I think we’ve all had just about enough of the cyclone bombs and polar vortices this year. It’s time for the fresh everything of spring! If you’ve been a follower of mine, you know that I have an unrelenting passion for sweets! I eat them, I gift them, I decorate with them, I eat them some more! And since I’m well acquainted with these delights, I thought I’d curate a list of the best new artisan confections and colorful spring sweets so you could do the same!
Start Your Day With A Morning Sugar Rush
Some people like bacon and eggs for breakfast. Some people do juices and smoothies. Since breakfast is my first opportunity to put sugar in my mouth, I tend to be more of a pancakes, scone, pastry kind of girl, which means that jams, marmalades, and preserves are sweets I have very strong opinions about! My thinking is, if you’re going to have a strong opinion about something, don’t have one about the dreadful state of politics, have one about fruit spreads… or burritos, or something important!
Ayako & Family specializes in heirloom plum varietal jams, plus they do seasonal jams like rhubarb, apricot, and quince. They own their own 25-acre organic farm in Washington and all of their fruit is hand-picked for their scratch-made Japanese style jams. If you can get your hands on the Water Balloon Plum Jam, do it! It tastes just like it looks, vibrant, fresh and sweet. This baby totally cries out to be slathered on biscuits and toast!
Anyone who adds booze to jam is going to get my HELLZZZ YEAH! seal of approval! Potlicker Kitchen in Vermont does just that with their line-up of beer and wine jellies! Apricot Ale Jelly? Do it! Rosemary Garlic Chablis? Yep! You put that one on chicken, potatoes, or glaze some carrots with it and all of your guests die and think they’ve gone to heaven! They also have flavors you won’t see anywhere else. Carrot Cake Preserves anyone? How ‘bout Cara Cara Smoked Maple Chipotle?!
Everyone knows fruit and cheese go together, right? Well, fruit preserves and cheese pair well also! The Spanish have been serving manchego with quince preserves for centuries. But what about other cheeses? Not sure what to spread on them? Blake Hill Preserves takes the guesswork out of pairing by creating fruit spreads that tells you exactly what cheese to pair them with right on the jar! Tart Cherries & Cardamom Port For Bleu Cheeses. Heirloom Apples With Maple Syrup for Cheddars. They have a dozen varieties of these spring sweets to choose from that you’ll definitely want to have for your next cheese platter.
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There’s Nothing More Colorful Than French Macarons
I love serving French Macarons at brunches and bridal showers because these gorgeous confections look so lovely, which means they can do double-duty as dessert and centerpiece. Stack them on a plate, add a few edible flowers, and voila, you have decor! High end grocery stores sometimes sell them in the bakery. And, Sshhhhh! Trader Joe’s sells a box of 12 in the freezer section that are unbelievably not too shabby!
I also love gifting macarons (as opposed to chocolate) because they’re just a little bit different and unexpected. Lette Macarons was started by Paulette Koumetz who now has six storefronts including their flagship store in Beverly Hills. Packaged in their beautiful signature box, they can ship to pretty much any place in the country.
Bottega Louie, a popular restaurant in Los Angeles for business meetings and celebrity sightings also has a bake shop that can ship gifts. While they don’t have an online store, they offer their catalogue of boxed gifts online (which includes their own chocolates and vintage confections) and take orders by phone.
Spring Sweets Hot From The Oven
As you probably already know, I love jazzing up store-bought items and calling them my own! Palmiers are a light, crunchy pastry/cookie that is made from puff pastry dough, which GAWD, NO! you don’t have to make on your own. Pick that stuff up in the freezer aisle of the grocery store, or order them on Amazon, and take it from there. These treats are wonderful brunch additions because they can be made sweet or savory (by adding herbs instead of baking spices for the savory version) and they work as an appetizer or bar food. This recipe for Spiced Orange Palmiers comes from Martha Stewart.
Also from Martha comes savory spring sweets in the form of Cornmeal, Cherry & White Chocolate Biscotti! They might not seem like your standard biscotti ingredients but OMG do these flavors blend perfectly together!
Looking for ways to use all of those gourmet jams we were talking about earlier? This new take on a thumbprint cookie puts them to good use! From Bon Appetit comes Roasted Almond Thumbprints, cookies that have the rich, nutty flavor of roasted almonds paired with the sweet flavors of your favorite fruit spread.
You know I’m a HUGE fan of using edible flowers for garnishes on cakes and pastries. Not long ago we featured mini-bundts and donuts finished with berries and blooms. These Floral Empire Biscuits (the name alone is awesome!) from Cut Out + Keep on Pinterest feature dried lavender, marigold and rose petals. More spring sweets that are perfect for baby and bridal showers!
Confections You Can Make At Home
Every year at the holidays you’ll see recipes for candied citrus peel and they always look really pretty, but I’m never quite sure how my friends will react when I hand them a bag or a jar of sugared lemon peels! Then, one day, I decided to make some and invite my girlfriends over for lemon martinis so that I could use ‘em as the garnish. They were a total hit! What’s the moral of the story? If you’re looking for a DIY gift idea, homemade citrus peel and a bottle of vodka totally kills it!
Feel free to use any kind of citrus. Blood orange, Meyer lemon, grapefruit, clementine, kumquat – they all work! This recipe from Martha Stewart will get you started.
Another way to serve candied citrus peel is to dip them in chocolate (OF COURSE!). Just use wider sized peels so they can lay flat for dipping and then sprinkle on some chopped nuts or cocoa nibs a la this recipe from The Spruce.
Don’t have it in you to peel fruit, boil, and shake in sugar? That’s okay. OliveNation will sell your theirs!
Confections Better Left To The Experts
Some spring sweets are too complicated to make. I mean, I’m a pretty good baker, but even I don’t have the patience to make Petit Fours. Thank GAWD there are places like Valerie Confections and even Amazon to make them for you! Petit Fours are a part of the afternoon tea tradition, but they’re also a beautiful addition to bridal and baby showers. Want to do a tea-party themed shower, here’s how!
Gourmet Marshmallows are another confection better left to the experts. Really. Truly. Don’t EVEN try making these on your own unless you want a giant sticky mess and even bigger headache! Mouse your way over to Three Tarts and fill up your shopping cart with fruity fluffy handcrafted marshmallows that come in flavors like Mango, Raspberry, Passion Fruit, Cinnamon, and Ginger Spice. This fabulous New York Confectionery is even beloved by Oprah, which means you can’t go wrong! They also offer cookies and tarts.
Last but not least, you know how I can’t say enough about edible flowers? Well, I can’t say enough! So, I’m gonna leave you with another bit about them! Global Sugar Art is a place that sells SUGARED flower petals you can use on your spring sweets for that extra special touch! I’m putting them under the category of better left to the experts because, well, they are!
I hope you find this curated list of goodies helpful for your spring entertaining. Don’t worry, we’ve got lots more ideas coming down the pike in the coming weeks! If you’re looking for other party tips and ideas, you’ll definitely want to check out our Super Secret Party Tips Guide! It’s FREE! My gift to you for being a loyal follower!
What are your favorite spring sweets to serve at parties? Let us know in the comments below!
Disclosure: The Party Goddess! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through an amazon.com link. However, these are all products I highly recommend and support!