4 Last-Minute Yummy Christmas Treats For Noche Buena

christmas cheddar star for Noche Buena Photo credit: cabotcheese.coop

So you’ve brought everyone together in one room after sending invitations, and prepared the gifts you’ll be giving your loved ones this Christmas. Everything seems to be ready, and the only thing you’re waiting for are your guests. And then you realized, you missed out on ordering an important Christmas treat. Yikes.

But, don’t worry since it happens to most of us. It’s perfectly normal to get so caught up in getting everyone together and Christmas shopping for the perfect presents that there are things that will be left forgotten. If you’re in a rush and urgently need to prepare food to serve, here are a few last-minute Noche Buena recipes for you.

Cheese Platter

Cheese platter with assorted cheeses served as an appetizer with water biscuits and wheat crackers on a buffet table Photo credit: freefoodphotos.com

You don’t really have to cook anything, but that’s exactly the point! This would make great as an appetizer, or if coupled with pandesal, can make a great midnight snack together with hot choco.

Ingredients:

  • Queso de Bola
  • cheddar cheese
  • blue cheese
  • fruits (grapes, sliced oranges)
  • jams and marmalades
  • crackers

Instructions:

  1. The trick to a good cheese platter is to mix it up. Slice eight cubes from each of the cheeses you prepared and put them on the platter with matching labels.
  2. Put jams and marmalades of different flavors in sauce bowls and serve together with the platter of cheese. You can go for strawberry jams, blueberry jams, and even your favorite marmalades.
  3. Prepare orange slices and a 10-20 pieces of grapes. Prepare 8-10 pieces of crackers, and serve together with the cheese and jams.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

whole wheat pancakes Photo credit: deliciouslyorganic.net

These don’t sound like they belong on the Noche Buena menu, but you can’t deny that pancakes can easily soothe the soul and make for a heartwarming meal. These pancakes are also smaller than your palm, making them a treat that’s fun to munch on. Match this with sliced ham or even hotdogs and you’re good to go!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, butter, and beat until well-blended.
  3. Pour the contents of the smaller bowl over the dry ingredients and whisk until they’re incorporated.
  4. Heat a non-stick griddle to medium heat. Spread butter over the hot griddle.
  5. Scoop tablespoonfuls of the pancake batter and pour into the griddle. Cook until the pancakes start to form bubbles and dry up around the edges. Flip and cook for another minute until golden brown.
  6. Serve with butter and syrup.

Quick Bruschetta

bruschetta Photo credit: olivegarden.com

With this recipe, you can have a mouthwatering appetizer ready in ten minutes. Whether it’s for a party that’s happening tonight, or for a simple dinner that’s happening tomorrow and you have no time to shop, bruschettas are usually a go-to staple when it comes to delighting guests’ palates. This recipe serves up to 30 people.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups finely chopped Roma tomatoes, seeds removed or 1 can (28 ounces) petite diced tomatoes, well drained
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tub (8 ounces) cream cheese with herbs
  • 1 baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick, brushed with olive oil and toasted (or if you don’t have a baguette, sliced toasted bread)
  • Italian parsley leaves or minced fresh parsley

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, mash the garlic and salt into a paste. Mix in the tomatoes, oil, cheese, sugar, pesto and pepper.
  2. Spread cream cheese on each slice of bread and top with the Bruschetta mixture. Top with parsley.

Extra Special Mango Float

extra special mango float Photo credit: pinterest.com

When you’re really pressed for time, this recipe is a foolproof way to delight your guests – whether they’re kids or adults. Ideally, you whip this mango float up at least a few hours before serving so that you can refrigerate it, then serve it at the end of a meal for dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 2 half pints of whipping or heavy cream, chilled  
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk, or to taste
  • 3/4 – 1 cup  mango puree
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon, vanilla extract
  • 3-4 mangoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 pack Graham crackers  
  • 6 tablespoons sliced almonds (divided into three)

Instructions:

  1. Beat the cream in a mixer on high speed until the mixture thickens. This will take about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and stir in condensed milk.
  2. Add vanilla extract and mango puree. Add honey to adjust the sweetness to your liking.
  3. Lay out the graham crackers at the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish. Ideally, your dish should be okay to freeze. Fill the entire bottom layer with Graham crackers.
  4. Spread ⅓ of the cream mixture on top of the Graham crackers.
  5. Arrange mango slices on top of the cream. Sprinkle the almonds on top.
  6. Repeat procedure until the glass dish is full. You can add as many Mango slices as you want.
  7. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least two hours.

Serving amazing treats for your Noche Buena at the last minute may seem like a very challenging task, but it is completely doable – so long as you focus! But if you’re on a rush and can’t find the time to make these treats yourself, you may want to consider hiring a catering service instead to help you out. That way, you can focus on entertaining your guests instead! Log on to Gawin Direct, select from the pre-designed packages and hire a top-rated caterer at fixed, affordable prices!


written by Bea Luna