(Photos courtesy of pixels)
Below you will find easy dessert ideas that will pack a punch, but will not punch you in your wallet. I have mentioned versions of these before, but with entertaining, etc. always a constant (at least in our home) they are worth mentioning again.
Melt some chocolate in a double boiler or microwave it – whatever your method is for melting chocolate. Dip half of a chocolate chip cookie into melted chocolate. Before it completely hardens, dip this chocolate part into something of your choosing – sprinkles, crushed cookies, crushed nuts, crushed candy bars. Lay on wax or parchment paper to avoid “cookie ruination.”
Prepare instant pudding – in the flavors you would like. I usually choose chocolate and vanilla. Have these ready in their own serving bowls. On the side, put out individual serving bowls. Offer add ins and mix ins – be creative. You can use sprinkles, chocolate chips, crushed candy (of whatever kind you’d like), mini marshmallows,nuts, M&M’s or even gummy bears. Have whipped cream handy.
Depending on the season or the party you’re celebrating, make appropriate color (and therefore, flavors) jello. You can choose to float fruit inside the jello before you even set up it up. Serve the jello in large bowls, having smaller ones available. You can be as elaborate or as simple as you want – have whipped cream ready to go along with sprinkle shaker bottles in corresponding and alternating colors. Pretty.
This costs about $2, give or take. In advance, bake up a batch of cake-mix cupcakes. Have them on a serving platter, and put things out in a “decorate your own cupcake” bar. You can put pre-made frosting (or whatever you normally use) in small serving bowls, have whipped cream available. Offer sprinkles, crushed nuts, crushed candies – you can even put out peanut butter and powdered sugar for an almost in-the-moment peanut butter frosting.
Bake or buy a pound cake. Serve it on a platter in slices. On the side, have fruits and jams. This is a simple dessert, so simple that other add ons are not needed. Maybe include a shaker with powdered sugar.
This takes no time at all, and is always a hit. Offer a few different kinds of ice cream, have cones, bowls, cone bowls – and syrup, whipped cream, nuts, cherries and sprinkles. It is the always popular “Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundae Bar.” It’s fun to use ice cream-themed dishes, but truthfully – people like ice cream so much that it really won’t matter.
I have also bought a few of those small, 50-cent pies from Walmart – in all different kinds of flavors. Arranging them on a platter, there will be a sample of each flavor for everyone – depending on how many guests you have. It’s a good idea that has gone over very well in the past.
Again, for about $2 you can’t really beat this. Buy a cake mix and a container of frosting. You can make it in a layer cake form, or in a sheet cake – it can be sprinkled with sprinkles or powdered sugar. If you want to perk up the mix, bake with milk instead of water, use melted butter instead of oil and add an extra egg or two. Is this deluxe or fancy? No, but rest assured it will taste very good.
For full disclosure here, the parties and get-togethers we have usually involve A LOT of food. If your gatherings tend to be the same way, you could get away with one of these options, or two at the most. If you have mega sweet-tooth attendees, you could do a few options, just in smaller quantities. You know your guests best…enjoy!