Finger food desserts for 50 -- what's better than brownies?
Someone twisted my arm (not too hard) and so I have to provide 50 servings of dessert for an evening school fundraiser. I think there are 6-8 of us making 50 pieces of dessert each. I could make brownies and cut them into half or quarter servings, but that seems too easy. Definitely don't want to make cookies either -- there'll be plenty of those. Whatever it is needs to be able to sit at rom temperature for at least a couple of hours and not go soggy. I'd wanted to try mini ice-cream sandwiches or mini pavlovas but they're obviously out.
Anyone have any tried and true ideas? ...or recipes worth experimenting with?!
Here's my reliable recipe for Pecan Tartlets. I'm not a great person with dough, but this forgiving recipe always works for me with delicious results. In the South, these are called Pecan Tassies.
1 3 oz. package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sifted flour
Let cheese and pastry soften. Blend together. Stir in flour and chill dough 1 hour. Shape into 2 dozen balls (1-inch diameter). Place each ball of dough in the depression of an ungreased mini-muffin pan. Press dough agains bottom and sides to form pastry shell.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup coarsely broken pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat together egg, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Using half the pecans, place some nuts in each of the pastry shells. Add the filling and top each tartlet with some of the remaining pecans. Press the added pecans gently into the filling.
Bake tartlets in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool tartlets in pan. Remove.
This is my mother's recipe, but I haven't got a clue where she got it. Unfortunately, the opportunity to ask has passed. I know I've been using this recipe for at least 40 years and perhaps even longer. Pecan Tartlets/Tassies were simply a standard part of every cook's repertoire in that era, and I've never stopped making them.
When I have to make dessert for a crowd sometimes I like to make popcorn balls. I basically make rice krispies treats, but with popcorn instead of cereal. You can add in nutella, peanut butter, nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, sprinkles, etc. And you can put them on sticks from the craft store, or even use pretzel rods for sticks.
I would make chocolate truffles. For 50 would require about 150 truffles which would require about 6 pounds of chocolate...3 pounds for the genache and 3 pounds for dipping. Unless you have access to a tempering machine, I wouldn't dip them in chocolate. I would roll them in cocoa powder, chopped nuts, coconut or sprinkles. They would work well on lollipop sticks too. So you would only need 3 pounds of chocolate and 3 cups of cream. I would make them all 1 flavor genache because who needs the extra hassle.
Here is my recipe for the genache.
16 oz dark chocolate
7 oz cream
3.5 Tbls of butter
4 Tbls of liqueur*
1 Tbl of light corn syrup
* I use half Grand Marnier and half Ameretto. You could use either one or both.
1. Melt chocolate in microwave with 30 second bursts on level 8.
2. Heat cream in pot to about 180.
3. Combine cream, corn syrup, and chocolate and stir together until blended.
4. Add liqueur. Stir.
5. Let set until about 80 degrees.
6. Add butter 1 pat at a time
8. Allow to set up in refrigerator at least 2 hours.