With the holidays upon us there are so many chances for sharing sweets and treats. Cakes, cookies, and my favorite pies are great to serve guests this time of year. Make someone’s day, bring by a gorgeous pie surprise! Or set out a collection of pies to make your holiday gathering one to remember.
With my busy schedule this time of year, there is not always enough time to make everything from scratch, which is why I am grateful for brands like Marie Callender’s who provide a homemade taste with basically no work for me. With pies made with real ingredients like Saigon Cinnamon, pure cane sugar, fresh apples and a buttery, made-from-scratch crust, nobody will ever know it wasn’t homemade. I am excited to share my second post (here is the first) as the Marie Callender’s pie ambassador this season. I have been partnering with them on blog content, radio interviews, and other fun media elements through which I have definitely reaffirmed my love for pies! So here are my favorite ways to make a pie really awesome for the holidays.
Fruit chew candy cut-outs make fun and colorful pie toppers. Whether done in the center, or all over, the simple candies give your pies a modern graphic punch while adding a sweet taste to the pieces as well. This is a project the whole family can jump into creating and enjoying.
To make the graphic cut-out topper you’ll need fruit chew candies and a pie. I love the look of this treatment on a Marie Callender’s Key Lime Pie, or the Marie Callender’s Mint Chocolate Chip for an outstandingly simple holiday display.
Unwrap the fruit candy chews and warm them up by rubbing gently between your hands, or setting in direct sunlight for a couple minutes. Roll the softened candies out and use a cookie cutter to cut the shapes to size.
Combine multiple candy designs of the same color to use with a regular sized cookie cutter for centering a pie – just kneed them together first. Or use individual candies with miniature cookie cutters put on repeat for a festive pie that everyone will love.
For leftover pies that your guests might want to take home, send them out into the snow with a collection of reindeer pie boxes. A sweet way to bid farewell from a holiday party. They’d also be a festive way to serve up pie at the table – one reindeer per plate, or place them all together with a bit of snow underfoot and these reindeer could almost catch some speed, unless they are gobbled up first.
To make the reindeer pie boxes, start with our printable pie box template. Print as many as needed on colorful holiday paper. Next cut out a set of antlers for each pie box and punch out a shiny metallic or red nose to top the boxes off.
Put the pie boxes together by folding up at the creases and gluing into place. Glue or tape the reindeer elements onto the boxes and fill with pies. Did you know pumpkin pie is the top-selling holiday pie this year, followed closely by pecan pie? With Marie Callender’s pumpkin pie, you are getting only the freshest real ingredients, like real pumpkin puree and a crust recipe that was passed down from Marie herself! Your family will love whichever pie you choose when presented in such a festive and fun loving way.
If you’ve been following along for a while, you will know that I am a sucker for sticking our family’s faces on things. I just LOVE how easy it can be to personalize anything from eggs, to balloons, to pies with a simple snapped pic!
To create these family memory pies I taped a layer of wax paper to regular printer paper (tape around all four side to prevent jamming the printer) and printed a family photo on it with our inkjet printer. Working carefully, cut the photo into a circle and place on top of any pie you choose for a pie that will be remembered. Just be sure to take the wax paper off before cutting into the pies.
There are many people hoping to remember someone during the holidays — a family member who could not make the trip home, a friend who is traveling afar, a member of your family who is no longer here. Honor their memory and make everyone at the table nostalgic with a photo print pie.
On the other hand; these would be absolutely hilarious to show off old family photos and jokingly laugh at the wild hairstyles and funky holiday pics from many years ago.
Lastly, a holiday pie that is perfect for taking into the office potluck, your friend’s dessert party, or the school office to say happy winter season! Start with Marie Callender’s Coconut Cream pie that comes with real coconut flakes and whip topping. Add even more whip topping + coconut to the top to create a snowy pie wonderland. I love adding the whip topping in large stacks to create snowy hills on the pies. Add in a few small cake decorating elements, like candy canes and miniature sleds for a seriously fun winter spread. A spring of evergreen (did you know evergreen is edible?) and some berries finishes the look off well.
Happy holidays and I hope these ideas will help you to create pretty desserts without all the work! With Christmas coming in just a week, it’s the time of year to give a little here and there. Allow yourself to pop the frozen pie in the oven, knowing that with the fresh ingredients inside, and your special touch on the outside, it will be perfect on the table.
You don’t need the juggling skills of a big-top performer in order to host a successful holiday gathering. Careful planning, time management and an eye for adding quick and easy ‘homemade’ touches will make your gathering one for the memory books, while still having plenty of time to enjoy the company of your guests. This holiday season, let Marie Callender’s arm you with everything from decorating tips for the home, to pie-serving tricks from the kitchen. We’ll show you our secrets to getting the homemade goodness your guests crave while spending less time in the kitchen and more time with family. To discover more secrets worth savoring, check out Marie Callender’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MarieCallendersMeals?ref=br_tf
Compensation was provided by ConAgra. The opinions and ideas are my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of ConAgra. Thanks so much for supporting our holiday sponsors!
(Photography © A Subtle Revelry by Jocelyn Noel).