i was stumped as to what to give the bean's teachers at preschool, dance, and gymnastics this year. i really didn't want to spend a wad o'cash, and gift cards, while always fun to receive, aren't really that much fun to give.
and then as i trolled pinterest late one night, i decided to go the cheesy, holly hobbie-homespun route and just make a variety of treats as our gifts. for those of you who are teachers in any capacity, do you like stuff like that or does it end up in the trash? i realize that the holidays are already chock-full of sugary treats left and right, so maybe this wasn't the greatest of ideas after all. oh, well. too late now. one trip to the grocery store and i was all stocked up on everything i needed to make three different types of yummies.
first up - a delicious morsel of happiness that i discovered when i stopped at the cake and candy supply store for some essentials. they'd just had a candy demonstration and were giving away samples of their creations at the counter. one taste of their "rocky mountain rip-off" and i was hooked. and when i looked at the recipe online, i realized that i already had all of the ingredients in the kitchen to make a batch.
as i mixed it together, i figured it would fit nicely in my 8" x 8" square pan - but learned the hard way that i should've gone with a bigger size. after it was sufficiently chilled, i pulled it out to slice into pieces and it was so thick that most of it cracked into little pieces. boo. but guess what? it's still dee-licious.
undaunted, i turned to my next project - a treat i'd seen and pinned to my "stuff i wanna eat" board immediately. i've had chocolate-covered potato chips before, but these looked extraordinarily fantastic. a light coating of caramel, a dip in melted chocolate, and a sprinkle of toffee bits took 'em to a whole new level.
brushing the caramel on each chip was a pain in the ass. as i worked on these, i cursed my own "gifts are so booooooring" whininess. i'm such a glutton for punishment.
the first batch of chocolate that i melted in the microwave seized horribly and was all gross and chunky. boo. i ended up using my faux-double boiler method, which worked perfectly. some of the chips broke as i worked due to the caramel stuck to the wax paper, but i got most of it dipped and sprinkled.
lastly, i put together a batch of that yummy pepperminty, candy cane-y chex mix i made last week. and to make it extra super cutesy, i busted out a bag of caramel bugle snacks i'd bought to make these super cute santa hats. the bean was enchanted with the final product.
i scooped six bags' worth of each treat and tied them with ribbon in christmas colors, and then to add to the awesome cheesiness of our gifts, i gave each item a silly name and made little stickers for the bags.
this one was the teen's idea. somehow, calling something "poop" always makes it more fun.
although i suppose it might have been more appropriate for these.
and then there's this.
i'm full of christmas cheer, aren't i? well, i'm sure full of something.