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big batch of baked goods that can be made 2-3 days in advance?

Hi everyone--I'm hoping for advice about baked goods I might be able to make in advance as favors for a large event. I'm getting married this summer, and my future mother-in-law (who is from Maine, and is a staunch supporter of her state's agricultural products) wants to bring down small jars of Maine blueberry jam for our guests. I was hoping to box them up with some sort of baked good that people could eat, with the jam, as a quick breakfast the next morning. I made 50 little currant scones for a friend's party last year and remembered that the leftovers were quite tasty, so I got the idea (blame it on prewedding insanity) that I could make 300 little current scones by preparing the dough a week or so ahead of time and freezing it and then baking the scones a day or two in advance. Do you think the freezing will work? And is ~48 hours too long for scones to survive in decent shape? Of course, I would prefer to have them magically materialize in everyones' hotel rooms the next morning, warm from the oven (sigh...) If scones can't make it that long, can anyone suggest a recipe for something that would hold up better and would match well with the blueberry jam? (My mother-in-law's contribution is, as you may imagine, non-negotiable.) If baking in advance is a complete non-starter I can suck it up and get something from a bakery, but I figured even those would be at least 24 hours old by the time they were eaten and I was kind of looking forward to giving people something I had made myself....any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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  1. How about thumbprint cookies made with the jam or you could make rugelach with blueberry jam instead of apricots.

    1. OMG. Are you sure one or two days before your wedding you want to be baking 300 scones? I'm sure you'll get some valuable advice shortly, and I'm hoping someone assures you that they can be baked ahead and frozen. If so, I would suggest pre-packaging in vacuum sealed portions (2 or 3 or 4 or whatever you need per gift bag), if it won't look too tacky. Then beg freezer space from your friends and neighbors.
      I personally would not mind one bit seeing a lovely jar of jam and a vac-sealed bag of scone in a thoughtful gift bag.

      If you do decide to go the scone route, I'd suggest a lemon scone. Blueberries and lemon just seem a natural combination to me.

      Best wishes on the upcoming nuptuals!

      Edit: Most hotel rooms have microwaves. Most vac-seal bags are microwaveable. Guests could poke a few holes in the bag (you test drive this ahead of time and tell them how long), warm the scones up, and you get your wish of warm from the oven.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nemo

        I agree that it makes more sense to make them ahead of time and freeze them. And if you can vacuum pack them, all the better. Really, as nemo says, you don't want to be dealing w/ this right before your wedding. I basically baked/cooked a tea for 75 for my sister's wedding - she planned to help out a lot but, well, that didn't happen as she was all jittery. And, I think we made the scones two days ahead and stored in tins. Congratulations!

      2. I don't know if this makes thing more or less complicated for you but maybe your future MIL's jam could be featured elsewhere in the festivities? Often when family is coming from far and wide for a wedding, there is a goodbye brunch or gift opening the next day. Could the jam be worked in to the post-wedding get together or something like that? It'd be honouing her wishes and free you up to make whatever favor you like rather than having to match it to the jam....

        Whatever you decide will turn out beautifully I'm sure. Congratulations! :)

        1. I think that simple shortbread is lovely with jam! They are easy to make or cut out, and freeze well. Or peanut butter blondies? Or mini pound cakes? Madeleines? I don't know if these things are that much less labor intensize than scones, but scones tend to crumble easily and the other stuff is hardier. Congratulations!

          1. I agree that if you could bake them in advance and then freeze them it would be best. Have you thought about mini corn muffins? They go well with blueberry anything and would freeze well. You could use fancy muffin liners.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pcdarnell

              I like the muffin idea - corn muffins, or perhaps lemon poppyseed (to tie in the lemon someone mentioned above).
              I personally would likely pre-order them from a good bakery. There are so many relatives and friends visiting in the days before a wedding that really want to spend a little time with you - your time becomes pretty precious. If you can work in a special time with family as jenhen below did, then that would be great too.

            2. Well, let me tell you from experience - if you want to do it, GO FOR IT! I baked 80 individual cheesecakes, 160 snickerdoodles and 160 molasses crinkle cookies in the 3 days before my wedding as favors. The trick is to do a test run and have some help. My mom was invaluable to me, helping me pull this off. Basically, I ordered white cardboard boxes from the internet and punched holes in the top. I bought brown shreddings for filler and then put 2 of each cookie OR one individual cheesecake in each box and then tied them with ribbons and attached the recipe cards (they were made from me and my husband's grandmothers' recipes). Anyway, people loved them. I had a 3 person team (aunt, mom, brother) help with the assembly.

              Anyway, that said, I would suggest a muffin - perhaps lemon poppyseed. I think that would go great with the jam. If you need 300, that would be about 13 batches, so figure to bake the whole day 3 days before your wedding. Get up early and have all your ingredients ready. I would get those brown paper stand up muffin papers (from the internet or a baking upply store). Line up the papers on a sheet pan and then make a batch of mix. While the first batch bakes, you can start the second batch. It shouldn't take more than 10 hours to do them all, I don't think. So then, keep them out on the counter and the next day, get some friends over to box everything up. That night, take all the small boxes packed into a couple big boxes, and take them to the reception hall. They can store it in the walk-in fridge (you should call ahead to arrange), and will keep them there until they put them at the place settings or on the favor table on your wedding day. I think this will be a thoughtful and lovely gesture that everyone will enjoy. And a day of baking (if you're like me) can be a great stress reliever / distraction before the wedding. By the way, I did all my favors in a tiny NYC apartment with only a bar-sized sink, a junior-sized oven and a 250 square foot living room. It was a blast! I'd do it again in a second!

              1 Reply
              1. re: jenhen2

                Wow--you're an inspiration! Thanks for the great suggestions, everyone--I feel like I have a much better sense how this could work and I'm feeling motivated :) I'm hoping a day of baking will be a nice break from stressing about ridiculous wedding things :)

              2. One more thought - I'd do mini-loaf of a quick bread in a paper liner. If you can find the freezer space, you could probably package them and freeze them a week ahead and then just pull them out just far enough in advance for them to thaw.

                Or, if the idea of escaping to your kitchen a day or 2 before the wedding, at least it's something that keeps pretty well - 2 days probably would be ok.