What is afternoon tea without a few easy mini desserts? I head back to Trader Joe’s for ingredients to assemble simple + delicious sweet treats!
Easy Mini Desserts are a Must for Afternoon Tea
In the Small Bites for Tea Time post, I featured easy canapés and finger sandwiches assembled with products from our old friend Trader Joe’s. No tea is complete without a few sweet bites, too, so here is a trio of easy and delicious mini desserts for your afternoon break.
You’ll likely have a few of these items in your pantry already…
- Seville Orange Marmalade
- brown sugar
- vanilla extract
- flaky sea salt
- Pie Crusts
- Cranberry, Raisin & Pecan Batard
- heavy cream
- unsalted butter
Candy + Treats:
- Fleur de Sel Caramels
- Organic 72% Cacao Belgian Dark Chocolate Bar
- Belgian Butter Waffle Cookies
What Desserts Can I Make?
Detailed ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below, but here’s a little description of each easy + delicious dessert.
Cranberry, Raisin + Pecan Bread Pudding with Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce — that’s a mouthful! A cinnamon-scented custard is baked with bread already studded with cranberries, raisins + pecans. Drizzle a super easy, microwaveable caramel sauce on top and call it done!
Sea Salt + Belgian Chocolate Waffle Cookies — this is so easy, it’s ridiculous! We’re taking buttery cookies up a notch with a drizzle of melted Belgian chocolate and a sprinkle of flaky, sea salt. That’s it!
Raspberry-Marmalade Mini Tarts — frozen pie crust turns into tiny tart cases to hold a fresh raspberry and sweet-tart orange marmalade. Only three ingredients! Or, you can take it step further by brushing on a quick orange glaze spiked with brandy to give them a glossy finish.
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Tips for Making These Mini Desserts
- I used 4-ounce ramekins, but custard cups or muffin tins can be used as well. Bake times may need to be adjusted slightly (either up or down) depending on the container you choose.
- Whether using ramekins or a muffin tin, place on a sheet pan in case any custard spills over during baking.
- TJ’s Organic 72% Belgian Dark Chocolate Bar is my favorite. We usually have several in the pantry for those times I need a hit of chocolate. Feel free to use your favorite variety!
- Instead of flaky sea salt, you could stud the chocolate drizzle with chopped dried fruit, crystallized ginger or crushed nuts.
- TJ’s Pie Crusts come in a 2-pack. This recipe uses only 1 crust. Allow it to thaw completely before unfurling and cutting.
- If the crusts become too pliable or warm after placing them in the mini muffin tin, pop the tin in the fridge for about 15 minutes before filling and baking.
What to Do With Extra Ingredients
If you’re sticking with small batches, you’ll have some extra yummy treats left. Besides eating them as is, here are some ideas to use them up…
- Make French toast with the Cranberry, Raisin & Pecan Batard
- Serve Seville Orange Marmalade on British Style Crumpets you have leftover from making Toasted Cheese Crumpets
- Grab some marshmallows and make s’mores with Fleur de Sel Caramels and Belgian Butter Waffle Cookies — it’s really, really good!
Try These Other Mini Dessert Recipes!
- Mini No Bake Key Lime Cheesecakes with Coconut Cookie Crust
- Red Velvet Pop Tarts
- Mini Fresh Peach Pavlovas with Fuzzy Navel Syrup
- Cashel Blue Cheese + Pear Tarts
- Bourbon Brown Butter Mini Derby Pies
Easy Mini Desserts for Tea Time
Cranberry, Raisin + Pecan Bread Pudding with Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce (Makes 4)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter for greasing ramekins
- 4 slices TJ's Cranberry, Raising & Pecan Batard diced
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 6 TJ's Fleur de Sel Caramels
- 1 tsp water or whiskey
- 1 tbsp heavy cream half & half or milk
Sea Salt + Belgian Chocolate Waffle Cookies (Makes 4)
- 4 TJ's Belgian Butter Waffle Cookies
- 2 squares TJ's Organic 72% Cacao Belgian Dark Chocolate Bar
- flaky sea salt like Maldon
Raspberry-Marmalade Mini Tarts (Makes 14)
- 1 TJ's Pie Crust defrosted
- 1 cup TJ's Seville Orange Marmalade
- fresh raspberries
- 1 tsp brandy optional
Cranberry, Raisin + Pecan Bread Pudding with Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce
- Preheat oven to 375°. Toast and cool, or leave bread cubes out overnight to allow them to dry out. Lightly grease four ramekins with butter. Divide the bread cubes between them. Combine milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and eggs in a bowl or measuring cup. Pour the custard over the bread but leave a little space at the top. Gently press the cubes down into the custard to submerge and let them rest for about 10 minutes to get fully saturated. Place on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes.
- Unwrap 6 caramels and place them in a microwave safe bowl. Add 1 tsp of water (or whiskey) and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Add a scant 1 tbsp of heavy cream, half & half or milk and stir until smooth and creamy. Pour some sauce over each mini bread pudding.
Sea Salt + Belgian Chocolate Waffle Cookies
- Break apart 2 squares of the belgian chocolate bar into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and cook an additional 30 seconds. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Place 4 cookies on a work surface or some wax/parchment paper. Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate across the cookies. Immediately sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Allow the chocolate to set up for at least 30 minutes on the counter.
Raspberry-Marmalade Mini Tarts
- Preheat oven to 375°. Unfurl one defrosted pie crust. Using a 2½" round cutter, cut 14 circles from the dough. Carefully place each circle into a mini muffin tin and gently push to the sides. Prick the bottoms with a fork. Fill each case ¾ full with marmalade, then press a fresh raspberry into the center. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Optional glaze: microwave 1 tbsp of marmalade + 1 tsp brandy (or water) for 15 seconds. Give it a good stir. Using a spoon or pastry brush, glaze the tops of the tarts.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only.