29 November 2012

sweet treats for friends

This year Mabes and I wanted to make some goodies to give out to friends to let them know we were thinking about them this holiday season.  I scoured Pinterest for some ideas and came up with three delicious looking recipes.  Mabes gave her seal of approval, I made a shopping list for the ingredients and we were off.  

Confession, I did make these the day before Thanksgiving, which I know is a cardinal sin to do anything Christmas related before Thanksgiving.  I feel I should get a pass because I wanted to make sure I had these done and given out before Miss Burrito makes her debut.  Or before pregnancy brain totally takes over my body and I am found wandering the streets aimlessly unsure of my own name or address.  (Trust me, Internets, I am about a millimeter from reaching that point right now.)

The first thing I did was pick up a package of cute treat boxes from Michaels.  
Friends Gift #2
I also picked up some red tissue paper to match and cute tins from Hobby Lobby as well.
Friends Gifts #3

Next it was time to start baking.

Our first project was Salted Caramel Sauce.  I had to make two batches of this because the jars I bought were a little bit bigger than what the girl used in the original recipe.  One batch only made enough for two jars.  Actually, I made a few more batches than that because I was trying to get it to turn that really deep caramel color.  Unfortunately no matter how hard I tried, it wouldn't turn without becoming a rock hard mess in the pan.  This only slowed us down a little bit because even though the color was a little on the lighter side, I assure you it still tasted heavenly.
Friends Gifts #6
The next thing Mabes and I made were the Barrington Mints.  I wasn't sure how many mints the tins would hold and assumed that since I doubled the caramel sauce recipe I would need to do the same thing for the mints.  Um, we may have had a bit of mint overload on this one.  I have a rather large ziplock bag in my freezer full of these leftover.  That's on top of the four tins we completely filled AND the large bag of mints I gave to my friend on Thanksgiving.  Whoops.
Friends Gifts #5
Our last recipe was Mabes favorite to make and my favorite to eat.  These are hot chocolate stirrers.  All you do is take marshmallows, dipped in melted mint dark chocolate, rolled in crushed candy canes with a mini candy cane stuck down the center.  You use them to stir into your mug of hot chocolate.  Or in the case of one of my friend's daughters you eat them all as is and then try and sneak the box back before your Mom notices.  Once Mabes had assembled them (a great recipe for the little ones to make with just a little supervision) and we let the chocolate set, we packaged them into little party bags and tied them off with some red bakers twine.
Friends Gifts #8
Then it was time for package assembly.  The sauce and marshmallows fit perfectly into the box with a little bit of tissue paper.
Friends GiftFriends Gifts #10
The mints fit into the tin with several layers of wax paper.  Put the tin on top of the box, tie it all together with a little more bakers twine, add a cute ornament and call it done.
Friends Gifts #11

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