Gimmie a fancy dessert recipe suitable for a BBQ
June 7, 2011 3:56 PM   Subscribe

My book club is having an all night BBQ party this Friday and I want to bring something EPIC, preferably a dessert. Help me make something impressive, suitable for a BBQ, awesome to eat whilst drinking/drunk, and (of course) delicious.

We're a rag-tag group of people, 50/50 men and women, and aged 25-56, some the meat-and-potatoes type while others are quite epicurean and into more gourmet foods. It is a really diverse group. We're all planning on drinking our book loving faces off and most of us are going to camp in our host's back yard (FWIW I have the best book club ever). It is a bring-your-own-meat-and-booze + potluck for sides and dessert type thing so I'm leaning towards something that people can grab through out the night and enjoy (my go-to is shortbread unicorn cookies with cream cheese icing), but I'm not against making a dessert that requires a plate and fork if it is fantastic enough.
posted by gwenlister to Food & Drink (33 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, and there will be ~12-15 of us.
posted by gwenlister at 3:56 PM on June 7, 2011

An epic dessert you say?
posted by adamrice at 4:03 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

This recipe for peanut butter pie is not fancy, but I have never had more people ask me for a recipe, ever- it's now my standard BBQ/potluck solution. It's easy to double the recipe.

Don't use peanut butter chips- use a cup of peanut butter and mix somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 a cup powdered sugar in depending on how sweet you like it.

The chocolate chip + corn-syrup + whipping cream mixture makes a *lot*, I just do part of it on the bottom and drizzled some the rest on the top. It also takes longer in the freezer than it said it did before you can pour the mousse on top- check w/ your finger to make
sure it's fairly hard.

I like it straight out of the freezer rather than straight out of the fridge, and it will sit better/last longer that way, anyway.
posted by charmedimsure at 4:05 PM on June 7, 2011 [7 favorites]

Homemade ice cream sandwiches! I made lemon cookie with pistachio-almond ice cream sandwiches for a BBQ last week and they were a hit. The were really easy to make, looked fancy, and tasted amazing. I doubled this lemon cookie recipe, and just used store-bought ice cream for the filling.

Storage during the party might be an issue. You would have to borrow some freezer space from your host.
posted by mmmbacon at 4:06 PM on June 7, 2011

Make a pavlova.
posted by knile at 4:08 PM on June 7, 2011

Take a package of your favorite brownie mix or recipe. Prepare mix or recipe according to instructions and spread into a 9x13 pan. Preheat oven.

Take a package / frozen roll / recipe for your favorite chocolate chip cookies. Mix according to instructions and form balls.

Now smoosh those balls into the brownie batter at even intervals.

Bake at 350 for about 42 minutes.

Spread top with chocolate frosting.

posted by Mchelly at 4:10 PM on June 7, 2011

What book is your club working on? Maybe we can make the dessert topical!
posted by arcticwoman at 4:12 PM on June 7, 2011

Nutella swirled cookies. They may not look so epic, but it really tastes amazing! I'd imagine these would be pretty easy to eat after quite a few drinks.

Use any sugar cookie recipe. I find this recipe works really well. Just be sure to use real butter instead of margarine and 4 teaspoons of baking powder instead of the baking soda/cream of tartar the recipe calls for.

After you refrigerate the dough for an hour, roll it out to about 1/4-1/8 inch thickness. Take a jar of Nutella and just slather it all over the dough. Roll the dough starting with the longer side so it's like a tube then stick it back into the fridge until you're ready to slice them up and bake them!

Be sure to keep the dough and even the cookie sheet cold before you stick them in the oven. I find that it helps keep everything softer and prevents the cookies from spreading out too much.
posted by astapasta24 at 4:12 PM on June 7, 2011

Response by poster: We're reading "The Flood" by Ian Rankin.
posted by gwenlister at 4:12 PM on June 7, 2011

The Paula Deen banana pudding recipe is pretty epic. It requires plate and fork/spoon, but I have taken it to three events in the last month and it was DEVOURED.
posted by mrfuga0 at 4:13 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

My favorite 'impressive yet easy' recipe does require a plate and a fork, but it's perfect for a drinking crowd: bourbon banana cream pie.

Start with Cook's Illustrated Foolproof Pie Crust. But substitute bourbon for the vodka. Blind bake.

Also make:

Banana stuff (two smallish or one largish bananas, cut into small pieces, throw in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of melted butter, some cinnamon, a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar and a dash of bourbon. Cook until butter and sugar are all melty and the whole thing is warm, then set aside to cool.

For the cream layer, use any vanilla cream pie recipe, even the one on a jello box. In place of vanilla, add about a tablespoon of bourbon.

Whip cream. Make whip cream. In place of vanilla, add bourbon.

Pie goes on the bottom, then bananas, then cream, then whip cream. Is good. Drinkers like.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:15 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

How about Tres Leches cake? It is the antithesis of "good for you!", but it is EFFING DELICIOUS.
posted by stellaluna at 4:19 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

We're reading "The Flood" by Ian Rankin.

Deep fried Mars bars?
posted by grapesaresour at 4:24 PM on June 7, 2011

When I think of summer and impressive desserts, I think of English Trifle, with home-made sponge cake, custard, and lemon curd, filled and topped with tons of fresh berries (booze optional). The more epic presentation is to bring it in a giant trifle bowl, which you can often find at thrift stores. If you bring it very chilled, it will still be good as it warms to room temperature throughout the night. Definitely need a fork or spoon to eat, but it's worth it.
posted by 2ghouls at 4:25 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Spicy brownies!
posted by Logic Sheep at 4:35 PM on June 7, 2011

i bring this figs and mascarpone with spiced honey recipe to BBQs. i like to slice the figs, sweeten the mascarpone with a little confectioners sugar (just my preference), and spice the honey at home, then quickly give the figs a dollop and drizzle on arrival to assemble.

perhaps not as fancy as you were thinking, but it's beautifully simple, refreshing and perfect for outdoors.
posted by wayward vagabond at 4:35 PM on June 7, 2011

Are you actually cooking the dessert at the BBQ, or bringing it? If cooking at the site, here are some ideas:
1) the traditional cobbler in a cast iron dutch oven, using the leftover coals
2) cut peaches in half, take out the stone, put some brown sugar in the middle, put the halves back together, wrap in foil and roast in the embers. When baked soft pull them out, slather with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and if you like a teaspoon of brandy (in which case you might as well flame them too but that wastes the alcohol :-).

If you're bringing it, then a fun summertime dessert is Pina Colada Bread Pudding. Replace the equivalent amount of milk in your favorite bread pudding with a can of pina colada mix, add a can of crushed pineapple, and top with shredded coconut.
posted by Runes at 4:46 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Mars Bar Cheesecake.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:06 PM on June 7, 2011

My high school swim coach would make some absurd version of Better Than Sex cake at the end of the season - she'd bring it in a bucket by crumbling up a billion cake layers topped with a billion toffee and whipped cream layers.

And then a throng of excited shivering high school girls in their swim caps would squeal and dig in and gobble up the whole thing with their chlorine-stinking hands, exclaiming all the while that it was indeed better than sex, although most of us clearly had no idea what we were talking about.
posted by sestaaak at 5:23 PM on June 7, 2011

Being here in Texas and a huge BBQ fan, nothing says BBQ dessert like a cobbler of some sort. Peach and berry are your typical flavors, but you can go fancy and do a rhubarb version...a little sour but enough brown sugar (and a la mode) will sweeten it right up. Yum.

I have no recipe or clue how to make such a cobbler, but I have enjoyed all of the above varieties and I am sure they would be a hit.
posted by murrey at 5:25 PM on June 7, 2011

This is the cobbler recipe I use (also in Texas). I just substitute berries for the peaches if that's the season it is. This is the type of cobbler that makes the fruit into a stew and then adds biscuits on top.
posted by CathyG at 6:07 PM on June 7, 2011

Here's what I like to see at a hard-drinkin' bbq:

homemade vanilla ice cream in a big hand-cranked maker (or in this doodad) + root beer

a watermelon plugged with booze

an over-the-top retro jello mold or jello shots

fixings for fancy s'mores (a variety chocolates, inc. mexican, toblerone, andes mints, maybe something with raspberry; nilla wafers, graham crackers, chocolate wafers; coconut, peppermint, almond marshmallows, etc.)
posted by apparently at 6:20 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Coconut Candy Sushi? I like the chocolate version, with strawberries or raspberries.
posted by Marky at 7:13 PM on June 7, 2011

Butterfinger pie. Trust me.
posted by raisingsand at 7:38 PM on June 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

I don't have a recipe to offer, but the answer is clearly TRIFLE.
Also, your book club does indeed sound like the best ever.
posted by equivocator at 8:51 PM on June 7, 2011

Popped in to Nth a pavlova. I find it's always the first dessert to go at any family or friends gathering.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 12:23 AM on June 8, 2011

I am rather partial to eclair cake

1 large box vanilla pudding
1 12oz tub cool whip
1 box graham crackers

2 (1 oz.) pkgs. unsweetened pre-melted chocolate
2 tsp. light corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. butter, softened

Make up the pudding and fold in the cool whip.
Butter a pan and lay down a layer of Graham crackers.
Spread half the mixture over the graham crackers and then add another layer of crackers.
Add the rest of the mix and top with a third layer of crackers.

In another pan mix the icing ingredients and stir until combines and creamy, pour after the mix has slightly cooled and then chill the cake in the fridge until desired.

I have made many variations on this system by changing the pudding and it works well with chocolate pudding as well as butterscotch. Easy to make and will feed a lot of people. A small slice does go a long way.
posted by koolkat at 2:21 AM on June 8, 2011

I haven't yet tried this s'mores pie, but I have it bookmarked for my next BBQ. (If you read the comments, you'll see that a lot of people skipped making the marshmallows from scratch and still had a delicious pie.)
posted by jrichards at 7:21 AM on June 8, 2011

These brownies are, according to my husband, the best brownies I have ever made.

They do require prep, and refrigeration for several hours before serving - not sure how long they can survive once out before becoming messy, but -

Knock You Naked Brownies

Brownies, and caramel - I want to have them as part of my last meal, if I get a choice. I added chocolate chips to the caramel layer - I think next time, I'd go with mini chocolate chips. (Note - we did not add the powdered sugar to the top - I just forgot, honestly. )
posted by needlegrrl at 8:13 AM on June 8, 2011

This is a secret recipe that I'm not supposed to have, so I almost memailed it to you directly, but what the hell, here it is.

Take 1 package of regular oreo cookies, crush them up into smallish pieces.
melt lots of butter (1-2 sticks) and mix it up with the oreo pieces in a big bowl. The oreo pieces should be coated liberally with melted butter, but still very cookie-like. This will be your crust.
Line a 13" x 9" pan with tinfoil and spread the oreo-butter mixture in the pan, forming a crust that lines the bottom. Foil is essential because these are sticky mofos.
Take 3/4 bag of chocolate chips and a can of sweetened condensed milk and melt them together to form a thick chocolatey spread. spread this over the crust.
Use the remaining chocolate chips as a topping.
Bake in the oven (350ish degrees should be fine) for ~10 minutes or until the top chocolate chips are melty.
Let the whole thing set in the fridge til it's all solid.
cut into small (2" x 2"?) squares, because 1) they are so rich that you can't eat too much at a time, and 2) everyone will want more than one so you want to make them go as far as possible.

I don't have the exact recipe handy so I'm improvising, but you get the idea.
posted by ghostbikes at 8:14 AM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

On Memorial Day weekend I brought the following dessert to a BBQ, and it was extremely well received:

I injected tequila, triple sec and simple syrup all over a nicely ripe watermelon. I injected probably about 2 cups total of tequila, 1 cup of triple sec and 1 cup of simple syrup. I used a 60-mL syringe and a long needle to do this. I put injection points in covering the entire fruit, about 1.5 inches apart. You need to give the watermelon a little time to breathe and pressurize after injecting. So I had about 4 injection sessions, spaced maybe 45 minutes or so apart.

After injecting the watermelon to the point of saturation (I could tell that I had reached this point when I was injecting some tequila on one side, and some tequila shot out from a previous injection hole on the opposite side!) I placed it in the fridge overnight. Whenever I thought about it, I flipped the watermelon over so the alcohol could seep into the center.

When I brought it to the party, I sliced it, squeezed some limes over it and then sprinkled the whole thing with salt. It was pretty goddamn awesome.
posted by corn_bread at 5:43 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

From the wilds of Columbus, Ohio, may I humbly present... The Buckeye. You're welcome.
posted by Capt.DooDooFace at 11:03 PM on June 8, 2011

This tiramisu is pretty fantastic.
posted by monkeys with typewriters at 10:17 PM on June 13, 2011

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