In a world where bigger seems to be associated with better, and where "super size" is a selling tactic, I think it's time to pull back and consider quality over quantity. The next time you're looking for dessert recipes, think about giving your family or your party guests something that provides a nice exclamation point on the meal, not another full essay.
When I eat out I see options for small or full servings only to discover that the small is enough to feed two people. I see oversized dinner plates being sold at home stores. And I wonder, are we so consumed with size that taste becomes secondary? Does the experience of savoring each and every bite get lost in the madness of an "all you can eat" mentality?
Downsizing dinner is one thing we can certainly aim to accomplish. But let's not forget that desserts can also be our downfall. When a restaurant serves a piece of cake that could feed a party of 8, or we scoop our ice cream into a giant bowl, are we really doing ourselves a service? I'm not talking just about health, though that is important. I am referring to the rare experience of a sweet little something special to top off a glorious meal. A small, easy dessert that satisfies the sweet tooth instead of putting us into a sugar rush.
Taste trumps volume
If you aren't going for bulk, then consider going for flavor, for surprise, or for something not entirely sweet. We all know the concept combining sweet and salty (like kettle corn, or trail mix) is one that was devised by the food angels to make everyone happy. Why not let it be for dessert recipes too, like this Chocolate-Dipped Bacon from Better Homes and Gardens:
1 16 ounce package sliced bacon, cut crosswise into thirds
2 Tbs packaged brown sugar
4 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped
¼ cup finely chopped pistachio nuts, almonds, or cashews
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 15×10 inch baking pans with parchment paper. Arrange bacon slices side by side in pans. Sprinkle lightly with brown sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just crisp. Transfer to wire racks and cool.
Line large baking sheet with waxed paper and set aside. In a small heavy saucepan heat and stir chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth. Dip bacon pieces halfway into chocolate, letting excess drip off. Place on prepared baking sheet. While still warm, sprinkle with nuts. Chill until chocolate is set.
This is one of those easy desserts you can make ahead. Layer the dipped bacon between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container and cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How about a dessert and after-dinner drink in one? These Shake Shots from foodnetwork are easy desserts to make. You can always add a small cookie, or piece of chocolate as a side!
Here's another bite-sized dessert recipe for Fig Cookies that will satisfy your guests without over-doing it!
Think unique, think small, and enjoy quality sweets.