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Desserts for Kids and Adults

We're going over to a friend's house for dinner this weekend. We volunteered to bring dessert. The friends have a 3 year old and a 6 year old.

What type of dessert would you suggest for this event? I'm looking for something fairly easy to make and something that would appeal to young kids and to adults. I would prefer to make something with chocolate.


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    1. This chocolate mousse cake is really easy and tastes great:


      1. Really good brownies with a powdered sugar dusting are tough to beat if you're after chocolatey, easy, delicious and universal appeal. You can always gussy them up with some fresh berries and a coulis or something if you feel like it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: fern

          I agree. Really good brownies are easy to transport and sure to be a hit with kids and adults. Don't put nuts in them. Many kids hate nuts.

        2. We all love chocolate fondue. Super easy to make and if you don't have a fondue pot, you can use two pans or even cook in microwave. Make some rice krispy treats and get some bananas and strawberries and everyone will be happy.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cheesy Oysters

            Imho (mother of three ages 22m, 3&1/2 and 6) chocolate fondue will likely lead to messy hands, hair, clothes, etc. I love fondue, I don't love the mess. I like the brownie suggestion. My kids love brownies, blondies and chocolate chip cookie sandwiches...they love chocolate pudding too but that's something that only gets served when I expect to have to immediately march them upstairs for a bath...something hard to do when there's company. :)

            1. re: Cheesy Oysters

              I think fondue's a great idea!!
              I used to have parties in my college dorm room where I'd make fondue in a hotpot and ask everyone to bring 'dippables'. Besides fruit, crackers, cakes, and pretzels all dip well.
              Maplesugar is quite right that it can get very messy with little ones. I only have one little guy (he's 5) so can take the mess as a cost of his having great fun. Most little ones love mess, and chocolate, and will love the "experiment" that dipping will be for them. You know your friends and can judge how they're likely to respond. Or you can always run it by them, giving them a chance to set up a fondue station if they were planning to have the rest of the meal with good linens.

            2. Okay, this is not chocolate, but I think it would be a total hit with your crowd. Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding is a 5-star recipe from Paula Deen. Do make it exactly per her directions. I tried to lighten it a bit once using lower fat products and it just wasn't the same.


              I do agree that brownies would be good for all. I'd take vanilla ice cream for the kids and pick another flavor more adult type like coffee, dulce de leche, etc. for the more adventuresome.

              1 Reply
              1. re: happyhomemaker

                I totally agree with Paula's Banana Pudding. Last time I made it adults were running their fingers through the empty bowl.
                Love the brownie idea, but I would make blondies. Chocolate in the evenings always gave my little ones digestive problems that I had to clean up.

              2. Big ol' cream puffs filled with chocolate cream or ice cream. As a kid, there was no dessert I relished more than mom's homemade cream puffs.

                1. Wow - lots of great suggestions here - making me hungry!

                  I frequently serve warm-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies for dinner parties at our house. The adults Mmmmmmm and sigh and the kids happily inhale as many cookies as they can get away with. You can make the dough balls at home. Just bring the dough, a cookie sheet, spatula, and cooling rack to make things easy. If you don't mind using their oven for ~15 minutes, it's a sure hit.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jvozoff

                    Was thinking the same thing . For extra decadence could bring a couple flavors of gelato and make cookie ice-cream sandwiches. A bit messy but nothing most kids won't inhale.

                    Also, agree with the comment about no nuts (unless you know the kids will eat them)-- I'm a fan but BB jr will spend ages picking them out of any dessert that contains them unless their ground up like flour and he doesn't know they're there. Nut allergies are a whole other issue -- one that we don't have to worry about thank god.

                    If you're making choc chip cookies you could always do half with and half without as they're easy to add at the end.

                  2. Cupcakes! These black bottom cupcakes from the Joy of Cooking site were mentioned in a post a while back - I made them for a get-together w/kids and adults and they were gobbled up w/RAVE reviews. I bake all the time and these have been the biggest, most consistent hit in a long time. I'm making them for an adults and kids party this weekend, in fact - they were specifically requested. I do them w/a simple buttercream frosting . . . .


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: gansu girl

                      This was what I was gonna suggest... kids love having a whole dessert to themselves. And, to be different, split the frosting, and add Bailey's to the frosting for the adults... :)

                      1. re: Emme

                        Along the same line that kids love to have their own individual dessert before them...
                        Molten chocolate cakes. The batter is dead easy and you can prepare it and pack it into a container, then once there bake them in individual foil cups or a muffin tin, they only take 12 minutes in a 350 oven (you could even use a toaster oven). Serve with whipped cream and walnuts or cherries for the adults. Kids especially are blow away by this dessert.

                    2. I'd go with a trifle....chocolate or fruit, yummy for all ages, and looks great!

                      1. I have 5 year old twins and an almost 2 year old-- we tried fondue with the twins-- a big mess.
                        We love anything with ice cream, brownies, cookies, cupcakes. make your own sundaes is always great. Bring the ice cream, one or two toppings, whipped cream and sprinkles. everyone will be happy.

                        1. This is my husband's favorite dessert, and my nieces and nephews love it too:

                          Chocolate Eclair Pie

                          1 box graham crackers
                          1 small box INSTANT french vanilla pudding (regular vanilla is fine too)
                          2 cups milk
                          1 small container Cool Whip, thawed completely
                          1 carton chocolate icing

                          Mix milk and pudding according to package directions. Add entire container of Cool Whip and blend well. Place graham crackers on the bottom of a deep baking dish (like a lasagna pan), filling in all the spaces with broken pieces of cracker. Pour half of pudding mixture over graham crackers. Put a second layer of graham crackers. Top with remaining pudding. Add a third layer of graham crackers. Remove entire foil top of icing and microwave icing for 45 seconds. Stir and pour over top of graham crackers. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. This is always better the second day!

                          1. If you have access to their oven, bake a hot fudge cake (recipe below) during dinner. It's magic: thick batter spread into the bottom of a pan, sprinkled with brown sugar, then boiling water poured over the whole thing *without stirring* The whole mess is put in the oven as is, and when you pull it out, a chocolate cake layer has risen to the top, and a layer of thick chocolate sauce has pooled underneath. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

                            2 c flour
                            4 tsp baking powder
                            1 1/2 c sugar
                            1/2 c cocoa
                            1 c milk
                            4 Tbsp melted butter
                            1 1/2 c chopped nuts

                            Mix everything--will be thick. Spread into a 13x9. Top with:

                            1 1/2 c brown sugar
                            1/2 c cocoa

                            Mix and sprinkle evenly over the top.

                            Pour 3 1/2 c boiling water over the whole thing--don't stir. I find it easiest to put the pan onto a pulled-out oven rack, then pour on the water and carefully slide the rack into the oven.

                            Bake 40 - 45 min at 350.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Erika L

                              Wow -- that sounds pretty yummy. Do you know what kind of cocoa? Dutch process or the other kind?

                              1. re: bite bite

                                I've had this recipe since college (the Carter administration!), when there wasn't a distinction between cocoas (or, at least none that a beginning cook noticed). I've always just used what's in my pantry, and I know I've had both kinds are various times. So I think it's safe to say that either kind will work in this recipe.

                              2. re: Erika L

                                This sounds awesome! I tried a gingerbread pudding cake at Christmas (bon appetit or gourmet, don't remember which). It followed the same batter-sugar-water formula, and was a huge hit. Yours is definitely going to get a shot-mmmmmmmm!!!!!

                              3. I second brownies. Serve them as plain squares for the kiddies, and top them with salted butter caramel sauce and toasted nuts for the adults.

                                1. these are easy and amazingly good, I had a grown man moaning in my office as he ate a few of these - it was quite surreal actually...anyway, they are best at room temp! i've made them with peanut butter cookies as well but the oreos are the best!


                                  1 Reply
                                  1. Thank you all for your advice. I ended up making sugar cookies with M&Ms. But, right after I baked the cookies, the family called me to cancel the dinner b/c of a family emergency. So next week, I'll probably do this again!