Charcuterie boards are so 2019. This year calls for something a little more dramatic. A caloric cornucopia of treats designed to be enjoyed DIY style at your leisure. Something salty mixed with something sweet, preferably cold and made with cream. What is this unicorn of a dessert concept? It’s Jeni’s Sundae Board, the sweetest thing to come out of 2020.
Here’s the scoop (see what I did there?): Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream has basically flip-flopped the ever-popular charcuterie board concept and swapped out the salted and cured meats for her delicious ice cream and all the fixin’s. And this genius idea is right on time for Thanksgiving dinner.
Sure, you could roll out the obligatory pumpkin pie. That’s fine. But why not dazzle your guests (be it just your immediate family or a handful of socially distanced friends) with a banging sundae board filled with all manner of toppings to sink your teeth into? I mean, let’s be real. Ten bucks says the pilgrims would have preferred this over the handful of gooseberries they likely munched on that fateful day.
The way to knock this showstopper out of the park is to take your cues from the ice cream queen herself. Bauer tells Romper that the way to really wow your Thanksgiving guests with this dessert is to start with a big board for serving. A sundae board really is a feast for the eyes so you want your board to be a statement making size.
Once you’ve got that in hand, pick your serving utensils. “I love trading scoopers for cheese knives. It’s easier to portion and serve that way. Plus, it gets the ice cream into character—think of the ice cream like cheese on a cracker, just spread it on a cookie!” says Bauer. She uses cute small dishes to put toppings in and places them along the board for dramatic effect.
You can also approach your ice cream choices the same way you’d think about a cheese board. “You want something lighter, something heavier, and then something seasonal or that pairs well,” she says. “If it’s Thanksgiving, I’d sub it Pumpkin Cake Roll and/or Middle West Whiskey & Pecans. Three is a good number. That'll serve 12 people and then some. Three is a good number. That'll serve 12 people and then some.”
As for the accoutrements, that’s entirely up to your taste. You can splurge on fancy candies or just raid your pantry. “From here it’s all about filling out your board with flavors, textures, and colors. The more colorful, the better,” says Bauer. Her suggestion? Include something crunchy and salty like popcorn or nuts, sweet candies or dried fruits, smoked almonds, white and dark chocolate pieces, chocolate crackle cookies, white chocolate bombshell, and pomegranate seeds. And don’t forget Jeni's Extra Bitter hot fudge!