Sunday, 8 January 2012

How to make 'em MINI!

What is better than a wonderful cupcake, pie, brownie, or cookie? MINI cupcakes, brownies, pies, and cookies. More and more local restaurants, bakeries, and cafes are leaning towards "mini" items versus regular sized items. WHY? Well, small bites are appealing at parties and events. Plus, small-bite items can easy be arranged to looks elegant and professional.

Then, how do you "mini" size a sweet treat? I can tell you from experience, making something smaller WILL TAKE MORE TIME. Thus, that is why many catering companies charge extra for bite-size delights. But, having something bite-size makes a clean presentation for everyone to have their "own" treat!

When you do decide to make something bite size remember:
-It will take a shorter time to bake.
-Sometimes, extra small pans will be required = more money spent on tools.
-Like I said before, more labor intensive = more time in the kitchen.

Here are some helpful tips when making cupcakes, brownies, pies, and cookies into MINI SIZE:

-You WILL have a buy mini size cupcake pans and cupcake holders.
-Also, invest in a mini scoop to scoop the batter into the pans.
-Shorter baking time versus a regular sized cupcake.
-Decorating will take longer.
-People tend to like mini cupcakes versus regular sized cupcakes, especially if there is more than one flavor being presented. Then, they can try ALL the cupcake flavors without feeling guilty.

-Easy: buy a small scoop to scoop out small sized cookie dough. This is for all "drop" cookies like chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin.
-For "roll out" cookies like sugar or gingerbread cookies, buy a small cookie cutter.
-Shorter baking time versus a regular sized cookie. Watch out, I found out (the hard way) that the edges tend to brown very fast.
-Since you baking minis, you may need to buy more cookie sheets! I like baking my cookies on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. (Easy clean-up, too!)

-The easiest to produce into a small size: just cut the brownie pieces into small sizes, after you bake it in a regular size cake or brownie pan.
-Let the brownie cool 100%, at room temp on the kitchen counter, before cutting it, or it will crumble.
-Cut the edges off to "square" the brownie. You will get nice even lines. (Yes, you can eat the brownie scraps.)
-For extra smooth lines: Use a serrated (AKA "bread") knife to cut the brownie. Dip the knife in a large container of hot water, then wipe it with a dry kitchen towel. Now, cut!

-You can either: a) Bake them in regular sized cupcake pans or b) Buy small pie/tart shell pans. I like choice "a" because I already have cupcake pans in my kitchen. Buying another item means spending more money and finding space for another kitchen tool.
-Lightly butter the cupcake pans with REAL butter and a paper towel. Press the pie/tart dough into pans. Fill with desired filling. Top with more pie dough or streusel.
-Like with all the other mini items, bake for a shorter amount of time!
-Use a small spatula to "lightly lift" the pies out of the cupcake pan or shell.


-Small item = shorter cookie time. What the edges on your cookies!
-More labor intensive = give yourself extra time to produce these small delights!
-Always cool your treats 100% before storing them. You don't want a sweaty cookie.
-Also, don't forget you may need to buy extra special tools to correctly produce your mini treat.
-Storage may be a pain: you will have more treats to store. If you do not have special cake/cupcake containers, you can use baking pans as containers. Just make sure you wrap them very tightly with plastic wrap.
-Careful, small treats tend to be fragile.

Remember: make small, mini treats for special events. Since they are labor intensive and may require special tools, save them for a extra SWEET party you are hosting.

Happy Baking!

No comments:

Post a Comment