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Deciding on the best winter desserts typically involves the preferences of those who will be eating them, the availability of ingredients, and health considerations. In addition, winter desserts are often heavier than desserts served during other seasons. For many cooks, winter desserts represent an opportunity to bake without any concern for making a kitchen or home uncomfortably hot through the prolonged use of a hot stove. If you or your family are particularly fond of baked goods, you may wish to add cakes, cookies, and pies to your menu of cold-weather treats.
No matter what the season, you want to serve food that you enjoy preparing and that that your family and guests enjoy eating. While baked goods, rich puddings, and heavy sauces are often associated with winter desserts, ultimately you should select dessert items that are pleasing to your palate. Other things to consider include health issues that may affect what you and your family can eat. If you are concerned about preparing a healthful dessert for yourself or your family, talk to a dietitian about your health needs and ask for recipe suggestions.
Some fruits come into season during the winter and can be incorporated into your desserts. These fruits include grapefruits, mandarin oranges, and clementines, all of which are welcome additions to fruit salads. Serving these fruits can also reduce the calories in your winter menu and provide a lighter alternative to heavier desserts. Rhubarb is a vegetable that is also in season during winter and can be baked into pies and other flavorful winter desserts.
In many cultures, winter is a time of major holidays that often involve the preparation of large meals. If you celebrate these holidays, you may want to search for recipes for traditional winter desserts that are frequently served during these special meals. For example, those who celebrate Christmas may decide to serve specially shaped and decorated Christmas cookies throughout the holiday season.
If you have the time to cook, preparing winter desserts that require several steps, long baking periods, or the preparation of sauces can be much more manageable when it's cold outside. Not only will you be able to maintain the temperature of your home at a comfortable level, but your family and guests may appreciate hardier, richer desserts. It's also possible to bake various desserts during the winter and then carefully package and freeze them so that you will have them on hand when the weather turns warm.