Let’s take a moment to acknowledge how hard it is to pass up dessert. For me it’s always an internal battle of wanting to look good, calculating how long I’ll need to work out and how much I really want something sweet. The solution: bite-sized portions. Summer’s over but that only means holiday season is going to sneak up and bring the holiday parties, halloween candy and bake sale temptations right along with it. We’re sharing with you our favorite bite-sized portions of our favorite desserts so you can have your clean conscience and chocolate too.


Mini Eclairs with Strawberries and Cream

Photo from Martha Stewart.com

Mini Eclairs with Strawberries and Cream

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Bring milk, water, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, and stir in flour. Return to heat, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed to cool slightly, about 1 minute. With machine running, add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip.
  2. Pipe twenty 2 1/2-inch-long eclairs onto each sheet. Bake until eclairs rise and are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
  3. Split eclairs in half lengthwise using a serrated knife. Pipe vanilla cream onto eclair bottoms. Spoon macerated berries on top of cream, and sandwich with eclair tops. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately.
  4. Bake the mini eclairs the day you plan on serving them.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living.com


Brownie Shot Glasses

Photo from Sarah Hearts

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients: brownies (use your favorite recipe or box mix) / one box of instant chocolate pudding mix / 1 1/2 cups 2% milk / 1 cup heavy whipping cream / shot glasses

  1. In a medium size bowl (I used my Kitchenaid stand mixer) beat the pudding mix and milk on medium-high until it’s pudding consistency.
  2. In a separate large bowl (I used my metal mixing bowl), use an electric mixer to beat the whipping cream until it’s fluffy and peaks form. Fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until it’s combined.
  3. Layer crumbled brownie bits and some chocolate mousse in each shot glass. I piped the mousse into each glass. If you don’t have a piping bag just use a large zip top bag an cut a corner of the bottom of the bag. Top with a few more crumbled brownie bits and put them back in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them!

From SarahHearts.com


Pumpkin Cheesecake Shooters

From SkinnyTaste.com

Servings: 16

Ingredients:

  • 3 (1.5 oz total) whole chocolate graham crackers
  • 4 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 oz light whipped topping (I used Truwhip light)

Directions:

Crush graham crackers in a food processor. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Beat until well combined and creamy.  Use a spatula to fold in 5 oz (1-1/2 cups) of the whipped topping; combine until no streaks remain. Place in a piping bag or ziplock bag with a corner snipped off.

To assemble: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of each shot glass. Pipe a layer of pumpkin cheesecake onto the graham cracker crust (about 1 tbsp) followed by a layer of whipped topping. Repeat a second layer and finish with another sprinkle of crumbs. Insert small spoons and refrigerator until ready to serve.

*Each shot glass has 2 tbsp pumpkin cheesecake, 1 tbsp whipped topping, 1 tsp graham cracker crumbs total.

Recipe from SkinnyTaste.com


Lemon Lime Mini Tarts

Photo from Family Circle.com

Ingredients:

  • eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • teaspoon rum flavoring
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • packages (2.1 ounces each) prepared phyllo cups (45 cups total)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (45 total)
  • Toasted flake coconut for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. In a heavy-bottom small saucepan, whisk eggs, sugar, rum flavoring and both juices. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, just until boiling and mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes (mixture should register 160 F on instant-read thermometer). Strain lemon-lime curd into bowl; cover surface with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours or until chilled. Can be made a day ahead.
  2. To serve, spoon 1-1/2 teaspoons curd into each phyllo cup; top with a raspberry and a pinch of coconut. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 4 hours.
Recipe from FamilyCircle.com

Mini Chocolate Cakes

Photo from FamilyCircle.com

Ingredients:

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups light-brown sugar
  • eggs
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cup sour cream
  • ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • Ganache:
  • cup heavy cream
  • ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 6-cup jumbo muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa, allspice, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. Beat butter 2 minutes. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream. Beat 2 minutes more. Fold in chopped chocolate. Fill prepared muffin cups half-full.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until tops spring back when touched. Cool cakes for 10 minutes in pan on rack. Turn cakes onto rack; cool completely.
Make Ganache:
  1. Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Place chocolate in a medium-size bowl; pour hot cream over top. Stir until smooth.
  1. Place a rack over a jelly-roll pan. Place cakes, flat-side down, on rack. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons ganache over each cake, smoothing with spatula. Refrigerate 1 hour or until set, and decorate, if desired. If using silver dragees, remove before eating.

Recipe from Family Circle.com

Just remember not to eat the whole batch!