Showing posts with label Treat Exchange. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Treat Exchange. Show all posts

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Second Annual Treat Exchange

I had a treat exchange to go to last night so thought I’d share the goodies I brought. A girlfriend of mine did this for the first time last year, everyone brings 5 of something and everyone leaves with 5 of something…can be sweets or appetizers. It’s now become a tradition.
Peppermint Bark Treat Exchange
Last year I made cake pops. This year I made dark and white chocolate peppermint bark and salted chocolate pecan toffee.

Peppermint Bark
Barks are one of the easiest candies, OK THE easiest candy to make! I used a combination of chocolate chips and candy melts for both the dark and white chocolates. For the peppermint, I used candy canes and Andes Crushed Peppermint thins.

Salted Chocolate Pecan Toffee
In a clasically brilliant move, I broke my candy thermometer right before I needed it. Do not have candy thermometer on counter when breaking up candy canes and pecans! So I had to eyeball my toffee but I think it turned out OK.

I used this recipe : Salted Chocolate Pecan Toffee

I love packaging things. For these, I used ceramic mini loaf pans I found at Michaels for $1. Put my candies in cello bags, then put them in the loaf pans:
Peppermint Barn and Toffee
Then I wrapped each in polka dot cellophane, and finished with gift tags I made from scraps from my Christmas cards. I used a holly wreath graphic from The Graphics Fairy as part of my labels.

Treat Exchange Wrap

Treat Exchange (2)

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Pop Go The Cake Pops

I've been focused on trying to wrap up my Christmas cards ( and what genius makes almost 60 handmade Christmas cards which means you also have to make an inside, then write something in each oh and write a family Christmas letter?) I know... "we" do.

I did take some time away to do some baking for a treat exchange I attended on Friday. You could bring cookies, candies, or appetizers....everyone brought 5 plates of whatever they brought and you left with 5. Great idea. I tried my hand at cake pops since they're "popping" up all over. I saw them in this month's "Food Network" magazine and there are shops in NY and Dallas and CA selling these for around $30 a dozen?! I won't be buying them.

If you've not tried these, they're not too hard. The basic is one 13x9 cake ( you can make from scratch but I cheated and used a cards cards) and 3/4 can of frosting ( or whatever that works out to if you make your frosting from scratch!) . You can use any combination you want. Of course I did, chocolate cake and chocolate frosting! You were expecting maybe lemon? No. Bake your cake, let it cool, crumble it ( this is good for getting out frustration at your decision to make almost 60 cards...crumble crumble grumble grumble) , mix in your frosting and refrigerate for several hours while you work on cards. Then roll your filling into balls and dip in candy melts. I used Wilton white chocolate melts. You can stop there or sprinkle with stuff. Yep I sprinkled. I wanted a "Winter Wonderland" feel so I used white sparkly sanding sugar.

Lesson Learned: Miss Smarty Pants read that you should insert your lollipop sticks AFTER you coat your cake pops and they set but no, I decided I was going to put the sticks in and then dip. Worked OK except I got impatient after a few of these and didn't let the candy melt set up before putting on waxed paper to and the tops got a little flat on some. So if you dip, dry and then stick, your flat tops can be your pop bottoms.

I presented them in upcycled tomato sauce cans, decorated w/ scrapbook paper and embellishments. I stuck styrofoam balls inside to hold the pops:
I decorated some with gold Wilton gel....Jo Ann's
Tonight we return to addressing cards. Again...whose idea was that?

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