South American Bite Sized Desserts

Make a Tray of Miniature Treats

In the United States, we're used to big cookies, giant brownies, and generous slices of pie. But when desserts are in smaller portions, you can sample many different ones without overindulging. A tray of dessert petit fours is a common sight at South American parties, probably a carryover from the tapas served in Spain. These mini desserts can be elaborate and labor-intensive, or as simple as cutting brownies into little squares and dusting them with powdered sugar.

Dessert tapas are especially perfect for holiday parties - serve them in colored paper cups, add festive decorations - the possibilities are endless.

  • 01 of 05

    Traditional Alfajores

    Alfajores. Marian Blazes

    Alfajores can be made any size. I've even seen a giant one served as a birthday cake. You can be creative with the filling as well. Add a layer of pineapple jam, or even peanut butter.

  • 02 of 05

    Brazilian Brigadeiros

    Brigadeiros. Marian Blazes

    I call these "budget truffles" because they look like expensive dark chocolate truffles, but they are made with cocoa powder and condensed milk. They are slightly chewy with a chocolate butter toffee flavor. My children adore them, and they're often served at children's birthday parties in Brazil.

  • 03 of 05

    Quindin - Brazilian Cococut Custard Cookies

    Quindin. Marian Blazes

    These are like mini coconut flans. They are very sweet, but I always add a pinch of salt (not a traditional ingredient) which brings out the coconut flavor. They have a beautiful golden color, and look great on a dessert tray.

  • 04 of 05

    Maná Fruits

    Maná Fruits. Marian Blazes

    You can be traditional and make these out of the Peruvian candy maná, or you can model these fruits from the marzipan you bought to make the candied marzipan pecans. Kids will enjoy this project, and the fruits make great gifts, as well as beautiful cake decorations.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Lemon Lime Alfajores

    Lemon Lime Alfajores. Marian Blazes

    A variation on the traditional alfajor - for those who are not fans of dulce de leche. Tart, refreshing lime curd is sandwiched between lemon shortbread cookies. These are better the second day, when the cookies soften and the flavors meld.