My 2010 'fall food fad' is Dessert Shooters aka 'Shot Glass Desserts'. Restaurants have been serving these for awhile and I hear they are a hot commodity at weddings too. A 'dessert shooter' is just your favorite dessert- but LESS of it. That means you can eat it without guilt or, if you're like me and unburdened by the guilt you SHOULD feel, save room for multiple flavors! My layers of 'Key Lime Pie' are totally uneven but it tasted good!
Of course, any new adventure is more fun when you drag join up with someone else. I can always count on my friend, neighbor and fellow blogger, Stacie, to help me find trouble. And calories.
Let me just say upfront that you can make these as SIMPLE or as GOURMET as you wish. I have done some super-fast 'Mom food' versions using cake made from a box,Jello and/or pudding mix. I have also done some 'foodie' ones with from-scratch cake, homemade pastry cream and sinful mousse recipes. Consider your 'audience' and invest the time etc. accordingly. For family desserts- I do the easy stuff. At an upcoming party, I will be doing the 'fancy' versions. It's totally versatile.
You're not even limited to desserts- you could also do savory versions if you wish. I think it would be cute to use them for a yummy vegetable dip recipe so you can serve up each guest with their own mini-veggie tray without the 'double dipping' concerns of a central vat of dip. It's all about presentation.
To make dessert shooters, first you need shot glasses- and not just any shot glass will do. You want a glass that will hold between 2-3 oz. and is tall but not TOO narrow. Two ounces is really the minimum volume needed to get enough 'dessert' in there and going taller rather than wider allows you to get several layers into the glass. We've concluded from our experimenting that the layers are the thing that makes these special. After much shopping around, we found some suitable and some not-so-suitable glasses at WalMart.
Glasses ready to be filled with yummy stuff!
The hardest part of the set up is finding the spoons you need. A regular teaspoon is too big to get into the glasses. What you need is a type of spoon called a 'demitisse' spoon. These were pretty expensive (for a novelty kitchen item), even on E-bay, but then we found a local cook's paradise!
Standard Restaurant Supply is a local business that sells to restaurants- AND home cooks. Holy freak! Stacie and I went nuts in there! It is the MOTHER of all things kitchen and the prices rock. We picked up little 12-count boxes of spoons for just $1.50 per box. NOW we're in business! They also have a good assortment of shot glasses for around $1.20 each (though WalMart was still a little cheaper). We each bought 24 glasses and our own spoons but plan to borrow from each other when we have parties or special occasions as neither of us wants to purchase/ store tons of new glassware. Something to consider...
Picking out 'barware' was pretty hilarious for us since we're 'teetotalers'- the naughty here isn't just the dessert. Can't wait for the weird looks I get when my teetotaler friends notice my china cabinet is filled with shot glasses!
Comparison of a regular teaspoon to a dematisse' spoon so you can get an idea of the scale.
A type of spoon called an "Espresso" spoon will also work but the handles are long so the whole thing will feel out of scale with the shot glass.
If you are going to take these to a special event, party or, ahem, Thanksgiving, you could go with disposable 'glasses' and spoons. Stacie and I may go in on a big 'ole case of them for our respective holiday celebrations. This seems to be the best place online to order disposable 'glassware'.
Finally, you'll want a pastry bag and tips OR just use ziplock baggies with a corner cut off to fill the glasses. The key is to keep the filling away from the edges so it looks clean- if you spoon it in, it will end up messy and spoil the effect.
Ha! This is a trick! In general, there are not specific recipes for dessert shooters because it really is just the same stuff you've always loved, assembled differently. The shooters are a method of SERVING dessert more than a TYPE of dessert. That said, the proportions of things may differ, especially if it is a 'cake based' dessert.
I decided I may as well develop some properly proportioned recipes while I'm having fun making different flavors so I'll post them as we move along- next up will be a Triple Chocolate Mousse I'm making this weekend. For the purposes of THIS post (it's already too long) I'll just give some ideas of things we've tried.
So far we've served up:
No-Bake Cheesecake with Cherries or Strawberries (Stacie made these beauties and I don't have a photo! )
Above: Boston Cream Pie- made with THIS recipe from "The Joy of Baking".
Also, I would use more cake and less cream next time. Figuring out the proportions of everything is the hard part. Still, leftover cake crumbles can be frozen and used in future desserts. Which is exactly what we WOULD have done except the cake was just too good and we ate it plain!
White Chocolate/ Raspberry Cheesecake- If I were doing this one for guests instead of just a dessert for the family, I would recommend sandwiching some fresh raspberries in the middle to break up the white chocolate cheesecake layer. I used THIS recipe- just substitute white chocolate for regular chocolate if you wish. The recipe is enough to make 3 dozen shooters so I'd recommend you make a half-recipe.
Key Lime Pie- I used THIS Key Lime Pie Recipe for the 'pie' portion of the dessert. The clear green layer is just a lime simple syrup.
Jello Sunrise- (for the kids)- It's just apricot Jello with a bit of Grenadine syrup. A small box of jello will make 10, 2 oz. shooters. To get the 'sunrise' effect, make the jello as per box directions and put it in the glasses, leaving a little headspace. Let the Jello set up in the fridge for about 15 minutes then add some grenadine. If you do it while the Jello is still hot, the syrup and Jello will just mix and you'll miss the cool effect (but it will still taste good- if you like Jello that is and I don't).
Triple Chocolate Mousse- Still working on this one. I am scaling the recipe so I'll post a complete how-to on this recipe next week.
These desserts are all about the "WOW!" presentation. Even if you do a simple box pudding topped with whipped cream, serving it this way makes it SEEM fancy and thus it's more enjoyable.
I've only served my creations to family and some of the kids' friends but Stacie took a batch to Book Club and they were a huge hit. This an 'impressive' dessert that can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
Stacie and I will make up a bunch of these for the "Witches Night Out" party we're hosting on October 22nd. Local friends are welcome to join our Coven for the night! We'll start at my place then head over to the HUGE annual party for women at the local shopping hot spot and meet up with thousands of other 'witches'. Join us if you can! And yes- you have to dress up, even if it's just a hat. I'm not going to repeat LAST year's experience!