I enjoy baking, and this fact alone means that I get tasked with making desserts WAY more often than most of the ladies I know. Luckily, I don’t really mind, because watching the excitement people express when they eat something sweet makes it worth all the work.
So maybe you’ve been in my situation: someone is having a baby, thus a baby shower must be thrown and sweets must be served! If it’s a do-it-yourself type affair, then people like me (who love to bake), get to deal with dessert. Maybe it’s just because I’ve had some practice, but I don’t think dessert for 40 is such a huge feat, and it’s fun making mini-sized desserts. Plus babies give you the excuse to be as cheesy, over-the-top and adorably cute as possible.
Three types of dessert and baby shower favors? Ok, I’m set. I’ve done the online research and got the recipes collected (Tastespotting, Smitten Kitchen, and Joy the Baker), grocery list is made, plus the cute touches. Smooth sailing, right?
The single biggest disaster that could strike while prepping for a baking extravaganza is an oven break-down. Of course, my oven decided to lose its ability to judge temperature the week of the baby shower. And let me tell you, the weather that week was making it a little less pleasant to live in a non-air conditioned apartment. While I never exactly look forward to spending a few days of quality time in my very warm kitchen, oven blazing, sans dishwasher (with the shortest, least useful counters known to man or baker) …. not having an oven is a whole different ball game!
I can’t make the best, fudgiest, brownies. I can’t bake my famous smore’s pie. I can’t even think of baking the little almond meringues I wanted to try!
Time to get creative. I spent valuable hours searching for some fun alternatives that wouldn’t embarrass me or make me shudder at the thought of something “semi-homemade.” I hate that term. Even if the premise is oh-so valuable. Baby shower worthy desserts generally include cupcakes, tarts, fluffy moussey things, basically – that require baking.
So just in case you ever need some no-bake desserts, here’s my modified menu:
- Southern Banana Pudding - I decided to go with a Southern Banana Pudding. It can be done entirely over the stove, I can whip up my own vanilla whipped cream, and even shave some chocolate on top to make it fancy. And individual little cups add an extra cute factor. Fun!
- Rice Krispie Treats - If Dean and Deluca can justify charging 8 bucks for a brick of cereal and marshmallow fluff, I can sure as hell serve it at a baby shower. Especially if I melt delicious chocolate and peanut butter, and crunch up some pretzel pieces for the center. You can try caramel, nutella, nuts, pretty much anything goes here folks!
- Lemon Tart - Lastly, Nigella Lawson is one lady that has it right. She makes an amazing roasted chicken, tastes her food, even –gasp–licks her fingers! And has a fantastic No-Bake Lemon Tart. I love lemon, and fruit is such a great summer baby shower treat. I made her tart and covered it with blueberries. My oven was able to handle 8 minutes of butter and graham cracker while I baked the crust, and after that it was a no fuss pretty refreshing dessert. I actually ended up making my own lemon curd too!
- Party Favors – Generally I am pretty opposed to semi-home made desserts. Ice box cakes are not considered baking to me, but I saw a recipe for Salt River Bars and felt like I had to try it. I ended up using them as the party favors. I put them in little cupcake papers and put them in little baggies with a cute ribbon. Turned out even more adorable than I expected.
Best of all, I can happily report that the baby shower went off without a hitch!