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Logistical Advice for a 2-Day Baking Spree

Pei Aug 18, 2009 10:32 AM

I'm in charge of desserts for a large bridal shower, so I'll be baking most of this Friday evening and part of Saturday morning. Given the things I need to bake, how would you schedule the logistics so everything's as fresh as possible?

-chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow frosting
-currant scones with whipped honey butter
-cream puffs filled with strawberry whipped cream

I'm definitely baking the cupcakes Friday night and letting them cool overnight before frosting them. I'll also make the whipped butter Friday night. I'm going to fill the cream puffs and frost the cupcakes in the morning, and head to the shower around noon to help set up (party starts at 2).

Now the parts I'm not sure about:

Cream puffs: I need the shells to be cool before I fill them, so should I bake them the night before? Or will they really suffer from being kept overnight?

Scones: I was thinking about baking them until they are done but not golden around the edges. There's an oven at the shower which I can use to finish them off so they are warm when the shower starts. Is that a good idea, or should I really bake them that morning?

I'd really appreciate any advice about how to front load my baking so I'm not going nuts Saturday morning, and also advice on how to best reheat my scones.

  1. c
    coolfoodie Aug 18, 2009 10:41 AM

    Consider freezing the formed scones and baking them entirely at the shower.

    Cream puffs will be soggy if you make it the night before. So, consider completing the cupcakes on Friday night and doing the cream puffs entirely on the morning of the shower.

    Good luck - I think you have an ambitious schedule. Any chance someone else could do one of the items?

    7 Replies
    1. re: coolfoodie
      Pei Aug 18, 2009 10:48 AM

      I was actually wondering if the shells for the cream puffs could be made the night before, and filled Saturday morning. Or will they turn hard or soggy overnight even without filling?

      If the cupcakes cool in time I'll frost them Friday. But nothing's worse than a weepy cupcake!

      I could definitely freeze the scones and bake them at the shower. Does that typically yield a fluffier, moister result than reheated scones? If there truly won't be a difference between frozen and fresh, I could make these Thursday night and freeze them until Saturday morning, saving myself even more time.

      I have a friend/helper/savior coming over Friday night and Saturday morning to help out, so I hope the two of us will be okay.

      1. re: Pei
        iluvcookies Aug 18, 2009 11:15 AM

        Your cream puff shells will likely be fine overnight if not filled. Loosely cover at room temp and fill just before serving.

        1. re: iluvcookies
          TorontoJo Aug 18, 2009 02:34 PM

          You can bake the cream puff shells, then freeze them overnight. Just thaw them before filling and you can "freshen" them up in the oven for 5 minutes if you want to guarantee that they will be crisp. I've had better success with this method over freezing the dough, then baking.

        2. re: Pei
          chowser Aug 18, 2009 02:41 PM

          You can also partially bake the scones (bake until just before it starts to change color), freeze and finish the morning of. Make sure to cool completely.

          With the cupcakes, if the frosting is firm enough, I'd frost ahead of time because that helps prevent drying. Or, if it is weepy, do a quick crumb coat. And, use tin cupcake paper. There's so much surface ratio on a cupcake that I find it dries quickly. If you don't frost Friday, make sure to cool and cover well but don't leave them out overnight to cool.

        3. re: coolfoodie
          s
          silvergirl Aug 18, 2009 11:16 AM

          I've read that choux can be prepared then frozen and cooked from frozen if stored airtight. I haven't actually done it though.

          1. re: silvergirl
            Pei Aug 18, 2009 01:58 PM

            I have frozen bags of prepared balls of choux, then baked them from frozen. I don't know if they just suffer from being frozen, or if I left them in the freezer for too long (a few weeks), but they weren't nearly as good. They're still fine, there's just something about them that isn't as, well, fresh tasting. Which is why I'm afraid to do the same to scones.

            1. re: Pei
              TorontoJo Aug 18, 2009 02:37 PM

              You'll be fine with baking your scones ahead of time, freezing, then finishing them in the oven. As I just wrote above, baking then freezing gets you much better results than freezing the dough, then baking.

        4. Pei Aug 18, 2009 09:46 PM

          Thanks everyone! I think the revised schedule is:

          -bake scones Wednesday or Thursday, making sure to take them out of the oven while still pale, then freeze. Make honey butter
          -bake cream puff shells, and bake and frost cupcakes Friday night
          -make strawberry whipped cream filling Saturday morning and put it in a pastry bag with coux-filling tip
          -heat scones at the shower and delegate the task of filling cream puffs to some able individual.

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