Our company will be hosting a smallish (about 25 adults/kids) picnic next month and we are looking for some dessert options. We will not have access to a kitchen but will have coolers available. I want something a little different, I know that I can run to the market to purchase ice cream and or cookies but don't really want to. Looking for a recipe that will appeal to kids and adults that while simple to prepare will be yummy and memorable. Thanks for any ideas.
In my mind, picnic desserts = cookies or the ubiquitous fruit salad. I would suggest some fruit salad for the folks who don't want processed sugar, and some cookies for those who want a treat. You can do platters of assorted cookies (lemon bars, brownies, blondies, etc). There are many different levels of cookies, procure some from a gourmet bakery and they won't resemble the pedestrian kind at all.
re: Diane in Bexley
Agree on the fruit salad. Perhaps with minted grapes as a "topper". Mix up some lime juice, honey, and dried (or fresh) mint to taste, and marinate green grapes in them until ready to serve. Spoon a bit over the top of small bowls of fruit. The lime and mint add a nice fresh flavor to "just fruit salad", IMO.
Cobblers and crisps are easy to store and transport, easy to make, and are amazing when you find a really good recipe. I'm also really fond of this recipe for chocolate sheet cake with a chocolate/pecan glaze/frosting on top:
She also has other really good and usually pretty easy recipes.
I love the cobblers too, great idea.
I did one picnic with a custard and fresh fruit. The best was I found these great little cups with lids. Single servings. Just at a party store. Cheap and so easy to fill with individual fruit and custard. They can stack in a cooler and completely disposable. Just take plastic spoons.
I also love my brownie cups. I used the same little cups and cut up brownies, mixed with nuts (you can make some with and some without), some fresh strawberries and mascarpone flavored with just honey. Layer like a parfait. It holds up well, tasty and you can take some extra chocolate syrup to drizzle over the top and a ziploc of cherries for the kids ... adults too.
Just fruit salad is always good, but to me more to go with the main course rather than desert if possible. But I do love it.
Grilled peaches or pineapple and pears or papaya are all great. On small skewers, quick serve with a quick raspberry sauce or yogurt or honey sauce. 2-3 piece of fruit on the skewer. Grill a couple of minutes and serve. They are a lot of fun and can all be made ahead. Grilled pound cake cubes on a skewer of great served with a fruit dipping sauce. The sauce can be warm or cold. Just heated in a simple disposable aluminum pan for just a minute if you want. You can also do a chocolate sauce. Make it ahead heat it if you want or not. Also fun for kids and adults. And nothing melts in the sun or get gooey.
How about do a variety of dessert bars: lemon bars, cheesecake brownie bars, raspberry bars, rocky rod bars or blondies (for those who want a twist on cookies)
if you bring fruit salad, you could also bring some crepes (home-made or store-bought) along with some nutella or chocolate or caramel sauce
gramercy tavern gingerbread does well at every temperature and every affair...
will echo the suggestion of bars -- brownies or nonaimo or seven layer bars...