Sure, scoop-your-own candy buffets are popular, and for good reason—who doesn't love something sweet at the end of the night? But if a color-coordinated candy spread is a bit cutesy for your tastes or just feels a little too "been there, done that," we've found the next big thing. Houston-based Michael's Cookie Jar creates gorgeously art-directed buffets that include handmade favorites like classic chocolate chunk cookies, lemon poppy shortbread, black-and-whites, and Mexican "wedding cakes."
Owner and pastry chef Michael Savino, formerly of the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston, sets up the buffet using his own collection of charmingly mismatched china cake stands, and provides bags so that guests can take the treats home. He can also create his signature "cookie cake" (pictured) by stacking hundreds of bite-size cookies on a custom-made stand. —Kimberly Forrest, Brides Houston