Anyone have any suggestions? We're having a family Xmas get-together in a rental house. We'll be leaving our house early Xmas Eve (as in, still dark outside), so whatever I decide on needs to be made by the night before that (the 23rd). We're responsible for dinner (and dessert) on Boxing Day (the 26th), so it still has to be good by then. And it has to survive 12 hours in the car (so nothing frozen or crucial refrigeration - we'll be taking a cooler, so it could be kept cool but not cold).
In case it matters, dinner will be chili and cornbread. I really don't want to be spending a ton of time in the kitchen on my vacation, so I really want dessert to be ready to go for the most part (assembly required okay).
ETA - 11 adults and 2 toddlers.
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What about homemade cookies? You could make them way in advance to save yourself time then bring out for your car ride. You could fancy up by serving with ice cream or whipped cream.
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Sometimes I make a basic chocolate chip cookie dough but leave out the eggs and leavening (so people can just eat it raw without worrying about salmonella)--decadent and simple. In your case, you could measure and mix the dry ingredients and chocolate chips ahead on time, and then add the butter, milk/water, and vanilla and whatever else when you got there.
Any kind of molassesy gingerbread, whether it's cookies or cake, ages really well, in fact needs a few days to be it's best. You could make a bunch and then throw in a tub of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce or cinnamon apples on the day of for something that straddles the line between homey and elegant and isn't labor intensive but can really shine.
Jess, mama to five boys
I just did a trifle yesterday for our group of 8. It was so easy - no baking! And it turned out really well. I don't own a trifle bowl, so I made it in a glass mixing bowl but you could also use a baking dish.
In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha
pecan pie or tart - would likely travel well and manage the time in the car
ditto on some kind of gingerbread - you'd probably want it unfrosted for travel though.
this gingerbread cake is delicious and I can tell you personally that it was still amazingly delicious 3 days later (I think I ate it all myself, to be honest)
depending on the group, something like this may or not be enough 'dessert'-ey but marscapone stuffed dates (whip the marscapone with cinnamon & sugar) with clementines (and possibly fudge too?) is something I'd do and be perfectly happy with
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