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While sharing tapas with friends the other night, I pointed out that small plates and miniature foods have gained in popularity. This is especially true of desserts. Cupcakes (and mini-muffins) have never been hotter, but tiny pastries and flans are equally popular in upscale restaurants.
One small, rich bite ends a meal as beautifully as a slab of layer cake or a wedge of pie a-la-mode. Our bodies (and psyches) know the meal is over as soon as the sweet treat is swallowed. So the next time you're thinking about making an apple pie, dust off your muffin tins and make apple tarts instead. Make mini-cheesecakes in mini-muffin tins--or try serving up creme brulee in kiddy-sized custard cups. Downsize your cookies and, of course, don't forget about the cupcakes. Your guests will thank you, your waistline will thank you, and you'll be the trendiest baker in town.