Skip dinner and go straight to dessert with a menu inspired by pastry master (and Top Chef Just Desserts winner) Yigit Pura
His recipes, made for an after-hours gathering at his San Francisco patisserie, Tout Sweet, also break with the holiday's staple flavor--chocolate--for the bright tastes of winter citrus paired with comforting creamy textures. The desserts are layered with sophisticated flavors, but require no pastry chef-level skills. And many of the elements can be prepared ahead of time, making the party even easier to pull off than a dinner, "when so much cooking happens right at the end," says Pura.
When planning, Pura's rule of thumb is three desserts per person--"at an absolute minimum," he says. "For this kind of party, you want to caution on the side of abundance."
Info: Tout Sweet Pâtisserie, third floor of Macy's, Union Square, 170 O'Farrell St., San Francisco; toutsweetsf.com