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Old 08-04-2015, 03:31 PM   #1
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Easy cook dessert ideas please

I need some help coming up with dessert ideas that can be made easily with little cooking. Here are the limitations and parameters:
  • Must serve a large group (potluck dinner for about 60).
  • Must be able to make it in a little camper with very little prep space. I have a stove and oven but local temps will be about 90 and I don't want to bake.
  • Refrigeration is limited. Once made it needs to be able to withstand heat for several hours. I have a small fridge that ingredients could be stored in.
  • I need to make it the day of service.
  • Needs to be relatively simple to eat, not too messy. Folks will be balancing plates on their laps..
  • Can't be cut up fruit - someone else has already grabbed this option.

So far I am coming up mostly empty...

I have mulled over making some fancified rice crispie treats that are rolled in toasted sesame seeds and slivered almonds but that seems sort of lame.

This crowd is expecting awesome and I would like to oblige. Any ideas?

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Old 08-04-2015, 03:48 PM   #2
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Easy cook dessert ideas please

I'd go bop the person who took the cut up fruit idea and steal it back.

Was thinking something like peanut butter rice krispie bars frosted with chocolate. Does the crowd imbibe? There are some really cool ideas for jello shots around. Lemon squares were popular at my little town's picnics back in the day, as were those bars made with coconut, sweetened evaporated milk, and chocolate chips. The Kitchen had some interesting ideas for tapping a watermelon a few weeks ago.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:56 PM   #3
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What is the time frame between your arrival at camp and when dessert goes on "stage"? If you'll be at home a day or two before, you might be able to go with a clafoutis. I just made one from this recipe on Serious Eats last night. Easy enough that Himself could make one. We ate it warm last night - good. I had a tiny slice for breakfast this morning, taking it from the fridge about 1/2 hour before eating so it was cool, not cold - also good. IF it would work out as far as timing, travel, and storage go, you could make several larger pans (maybe 2 or 3 9x13?), keep in the fridge at home until departure, then store in a cooler with ice bottles (made from 2-liter pop bottles) until you need to take them out and cut into serving size pieces.

OR go with Dawg's idea of maiming and stealing.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:00 PM   #4
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I would let them toast marshmallows on a stick or make some exotic grownup smores.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:06 PM   #5
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What is the time frame between your arrival at camp and when dessert goes on "stage"? If you'll be at home a day or two before, you might be able to go with a clafoutis. I just made one from this recipe on Serious Eats last night. Easy enough that Himself could make one. We ate it warm last night - good. I had a tiny slice for breakfast this morning, taking it from the fridge about 1/2 hour before eating so it was cool, not cold - also good. IF it would work out as far as timing, travel, and storage go, you could make several larger pans (maybe 2 or 3 9x13?), keep in the fridge at home until departure, then store in a cooler with ice bottles (made from 2-liter pop bottles) until you need to take them out and cut into serving size pieces.

OR go with Dawg's idea of maiming and stealing.

That looks amazing. I will get to camp on thursday and service is Sunday. This is why the need to make on site - the storage time would be too long, imo if I made it at home.

I agree that a sliced watermelon would be easy but someone had to pull the short straw - this time it was me. Regarding jello shooters - I think they would melt and of course they would need to be chilled prior to service - my camper fridge is small. Think dorm fridge size. The other issue is that I might eat them all before service ;)
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:07 PM   #6
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I would let them toast marshmallows on a stick or make some exotic grownup smores.
Nice idea - I agree, but we have a burn ban in effect for forest fires - no campfire.

Keep thinking please - I am really stuck!
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:08 PM   #7
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Easy cook dessert ideas please

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I would let them toast marshmallows on a stick or make some exotic grownup smores.

Good idea. A Smores bar, with the usual suspects along with different types of chocolate, mint sprigs, caramels, maybe some chopped nuts and other sprinkley stuff.

Oh shoot, just saw the post about the burn ban.

A Cozumel friend makes the jello shots and keeps them in a cooler.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:12 PM   #8
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How about an after dinner drink like a grasshopper, Brandy Alexander, Chocolate Raspberry-tini etc... Make a punch bowl or pitcher full and serve it in small plastic cups.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:16 PM   #9
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Make these in advance in pans that stack in a cooler and freeze them. Thaw, cut and decorate the day of service: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2...razy-brownies/
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:21 PM   #10
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Easy cook dessert ideas please

This would involve a large cooler and probably dry ice, but maybe gourmet popsicles? Made at home in advance. Keep them in the cooler during the potluck and have a pair of tongs handy.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:42 PM   #11
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How about cannoli? I can buy premade mini shells at the local bakery. I could stuff them on site but have never actually made cannoli before...
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:50 PM   #12
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How about cannoli? I can buy premade mini shells at the local bakery. I could stuff them on site but have never actually made cannoli before...
The filling is easy, the biggest challenge would be keeping whipping cream and utensils cold enough to whip the cream. You might even be able to make the filling at home and take it to the campsite. Another option might be Tiramisu using store bought lady fingers.

Sounds like a possibility!

Deconstructed Cannoli, the internet always amazes me!

Deconstructed Cannoli Chips and Dip Recipe : Jeff Mauro : Food Network
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:58 PM   #13
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Wondering about chunks of storebought angel food cake with some type of syrup and topping.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:10 PM   #14
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How about cannoli? I can buy premade mini shells at the local bakery. I could stuff them on site but have never actually made cannoli before...
This could work. You could make the ricotta filling in advance and store it in a tub for filling on the day.

I'd be a little concerned about any humidity softening the cannoli shell.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:20 PM   #15
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I'd go bop the person who took the cut up fruit idea and steal it back.

Was thinking something like peanut butter rice krispie bars frosted with chocolate. Does the crowd imbibe? There are some really cool ideas for jello shots around. Lemon squares were popular at my little town's picnics back in the day, as were those bars made with coconut, sweetened evaporated milk, and chocolate chips. The Kitchen had some interesting ideas for tapping a watermelon a few weeks ago.

Please please do you have a recipe for this? I have fond memories of this treat and had not thought of it for years, (at least pre-Internet).
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:30 PM   #16
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Easy cook dessert ideas please

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Please please do you have a recipe for this? I have fond memories of this treat and had not thought of it for years, (at least pre-Internet).

Oh shoot, Beth, I don't. I'm not much of a dessert person, though when I do see them at a potluck, I make a beeline. I'll look through the church cookbooks. Those ladies sure knew how to cook!

My friend the Google helped, this sounds authentic. Sprinkle chocolate chips on the hot rice krispies mix and smear them around.
http://www.food.com/recipe/peanut-bu...-treats-340946
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
I need some help coming up with dessert ideas that can be made easily with little cooking. Here are the limitations and parameters:
  • Must serve a large group (potluck dinner for about 60).
  • Must be able to make it in a little camper with very little prep space. I have a stove and oven but local temps will be about 90 and I don't want to bake.
  • Refrigeration is limited. Once made it needs to be able to withstand heat for several hours. I have a small fridge that ingredients could be stored in.
  • I need to make it the day of service.
  • Needs to be relatively simple to eat, not too messy. Folks will be balancing plates on their laps..
  • Can't be cut up fruit - someone else has already grabbed this option.

So far I am coming up mostly empty...

I have mulled over making some fancified rice crispie treats that are rolled in toasted sesame seeds and slivered almonds but that seems sort of lame.

This crowd is expecting awesome and I would like to oblige. Any ideas?
That sure doesn't seem lame to me Janet!! Given the circumstances I think your original idea is right on! You could shove some ice cream sticks in the rectangle bars to fancy them up.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:23 PM   #18
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That sure doesn't seem lame to me Janet!! Given the circumstances I think your original idea is right on! You could shove some ice cream sticks in the rectangle bars to fancy them up.
Well this is my plan b at this point. I'm going to try cannoli but the popsicle stick idea is awesome!

I looked up recipes for cannoli filling and there are many that don't involve whipped cream. I'm going to try one that is a blend of mascarpone and ricotta. it recommends draining the ricotta overnight which I can do at home.

Regarding humidity making shells soggy - not an issue - it may be as high as 20 %. I live in WA state. Over half of the state is high desert
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:59 PM   #19
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Mini chocolate chips are delish in cannoli. Ooh, try cinnamon and chocolate chips!
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:00 PM   #20
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One of my favorite desserts when my kids were small was cooked from scratch Chocolate Pudding. It is something that can be cooked at home and transported in a large restaurant type saucepan or two if needed. Servings can be in small paper cups with a plastic spoon. Who doesn't like chocolate?
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