When you go on a picnic, you probably think about the sandwiches, chips, lemonade and other items that are classic dishes to enjoy. Another component of the picnic is the dessert. You could take a few cookies that you buy in the store or a container of ice cream, but there are a few other decadent dessert ideas that will leave you feeling sweet after your meal.
From apple to peach, you can make a pie that doesn't need to be cut. You won't need plates or forks with these pies as they are enjoyed by holding them in your hand. Start with a basic pie dough. Put your filling on the bottom layer, covering it with another layer of dough. Before you bake or deep fry the pies, you can cut fun shapes using cookie cutters. Ideas include stars for the 4th of July or trees for Christmas. Crimp the sides of the shapes so that the filling won't come out while they are cooking.
While you might not like the idea of plain sugar cookies at a picnic, there is a way that you can spice them up a bit. By following recipes, like this one by Tori Avey, you can add flavors and food coloring to the cookie dough. Cut out fun shapes to represent the holiday or the time of the year when you're enjoying the picnic. Take some icing along with you so that everyone can decorate the cookie the way that they want it to look. A watermelon design is a fun idea for the summer season.
Most desserts are on a plate or held in the hand. If you're looking for something a little different, especially if you're going to a large picnic with a lot of people and need a dessert for everyone there, then consider cheesecake in a jar. Start with a simple cheesecake at the bottom of the jar with graham cracker crumbs as the base. Top the cheesecake with a variety of foods that you would put on a larger cake, such as cherries or blueberries. Make a few different kinds so that people have a choice.
Add something healthy to your picnic that's also a dessert idea. Use small cookie cutters to make fun shapes with various kinds of fruit, such as watermelon and pineapple. Fruits that aren't flat enough to cut out can be left whole on the skewer. Pack a few types of yogurt or dipping chocolate for a refreshing treat.
Nothing completes a picnic like a dessert. Make this part of the meal fun with pies to hold in the hand or decorated cookies. Your picnic should be memorable, and the kind of food that you enjoy will play a part in that experience.
Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. Follow her on tw @EmmaSturgis2