Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Any ideas?

I've been searching for a good, signature Christmas treat to hand out to friends and neighbors every year. I've tried a million things so far, and none of them are just perfect yet.

cupcakes-- too much effort for a "neighbor" treat ("neighbor treat" meaning something that can be made in BULK). and I'd have to put them in a big box, which doesn't seem to say "neighbor" treat either.

chocolate covered spoons-- this idea was ok, it was just the packaging that was difficult. I mean, I wrapped the spoons up nicely, but you can't give someone just a spoon! You have to give them hot chocolate or a mug or something too. And the cost of the hot chocolate really starts to add up if you go beyond like 5 couples (forget affording an actual FAMILY-amount of hot chocolate). And, of course the mugs are more expensive than the chocolate no matter how you do it. I did 5 of these in styrofoam mugs with two packets of Bliss hot chocolate... like I said, OK, but not great. And certainly not something I'd duplicate dozens of times.

rolo pretzels-- great tasting and looking. problem: I eat them as fast as I make them. You laugh, but it's actually a problem. And I feel like they don't make much of a package to give to someone. They just look too small. But.. I could be ok with that if I could just stop eating them. Seriously.

Marshmallow Bark-- easy, low cal (so I can nibble too). Not cute though. Just not cute. And I don't think people who aren't dieting would eat this and say "WOW. I can't get enough of this." And that's a problem for me.

Homemade marshmallows-- great in theory. cute and cheap, goes well with the chocolate spoon thing. But it looks so complicated and messy I can't talk myself into attempting it.

cookies-- classic, easy, cute, yummy, cheap. the whole package, except for the packaging. The only way I would do cookies would be if I could afford a christmas tin to put them in. I'm a treat snob, and I just can't do the paper plate with saran wrap over it.... And when we're talking 20-30 people... that's a lot of money on tins. So, no cookies.

chocolate covered pretzel rods-- so far, these are in the lead. I'd say packaging is again the only problem here. But not insurmountable. I'd just like for the package of goodies I give to someone to be a little bulkier... but, not the end of the world. I could still make these look cute. So... these are my forerunner this year.

SO, basically, what I'm asking is: Is there an easy, cheap, yummy, pretty treat out there for a picky treat-giver like me? Or maybe I should ask, is there a pretty and cheap PACKAGING option out there? That seems to be the real problem.

Leave a comment please! ...or else, no one is getting treats this year.


Sarah said...

My Mom's christmas treat is spanish peanuts dipped in dark, white and milk chocolate. We get really small cupcake holders...I'm talking the tiny ones...and we drop little bite size peanut and chocolate clusters into the cupcake wrapper and presto! Colorful and yummy fancy looking treats! Just a suggestion :) It's easy to just melt the chocolate and dump in the peanuts. Even I can do that :)

adiefitton said...

Hi Ashton - it's Adie here from Australia - hope you don't mind me reading your blog, your mum gave me the address. I saw a cute packagin idea in a magazine the other day - make larger cookies and then put them in paper cd cases. Stack a few on top of each other and then tie with ribbon - looked pretty cute. Or put holes in the cookies (so they lok like buttons), again stack them on top of each other and thread through ribbon to tie together. I agree, am not a fan of treats on a paper plate covered in plastic wrap - an alternative to that is to stack treats in cellophane bags (not sure if you can get those there) and then instead of bunching the top together with ribbon, I prefer to folder the top over, punch two holes, and thread the ribbon through the holes to tie a bow - this trick works well with paper bags too and can look cute. I also think noodles boxes (paper/cardboard) are a cute packaging idea and generally aren't too expensive. Good luck with your treats!

Shanna said...

I love homemade candy. And that's the kind of thing you can make a few batches of different kinds and then put a variety of them in a cute bag like Adie suggested. Homemade cherry cordials, peanut brittle, caramels, etc. Whatever that thing was that I ate at your house the other night was delish. And it's one of those unique things that not everyone is brave enough to take on! Everyone can make their own cookies or cupcakes, but candy is definitely a decadent treat!