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Mar 30, 2013 04:48 PM

Dessert/Baked Goods that can be left out

I want to start a little custom in my house where there is always a little confection/sweet available for eating. Part of that is at least in theory so that when you have something always available to you don't over eat because you know it will always be there. At first whatever is baked will get gobbled up but over time it will be reasonably munched on.

Now this can be achieved by always having something in the fridge, but I want to take it a step further and have it always be out in everyone's face.

Im thinking of getting one of those fancy glass serving plates that raised off the counter with a matching lit cover to keep out the bugs, it probably has a name but I don't know it, it looks like it can fit a nice sized cake exactly.

So can it be done and if so what would be the restrictions. And suggestions would be appreciated.

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  1. My sister does that exact thing - with the same plate. She calls it her "Magic Cake Plate".

    She makes batches of brownies, cupcakes or cookies and frosts the cupcakes to go in the cake plate, and freezes the rest. Every couple of days, she takes out an assortment of the frozen ones, frosts the cupcakes, and puts them in the Magic Cake Plate.
    Meanwhile, she's making another batch of some other baked goods, and freezes some of those. When we go to visit, she may have 4 different desserts in the dish, all taste delicious, and the texture is still just fine.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jmcarthur8

      Thanks for some suggestions, but could you let me know how long it takes for her to put a new batch out. That'll help me because if she and her company finishes batches of sweets daily then there not hanging around day after day. And that basically my question.

      What are the limitations on leaving baked goods out all the time. I read somewhere custard based pies need to be refrigerated. Now does that mean any baked good with eggs in it needs to be refrigerated.

      I'm thinking of having mostly pies as the centerpiece sweet. As one gets eaten I bake another and I figure as soon as everyone gets used to there always being a pie, brownie, muffin, whatever there, say a pies worth will start to take two or three days to get finished. Is this too long to leave a pie out.

      For example I'd like to make shoofly pie and that has an egg as an ingredient, can that be left out and if so for how long. I'm sort of looking for general rules here.

      1. re: FooDeeLee

        It's all about the relative moisture and sugar content of the finished product. The less moisture and/or more sugar something has, the less hospitable it is to molds and bacteria either looking for a home or already present and looking to grow. So a custard pie not only has eggs, but is very moist, probably only a moderate percentage of sugar, plus dairy that could turn sour. A shoofly pie has eggs, but a lot more sugar and no dairy, so a shoofly pie will be less hospitable to bacteria. A typical cookie is fairly dry and high sugar, and will keep very well. Most candies are mostly sugar, even a soft chewy caramel should keep for weeks (humidity and crystallization are bigger threats than mold). Fruit pies and cakes with big chunks of fruit in them fall somewhere in the middle. Usually not a ton of sugar as a preservative, but also usually well-baked and fine for 2-3 days.

        1. re: FooDeeLee

          Some pies made with eggs can be left out: pumpkin, sweet potato, coconut, chess pies can all be left out until they're gone as long as it's not stored in humid conditions.

          Nut pies like pecan, peanut, cashew, walnut pies are also okay to leave out until eaten. They don't need to be refrigerated.

          Berry and most stone fruit pies has a higher moisture content and should not be left out longer than a few hours.

          Apple and pear pies can sit out for a few days and they won't spoil (most are not made with eggs).

          I've got homemade yellow layer cake w/choc frosting, coconut layer cake and a sweet potato pie sitting in my kitchen on the counter, where they'll stay until eaten up....

          Shoofly pie has pretty much similar ingredients as a pecan pie without the nuts in that it is baked until firm so I don't see a problem with it going bad before being eaten up. I'd leave it at room temp.

          A stroll through your local grocery store's bakery section can be your guide on what to leave out at room temp...most stores leave these types of pies out until sold, they don't refrigerate them and then put them back out daily; they leave them out until sold.

        1. Some kind of loaf cake would be nice, for those with a sweet tooth add some chocolate chips fo the mix.

          1. Hand pies, rustic tartlets, or turnovers would be neater than sliced pies, most of which are likely to weep if not refrigerated. I would try to bake so as to control portions - I always do brownies in a mini-muffin pan (typical batch is 24) both for portion control and to optimize "edges" while still having fudgy centers.

            All that said, I think leaving out a constant supply of sweets is a recipe for disaster. Good quality dried fruit, or dark chocolate, with the rule that the partaker must drink a full glass of water with it, would be a healthier way to satisfy a sweet tooth. If actual hunger is the issue, a small handful (a dozen or so) of nuts (water is optional but still a good idea since often "hunger" pangs are actually not hunger but dehydration) rapidly sates hunger.

            1. The original comment has been removed