Monday, March 14, 2011

Dessert Platter

I volunteered to do desserts for a silent auction at my daughter's preschool this past weekend.  I spent too much time debating over what to make and didn't leave myself enough time to make as much as I had hoped, but I was pleased with the items I did get done.
They requested all bite sized items, so I turned to Sweet Miniatures by Flo Braker, which is a great source of inspiration.  I have turned to her book quite a few times and have always been very happy with the results.  This time I used her recipes for Sweet Cheese Puffs and Chocolate Macaroons, both were wonderful.
Sweet Cheese Puffs, I have made these a lot and they are one of my favorites.  The dough is a sour cream pastry and they have a cream cheese filling.  This time I did just a vanilla and lemon flavored cream cheese, but I have also added finely diced poached pear to the filling, which is also fabulous.  I like doing these because they can be done a week or so in advance and kept frozen.

Any flavor Macaroons is just wonderful.  I love their crunchy, chewy texture and they always look pretty.  I was scared of them for longest time, anything with meringue scares, but they are really simple - just remember to leave them on the tray until they have cooled completely otherwise you won't get the crisp coating on the bottom.

I had a bunch of mangos that needed to be used and these were the perfect solution.  They were quick and easy to make, it also helped that my husband was willing to be my Sous chef and chopped all the mango for me.

My cake scraps were also put to use to make orange cake truffles.  I used my yellow cake scraps, some cream cheese frosting from a carrot cake I also made this weekend, a couple of tablespoons apricot jam and a tablespoon or two of Cointreau.  I rolled these into small balls, chilled them and then dipped them into dark chocolate.   I know these have been popular for a while, but I have never really liked them when I have had them, so I was a little hesitant about making them.  I think adding some other flavors and not making them with just buttercream made them much more palatable.

It has been a while since I have done a variety of desserts.  There were a couple of others I wish I had the time to do,  but I guess I will have to find another opportunity to give them a try.  What are your favorite bite sized desserts?