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Sep 30, 2012 12:11 PM

Need small finger desserts for a crowd

I'm organizing a dessert reception for the alumni and trustees at my kids' school. They're expecting about 100 people. I'm thinking I'll need about 400 small pieces as the guests will all be well-fed at the luncheon immediately preceding this.

Usually, the person who does this buys mini eclairs, etc., from a wholesale club, but I'd like to throw in some homemade desserts as well. I have someone making Nick's Supernatural Brownies, but would like 4 or 5 more homemade items to supplement the boring store-bought goodies.

Any suggestions/recipes for desserts that can be made in large quantities, don't require a spoon or fork (little paper or foil cups are fine) and can be frozen?

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    1. Small little pie tarts would be nice and are easy to make.

      1. Although I've never done it, a quick Chowhound search says that lemon curd freezes fine. Also lasts in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

        I love lemon curd and blueberries together. Maybe get those little frozen phyllo cups, put a spoonful of lemon curd in the bottom, top with blueberries. Since they're out of season, I'd get frozen ones and make a thick sauce. A little dollop of that over the curd and you've saved yourself the glazing step that you would have had with fresh berries.

        Alternatively, lemon bars cut into one-bite pieces. Either of these in paper cups.

        Some kind of bark? I don't know that that freezes, but I would think it would keep for at least a week in an airtight container. Candy makers can chime in on that.

        I wonder if tassies freeze? Sorry, I'm not being of more help on that question. I'm just trying to think of chocolate, fruity, lemon, a variety of offerings.

        Seasonally, depending on where you are, something pumpkin? Tiny pumpkin whoopie pies come to mind, but while the cookies should freeze fine, you might have to do the filling at the last minute, and I'm not sure how that factors into your timing.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nemo

          Yes, I was thinking of lemon bars, too. They are my go-to dessert for a potluck or crowd, and they are always gobbled up. I use the "lemon curd squares" recipe from my 1970s edition of "Joy of Cooking". My only adjustment is that I simply use the zest and juice of a whole lemon for each batch, rather than fussing with their measurements. I make them the night before, since they seem to transport better if they've chilled overnight in the fridge.

          1. re: nemo

            The only downside with bark is that in lower temps (like the freezer and some fridges) the chocolate will oxidize and discolor. Although it doesn't affect the taste, it may put some people off.

          2. Homemade nut butter cups(peanut, almond, cashew), or tri- level brownies. Its a oatmeal type bottom, brownie middle, and chocolate icing top.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mariars

              Love homemade PB cups, but to make them in really high quantity by hand can sort of be a PITA...

            2. Two that never get left over at my parties: pecan tassies, and mini cupcakes. I make both chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, and both chocolate and vanilla frosting. Then I frost half of each kind with some of each frosting. With a pastry bag and a star tube, it takes no time at all, and looks lovely.