Ina Garten's Towel Trick Makes It So Easy To Travel With Desserts

ina garten smiling
ina garten smiling - Theo Wargo/Getty Images
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In most cases, the biggest hurdle when making a dessert is simply getting the recipe right. Once you've made the effort to fluff your flour before baking or fold in the egg whites, you're usually in the clear. However, if you plan to transport your dessert elsewhere, this can come with its own set of challenges. Unless you opt for cookies, banana bread or another dessert that can sit safely in a plastic storage container, you could easily end up with smeared frosting or smushed cake layers.

The easiest way to prevent this from happening, as Ina Garten shared on her website, is to use a damp kitchen towel, and stick it under the plate holding your dessert. Even through bumpy roads and sharp turns, the dessert will stay in place. The reason this works is similar to why putting a damp kitchen towel under a cutting board prevents it from sliding around on the counter. It creates friction between the plate and the floor of the trunk, effectively reducing the movement that makes it so hard to travel with certain desserts.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

What Are The Best Desserts To Travel With?

assortment of desserts being boxed up
assortment of desserts being boxed up - Kuznetsov Dmitriy/Shutterstock

With Ina Garten's damp towel trick, you don't have to limit yourself to certain desserts, because whatever you bring along will be fairly stable during the journey. However if you want to be extra careful, you should probably avoid anything with whipped cream, or take extra precautions such as freezing it beforehand, or waiting to add the topping when you get there.

The best desserts to travel with, Garten said on her website, are bar-style items like brownies, or perhaps these white chocolate-cinnamon blondies. In an episode of "Barefoot Contessa" she mentioned she likes making apple pie bars because they're essentially a two-in-one dessert, a hybrid of apple pie and shortbread.

For longer car rides, she opts for desserts that can be both served and transported in the same baking dish, such as pie or fruit crisp. Garten adds that bread pudding or rice pudding also travels well because you can just store them in a container and stick them in a cooler.

Other Tips For Traveling With Desserts

putting cupcakes in box
putting cupcakes in box - Irina Nedikova/Getty Images

When traveling with desserts, it's also just as important to consider where to place them in the car. Ina Garten's towel trick will be useless if your car seat isn't very level, or if you place it next to other objects that could bump into it. Garten puts her desserts in the trunk, so if you decide to follow her lead, just make sure to clear out your trunk.

Transporting multiple desserts can be a bit riskier, so in this scenario, it would be more effective to use a damp beach towel instead of a kitchen towel, or even a yoga mat. It also helps to add towels in between each container. This approach will prevent the desserts from not only sliding around but also from colliding with each other.

Also remember that even Garten herself has resorted to store-bought desserts before. If your dessert didn't survive the car ride, or you just don't want to deal with the hassle of transporting one, consider something like Trader Joe's Apple Tart, which Ina Garten loves to use for entertaining. Of course, there's definitely a good chance you won't need a store-bought backup if you rely on her towel trick.

Read the original article on Daily Meal