the rest. :] As far as the dish goes, the ingredients are easy, the preparation is quick, and the assembly is intuitive. We had our guests join in on the fun and show off their piping skillz at the party, and it was all a great hit!


1 pint of strawberries, whole and washed

1 cup of heavy whipping cream, cold

2 tablespoons powdered (confectioners’) sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sprinkles or sesame seeds (for eyes)

Place a large bowl and a whisk in the refrigerator or freezer to chill. Prep your strawberries by slicing off the leafy head, making a flat bottom for your Santa. Cut off the tip of the strawberry, about 1 centimeter from the top, to create a “hat.” We found it helpful to keep the “hats” next to their corresponding “bodies.”

Prepped and ready to go!

Prepped and ready to go!

In the chilled bowl, measure out the cream and beat vigorously with a whisk until soft peaks start to form. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until you end up with medium-to-firm peaks. Be sure not to beat past the firm peak stage or your whipped cream may start to curdle.

Whip whip whip!

Whip whip whip!

Scoop your beaten whipped cream into a pastry bag equipped with a star piping tip. On your serving dish, line up the bodies. Then pipe enough to cover the exposed cut edge, with a little peeking out for a “face.” Top with the “hat” portion.

Santa getting his pom pom on

The first Santa getting his pom pom on

When all of your Santas have heads, replace the piping tip with a smaller round one. Add details such as the pom pom on the hat and the buttons on the body. Use sprinkles for eyes (the inspiration photo used black sesame seeds).

Santa army!

Santa army – the invasion of cuteness!

Take many pictures of the Santa army. Sit back as your party guests ooh and ahh and squeal with delight. Bon appétit!



Until strawberry season officially hits southern California, I’ll be brainstorming ways to make Santa Claus appropriate for February (although what’s wrong with substituting this adorable Christmas icon for Cupid?).

We hope you all have a wonderful time counting down with your friends and family tonight. Be safe, smile lots, and be merry! May the new year bring great adventures for us all!

Simply Sweet – Macerated Strawberries

Desserts and Sweets, Recipes

Ever since I was a kid, and long before I had the slightest idea what the term “macerated” meant, I remember my parents would take pints of strawberries that they found on sale at the store, slice them up, sprinkle a few spoonfuls of sugar over the glistening slices, and store the bowl in fridge (usually on the highest shelf where I could not reach to sneak a few premature bites). It was always well worth the wait.

The finished product!

Macerating, a technique by which one either soaks fruit in a flavored liquid or simply sprinkles it with sugar in order to bring out additional flavor and sweetness, is a great way to perk up fruit. In keeping with the natural flavor of the strawberries, which were coincidentally on sale at Ralphs for $0.99 a pint and looked absolutely stunning, I chose to go the sugar route. The combination of the sugar and the hour-long sitting time draws out the natural juices of the strawberries to create a beautiful bright red syrup coating the succulent fruit. There’s not much of a “recipe” in this case, but I wanted to showcase the technique.


1 pint (16 oz net weight) fresh strawberries

2-3 heaping teaspoons white sugar (sucrose)

Pinch of salt

Wash and cut the strawberries. Don’t worry about uneven shapes — they make life interesting!

Berry Wedges!

Sprinkle with sugar, enough to look like a light dusting over the top. Add a pinch of salt (to balance and enhance the sweetness). Toss to evenly coat the pieces and store in the refrigerator for at least one hour, even better if you can plan ahead and let it sit overnight.

You can, of course, eat the macerated strawberries straight out of the fridge for a snack or dessert. But also try using it as a topping for pancakes, ice cream, or anything that could benefit from a bright burst of berry flavor!

Yum! What a sweet treat!

We also found that when you toss them, syrupy juice and all, into a blender with some ice and any other fruit of choice, you end up with a smoothie that rivals the sweet and tangy ones at Jamba Juice (but without the artificial additives and high-calorie sorbets). Perfect for a cold treat on a warm summery day!