The holiday-party season is upon us. Last week I shared some do-ahead appetizer recipes. This week we move on to the sweet part of the party.

I like to serve a selection of individual desserts. Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Ale Caramel is fun to make mini, presented in small martini glasses or espresso cups. Warm Orange & Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Cakes “in a Jar” with Orange Cream are excellent served right out of the oven — warm and gooey! And the best thing about both of these desserts is that all the components can be done ahead.

Put out some holiday cookies, coffee and liqueurs, and you have a sweet finish for your festive gathering.

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Kathy Casey is a chef, mixologist and entertaining expert and the host of Find more recipes at or Tweet @kathycaseychef.