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HELP: I love to bake, but my waistline doesnt!

Right now, I'm cooking for only 3 people, and really only 2 because one of them, a 15 yr old boy, has very infantile tastes, and likes nothing except chocolate chip cookies and white cake (which are both nice, but get old). I like to bake new things, muffins, cakes (with different flavors!), mousses, etc. Here's the problem, its always too much and we can't finish it all (okay we probably could, but we'd also have to get liposuction or something). What should I do? Any tips on what to do with leftover desserts or how to avoid leftovers? I love the look of layer cakes, but am now thinking I should halve all recipes/ quarter them to get single layers, or only 6 cupcakes.

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  1. I halve or even quarter recipes all the time. Some people will say you can't do so reliably with all recipes, but I have never had a problem.

    For layer cakes I will bake a sheet cake and cut it into small layers, or use small loaf pans. If you chill a cake well it's easy to cut. Or, if you know you will want to bake small layer cakes often you can buy small pans.

    Or, you can almost always freeze leftover desserts. Or give them to your nicest friends!

    1. Do you work in an office? Bring the extras in there...people in offices eat anything.

      6 Replies
      1. re: valerie

        This is what I do sometimes, but I do realize that those people also should not be eating so many baked goods either--if I worked with people who all ran marathons, no problem but 2 of them have had knee replacements, etc., and are already overweight...sheesh! So lots of times, I'll make a snack-size cake in 8x8x2" pan or in a loaf pan. Works for us!

        1. re: Val

          take the goodies to the nearest firehouse--those folks work out daily, and home cooked goodies is something they probably don't get often!

          I'm learning to make bread with the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes books and have taken quite a few loaves and rolls to the local fire stations.

          1. re: toodie jane

            That's an excellent idea todao!

            DH works with local law enforcement quite a bit so I've been sending baking with him to various detachments he visits... I shouldn't overlook our local volunteer fire dept.

            1. re: maplesugar

              Our rural CalFire crews work out seriously. They have to be exceptionally fit to work the steep backcountry terrain. And they are usually youngish guys w/o much experience cooking for themselves at their dorm. Breads go really well with all that chili they make!

            2. re: toodie jane

              A friend of mine volunteers as an auxiliary cop.. I've sent him with baked goodies to the precinct several times. Cookies and brownies and other 'pickup' items are usually the biggest hits.

            3. re: Val

              Yes, I find if I half a recipe meant for an 8x8 pan it fits nicely into a loaf pan. That is provided it's a recipe that takes well to being halved...just takes a little experimentation.

          2. I find a 7x11 inch pan more useful than an 8 or 9" square one. You get more edge area than on an 8", which is nice if you like edge pieces. Also, you can halve the cake to achieve a 5.5x7" two-layer cake. I also like mini-muffin tins - good for portion control and when you just want a few bites of something sweet. I routinely halve recipes with excellent results. You can freeze most cakes, but it may be easier to leave the half you're going to freeze unfrosted, freezing cake and frosting separately, then defrosting and assembling the day you're using them.

            1. I've started making one-bite/mini desserts rather than a whole cake/pie ...have one and freeze the leftovers. When I mix up a batch of cookie dough I bake off what I need then portion out the dough on a cookie sheet, wrap and freeze, once theyre frozen transfer to a ziploc bag.

              Another recipe that's easy to scale down are crumbles/crisps. I use whatever fruit is in season and top with a light sprinkle of granola. Hope that suits the rather picky teen, since it's pretty much like fruit pie... if you make it in individual ramekins his can be topped more traditionally.

              myrecipes.com has a lot of Cooking Light magazine recipes, (as well as Southern Living so be sure to search CL)if you're careful you can find desserts that are lighter in calories and fat.

              1. I have halved a layer cake recipe numerous times, just making one 8-in layer. Then I halve it and make half a layer cake. Much less that winds up in the garbage can (don't want to freeze it, because I limit my sweets and when I do want something home-baked, I'd rather indulge my fondness for baking than taking a piece out of the freezer).