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Dessert Help

I have been invited to an annual dessert party. We are new to the neighborhood, and I am looking to make a good impression.I am an excellent baker, but am at a loss for what to bring. I want a wow factor, that also tastes great. It would help if I could bring 'bite sized' treats, because they are easier to grab and eat. (Sometimes cutting, and serving can get messy.) If it is fabulous, and delicious, I would be willing to make anything. Please, I need your guys help.

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  1. Napoleons are always fun because they look so impressive and seem difficult to make, but if you're a baker they probably won't phase you in the least. For bit size ones you could make them 1/2 of the size you normally would. If you have access to late-season fruit at a farmers market that would be even better. I'm not sure what your tastes are, but here's a whole slew of ideas from Epicurious:

    http://www.epicurious.com/tools/searc...

    1. Mini creampuffs.....mini cheesecakes....mini cupcakes filled with fruit.....mini something! :-)

      1 Reply
      1. re: AlaskaChick

        I am so into cupcakes these days, and they're very well received (word seems to be cupcakes are now "hot". And fruit desserts while they're in season I think are always a crowd pleaser.
        I've been making fresh peach cupcakes -- best w/ a marscapone frosting, but cream cheese, butter, confectioner's sugar & vanilla passes. At a dessert party, people will think the fruit cupcakes are (almost) nutritious!

      2. Macarons. Mini tarts - blueberry buttermilk, or pear frangipane.

        1. Nothing says "welcome" to me like a homemade chocolate cake. I suggest Cooks Illustrated's version. It's rich, delicious, and everybody loves a chocolate cake!

          1. Tres leches cake with macerated berries on the side. It's cool and refreshing. Or, the Elvis cake. When I bring either to a gathering, people can't get over how good they both are.

            http://www.foodaphilia.com/2007/07/el...

            You can do either as a cupcake if you want individual sized desserts.

            1. Hi sunangelmb,

              You HAVE TO HAVE TO make these cupcakes pops! I saw that on the Martha Stewart's show (it's not her recipe but from a guest), but they look SO cute and will definitely "wow" your guests. If you are an excellent baker, I bet this recipe is super easy for you. It's all about presentation.

              You should also watch the video in the link:
              http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/c...

              1. I would think of making baklava using real butter of course, and either toasted almonds or pistachios, and putting a slice each of lemon and orange and a few whole cloves and a cinnamon stick in the honey-sugar syrup, for extra flavor...then cutting it in small pieces and putting each bit in a bonbon cup to collect the sweet drippy juice. Actually the bonbon cups or mini cupcake cups wouldn't be a bad idea with other suggestions made, like little creampuffs or frangipane tarts. Knock 'em dead.

                1. Buckeyes are always popular.

                  1. OK I have decided on mii cupcakes, and found so many delicious recipes. Here are my options I am going to choose 2. I think the first 2 are my favorite (has anyone made lavendar cupcakes, are they yummy?)

                    Lavender Cream Filled Cupcake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting
                    Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache
                    Key Lime Macademia Nut cupcakes
                    Lavendar pink grapefruit frosted cupcakes
                    Mint Cream Filled Cupcakes with Raspberry Mousse Frosting (these also sound awesome)
                    Carrot Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Carrot Sprinkles (my kids love carrot cake)
                    Devil’s Food Cupcake with Chocolate Buttercream
                    Melt in Your Mouth Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Cream
                    Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
                    Sweet & Salty Honey Peanut Cupcakes
                    Chocolate Cupcakes Stuffed with Strawberry Chocolate Ganache and Frosted with Chocolate Glaze and Buttercream

                    So, which 2 do you all vote for?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: sunangelmb

                      I LOVE lavender desserts of all sorts. But that being said, I would only bring them to a dessert party with the right crowd, or they end up getting ignored as "weird."

                      I would vote for the mint cream with raspberry and the sweet and salty honey peanut. These are off the beaten path, but still pretty mainstream flavors.

                      1. re: sunangelmb

                        If it were me, I'd probably go with carrot ginger and peanut butter chocolate. Both are familiar flavors for people who may not be as adventurous an eater as you are, but done right, they would still have the "wow" factor.

                        1. re: sunangelmb

                          If you don't know your audience's palette, I'd go w/ carrot cupcakes, and how about a "hunk of burnin' love cupcake"? A real party cake!
                          http://whatdidyoueat.typepad.com/what...

                          1. re: sunangelmb

                            Well, if youre going for cupcakes a couple of my favorite flavor combinations are:
                            Lavender and honey (wildflower honey to be exact)
                            Earl Grey and orange/ grapefruit
                            Pistachio and rose
                            Cardamom and orange

                            One on the list I do a lot is carrot cake (with golden raisins and a hint of orange) with a good cream cheese frosting and canided carrot curls.

                            Someone else said tres leches... love it! I make mine super light with lots of whipped egg whites in the batter and a whipped cream frosting.

                            Good luck! Remember its 1/2 about presentation!