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May 25, 2013 12:35 PM

Easy/affordable dessert for 200 people?

What do you think would be the easiest/fastest and most affordable option for 200 people?

It needs to be pre-portioned or individual-servings--something that does not need flatware.

Thanks for any ideas. I love home-cooking and baking, but I am starting to think it might be best to just purchase something. Or make chocolate-covered pretzel rods or fancy rice-krispies treats. I have a very small (studio) kitchen... so 200 is overwhelming me

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  1. I would buy something. Would 200 assorted bars (brownies, blondies, lemon bars, etc.) be outside your budget?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jay F

      That might be what I ended up doing. I started calculating all the ingredients/products for frosting and cupcakes.. and it seems like it isn't worth the mess/time. (Especially because I only have 1 muffin pan.. for 6 muffins! HAHAHA.)

      1. re: GraceW

        I calculate the cost per large brownie square if you make them from mix in aluminum foil pans to be about 15 cents per brownie. This is based on cutting a 9 x 12 pan of brownie into`12 portions. If you omit nuts the cost is closer to 12 cents per brownie.

    2. define cheap?

      as for the pretzels, you'd need to make several hundred. do you have time, patience and room for them to set?

      3 Replies
      1. re: hotoynoodle

        Several hundred? Oops, I was thinking 'maybe' people would more than one pretzel-rod. But it is probably more like 'definitely.'

        1. re: GraceW

          If you went the dipped pretzels route, I'd suggest the mini twists. You hold on one edge, dip the rest, set to cool. That way people can have one, or a couple - and there's a LOT less waste. Which when you are the one cooking, prepping and cleaning, would help your heart be happy. (Half eaten pretzel rods would break my heart. Half eaten mini's not so much.)

          Also if you dip pretzels, it's an easy thing to also dip dried fruits such as apricots, to offer as well. Gluten free and something different.

          Where are you? In LA if I had such a quandary and couldn't cook, I'd hit an ethnic bakery to get something precut, tasty and yet different. Trays of baklava. Assported cuban pastries. Or adorable black and white panda cookies from a chinese bakery.

          Or wait, just thinking out loud here, I know they are passe BUT - what about a chocolate fountain? Get a few (you can find them for cheap now) and use a good quality chocolate. have one dark chocolate, one milk, maybe one white (though I know it's not technically chocolate. Then you don't have to do the dipping - your guests go. Fresh fruit, pretzels, you name it.

          Good luck and let us Chow folks know what you end up doing!

          1. re: happybaker

            I wish I was in CA. And chocolate fountain would surely be appreciated, but that's not going to be possible.

            --I think at this point I will either be making brownies or buying chocolate chip cookies. I make really good CCCs, but I have a number of obligations at the present that would make it best to probably purchase them, even though it is bothering me that I will not be making it all myself.

      2. You could probably make 200 mini-pavlova meringue bases from about 2 dozen egg-whites or so. They keep for ages so you could just bake them in batches of 50 or so every few days to stay sane, and store them in Tupperwares until you need them. Then I would just whip up masses of cream (or even just buy a few huge tubs of mascarpone or creme fraiche) and get hold of a few punnets of in-season fruit (or frozen berries) and get people to assemble their own pavlovas buffet-style!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Elster

          That sounds wonderful. Although I must be honest, I tried to make pavlova/meringues before (maybe it is because I have a hand-held mixer or bad baking-sheets), but they never work for me. Which is probably a good thing because meringues are my favorite.

        2. that many and no flatware? Maybe gourmet cookies of some type (macadamia/white chocolate with drizzled dark chocolate). If you have oodles of hours to prepare, mini turnovers.

          1. S'mores may work, but you need to give us more information to be sure. Is this event going to be inside or outside? is there going to be a firepit or fireplace or barbecue of some sort?

            2 Replies
              1. re: GraceW

                Building off of PotatoHouse's rec and for future reference, s'more bars (baked in aluminum 13x9 pan) may work.
                I am unsure of ingredient pricing, but there are many recipes online that simply require layering the graham crackers, marshmallows (or marshmallow cream) and chocolate squares. Then bake. Super easy for a crowd. Not gourmet by any means, but who doesn't love a good s'more?