Stash These Bite-Size Desserts for Holiday Treats on Demand
Since we're all doing a little more staying home for the holidays this year, let's make sure we're stocked up with the essentials. And in this case, the essentials include a freezerful of bite-size desserts to graze on after dinner or any time we want.
Why Bite-Size is Better
If you're baking for a houseful, full-size cakes, pies, and so on might be the right size for your group. But for a household of one or two or a few, making and stashing small bites means you don't have to commit to keeping a full-size dessert fresh for days. And besides, eating the same thing day after day can be boring. With a stash of mini desserts, you can just pull out what you want when you want, and you'll always have a variety to choose from.
5 Tips for Make-Ahead Bite-Size Desserts
If you're feeling ambitious, following these tips could keep you in desserts for several weeks! Or maybe part of this year's holiday tradition will be a weekly "baking day" when you make new treats. Either way, keep these things in mind as you're planning your holiday desserting:
1. Choose Desserts That Freeze Well
The good news is that most desserts do freeze well—you'll just want to stay away from anything too delicate or extra-gooey that will be difficult to wrap tightly. But, cookies, bars, and even cakes will all do great. Just be sure to allow desserts to cool completely before you freeze. And wrap them in at least two layers of wrapping, preferably in smaller amounts so you don't need to unwrap and re-wrap again to just take out a few from the bunch.
2. Bake Shapes That Cut Up Easily
Since you're going to cut up whole desserts into bite-size pieces, you'll want to make it as easy as possible to do so. Consider preparing cheesecakes in square baking dishes, baking cake in either cupcake tins or mini Bundt cake pans, and baking cookies on the smaller side. Just make sure to reduce the baking times as needed. Here's a great reference for converting baking times for different size pans.
3. Add Icings and Toppings Right Before Serving
Okay, this is the one thing you may need to make the day of if you prepared cake. Luckily, it only takes a few minutes to make icing, and it will be good for several days, refrigerated. Likewise, you could prepare a little dessert sauce to give your mini cakes and cheesecakes some holiday flair.
4. Bake a Delicious Variety
Small bites mean you get to enjoy a taste of several desserts in one sitting. So, pick out at least three different recipes that offer a range of flavors. Maybe you'd like a cake bite, a mini pie, and a bar cookie one night, and a whole different mix the next night. Boredom defeated!
5. Allow Enough Time to Defrost
Different deserts will defrost at different speeds, but generally speaking, the bigger and more dense the dessert, the more time it'll need. Cookies will probably be fine by the time you want them if you pull them out right before dinner, but allow at least a couple hours for things like cupcakes and bars.