Budget-friendly Holiday Dessert Party

December 9, 2010

Perhaps you should consider skipping dinner and go right to dessert. Eli's Cheesecake Company elicheesecake.com says host a dessert party. You can invite 25 friends and spend under $100.

To get you started, Eli's pastry chef Laura Boger and her colleagues have come up with 30 ideas for a dessert buffet. The recipes are in honor of Eli's 30th birthday. You can create dessert skewers, brownie s 'mores bites, cheesecake ravioli, tira mi su shooters, cheesecake truffle lollipops, and dessert pancakes.

For more tips, call 800-ELI-CAKE or visit elicheesecake.com. Or visit Eli's store on the northwest side, at 6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive (corner of Montrose and Forest Preserve Drive), Chicago.

Eli's Cheesecake Dessert Party for 25 for under $100!
Chef Laurel Boger

Cheesecake Ravioli

Eli's rich and creamy original cheesecake encased in pastry dough then deep fried for a decadent appetizer - serve with a side of tangy apricot sauce for dipping.

Brownie S'more Bites
Eli's dark chocolate fudge brownie bites sandwiched with warm, gooey marshmallow and crunchy graham crackers - serve warm with plenty of napkins!

Cheesecake Truffle Lollipops
Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake on a stick enrobed in dark chocolate and rolled in crushed candy canes. Choose your favorite flavors and make up your own signature pop. Another option is to set up a station and have your guests make their own.

Tira Mi Su Shooter
Stretch our 7 inch cake to serve 20-30 guests by scooping the frozen cake with a melon baller and using small shot glasses to serve. Top with favorite liqueur like Frangelico, Kahlua or Southern Comfort.

Eli's offers a whole line of bite sized bars that pair well with fruit - choose your favorite and build a fun and easy dessert kebab. This is a great activity for kids. Take it up a notch and put out some chocolate or caramel sauce for dipping.

Baby Cheesecake Pancakes
Sounds a little crazy but these are great with our maple butter sauce and whipped cream. To make you just need to cut frozen cheesecake into small blueberry sized pieces and fold into your favorite pancake batter. If you can make the pancakes small enough for a spoon these make a great amuse bouche.

Eli's Cheesecake Dessert Party for 25 for under $100!
Chef Laurel Boger


Cheesecake Ravioli

What you need:

  • 1 tray Eli's original plain cuties (48 cut) $10.00
  • 1 package wonton wrappers $2.95
  • 1 jar Apricot Preserves $3.50
  • vegetable oil for frying $2.00


1) Keep the cheesecake frozen - open package and separate the squares onto a sheet pan (set aside 18-20 cheesecake squares for the Pancakes).

2) Place 1 wonton wrapper on the counter and brush with water - place 1 cheesecake square in the center of the wrapper then place a second wrapper on top. Line up the edges then pinch the seams together to seal in the cheesecake. Wrap all the cheesecake and then store in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator until ready to fry and serve.

3) When ready to serve - fry the wontons in vegetable oil in a fryer or a large heavy duty pot.

4) Serve warm on a platter with the apricot preserves for dipping.

Brownie S'more Bites

What you need:

  • 1 tray Eli's original plain cuties (48 cut) $10.00
  • 1 package wonton wrappers $2.95
  • 1 jar Apricot Preserves $3.50
  • Vegetable oil for frying $2.00


1) Open graham crackers and carefully break into rectangles; then, with sharp knife, cut the rectangles into small squares.

2) Line up 40 graham squares on a cookie sheet place 1 brownie bite, fudge side down, onto each cracker.

3) Cut the large marshmallows in half and stick 1 on each brownie.

4) Place the bites in an oven under the broiler until the marshmallow is golden.

5) Serve warm (with napkins)!

Cheesecake Truffles/Lollipops

What you need:

  • 1 tray chocolate swirl cheesecake cuties $10.00
  • 1 recipe Dark Chocolate Glaze $3.00
  • 12 Candy canes crushed $1.00
  • Small skewers or popsicle sticks (optional) $2.00


1) Separate cheesecake squares on a sheet pan and allow to soften slightly.

2) Press cube with fingertips to shape into a ball then roll between palms.

3) Stick each ball with a small skewer than place the balls in the freezer, well wrapped, until they are firm again.

4) Make the chocolate glaze; dip the pop into the chocolate to coat completely; shake off excess chocolate then dip or roll in the crushed candy.

5) Best served frozen!

Tira Mi Su Shooters

What you need:

  • 1 - 7in Tira Mi Su Cake $8.00
  • 1 Recipe Frangelico Caramel Sauce $5.00
  • 1 cup Whipped Cream $1.50


1) Allow frozen Tira Mi Su to thaw half way before scooping into balls.

2) Place balls in small cordial glasses or shot glasses.

3) Top with a tablespoon of sauce and a dollop of cream.

4) Finish with a coffee bean or a dusting of cocoa for garnish.


What you need:

  • 1 tray Eli's Original Plain cuties $10.00
  • Pineapple Cube $5.00
  • Blackberries $4.00
  • Kiwi wedges $3.00
  • Small skewers
  • 1 recipe Orange Chocolate Cream Sauce $5.00


1) Using 2 cuties, 1 pineapple cube, 1 kiwi wedge and a blackberry, carefully thread onto a small skewer.

2) Serve with dipping sauce.

Baby Cheesecake Pancakes

What you need:

  • 18-20 cheesecake squares cut into quarters
  • 2 cups prepared pancake mix $3.00
  • 1 recipe Maple butter Sauce $5.00
  • 1 cup Whipped cream $1.50


1) Fold frozen cheesecake cubes into prepared pancake batter; drop by tablespoons onto hot griddle.

2) Place cooked mini pancake onto a fancy spoon; top with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of maple butter sauce.

3) Makes a decadent amuse bouche!

Grand Total: $99.45!

Sauce Recipes

Maple Butter Sauce

  • 3/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon (optional)


In a small bowl dissolve cornstarch in water. In a small saucepan combine sugar, butter and Maple syrup; bring mixture to a boil stirring continuously; add starch mixture and bring mixture back to a boil stirring continuously; boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. May be served warm or cold Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week

Dark Chocolate Glaze

  • 12 oz Semi Sweet Chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


In microwave safe bowl combine chips and oil microwave slowly at 20 second intervals, stirring until mixture is smooth.

Burnt Caramel Topping with Frangelico

  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. Corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup Frangelico


In a clean heavy saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and water - bring to a boil Continue boiling mixture slowly - brushing down the sides of the pan with clean water to prevent sugar crystals forming Watch pot carefully for when the sugar begins to turn amber in color. When desired color is achieved turn off heat and whisk in the heavy cream and liqueur Transfer caramel to a heat proof bowl and allow to cool until ready to use Store in refrigerator - microwave for a few seconds if caramel becomes too cold to handle

White Chocolate Cream

  • 1 cup heavy Cream
  • 4 oz white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier liqueur (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh grated orange zest


In a clean heavy saucepan combine 1 cup cream, orange zest and liqueur - bring to a boil Remove from heat and stir in white chocolate - mix until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth Sauce may be served warm or cold The cream can be whipped for a lighter topping - but must be refrigerated overnight first

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