Archive for the ‘Gifts’ Category

It was Valentine’s candy craft day at my house this morning, which led to a sampling of Milk Duds, BB Bats, Bit-O-Honey, Reese’s Pieces, Good & Plenty, and Goobers all before 10 a.m. Sure beats a bowl of Cheerios.

My kids and I started with a brainstorming session and came up with a handful of candy-related sweet sayings, including …

- I’m about to tell you a Whopper. I love you!
- I am such a Goober when I’m around you.
- You’re one Hot Tamale in my book.
- Valentine, let’s Take 5 in New York [Peppermint Patty] City!
- Luv U to [Reese's] Pieces.
- I always have a Good & Plenty time with you.
- Kiss my Whatchamacallit! (All credit goes to neighbor Jenny for this one)

From there, we cut out red hearts from poster board and applied our “sweet nothings” and candy to paper. Snap!

Here are three that my kids made with a teeny-tiny bit of motherly input (see heart #3) …

If you're not into playing "hard to get," this is the Valentine for you.

This box of Milk Duds is empty because we had no self control while candy crafting.

"My kids" made this on behalf of my husband. Wink.

Hope our humble hearts inspire you to create homemade candy greetings for your own sweeties!

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There has been quite a bit of talk on Twitter and the food blogs this week over the classic combination of peppermint and chocolate.

Slashfood came out with a slide show of The Best Peppermint Treats. (Spoiler alert: Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares, Dove Peppermint Bark Promises, and Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses made the cut.)

Cybele May of CandyBlog.net just gave Russell Stover’s Peppermint Bark Snowman a favorable review.

Today on MarthaStewart.com, editor Amy Conway, posts a super-simple Candy Cane Ice Cream Sandwich made with crushed candy canes and chocolate wafers.

This all makes me wonder …

What’s your favorite Peppermint-Chocolate Treat?

Is it …

- Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares

- Dove Peppermint Promises

- Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses

- York Peppermint Patties

- Andes Mints (did you know Andes Mints are now available as baking chips? I just spied them at Target!)

- Junior Mints (must see heart-shaped Junior Mints!)

- Williams-Sonoma’s Peppermint Bark

- Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s

… or something else?

Name your peppermint-chocolate poison after this post or on Facebook. Mine? Dove’s Peppermint Bark Promises. One bite, tons of choco-pepperminty bark.

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Are you staring at your computer screen like a deer in the headlights because you have no idea what to get Aunt Tilly, Grandpa Harry, or Cousin Eddie? Never fear.

I’ve got six goof-proof gift ideas for you. All will arrive by Christmas if you order by Wed., Dec. 22.  (Click on each photo for product details.)

A gift pretty enough to double as a centerpiece.

Hand out these milk chocolate bars to difficult relatives during the holidays and watch sparks fly.

For die-hard Bonomo Turkish Taffy fans, this gift is better than a shiny new car or sparkly diamonds.

Here's a gift Santa would covet. Ghirardelli packed its reusable sleigh with cookies, hot cocoa, and a handful of chocolate squares.

Godiva's gift basket not only looks impressive, but it also covers a major food group.

This spirited chocolate trio has New Year's Eve written all over it.

And here’s a gift for you. It’s my goof-proof recipe for English Toffee that tastes like Heath Bars. I have never ruined a batch, and that’s huge for me. So, I’m dead serious when I say these are “goof-proof.”

To-Die-For English Toffee

1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

In heavy saucepan melt butter. Add sugars and water. Mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When candy thermometer measures 300 F, remove mixture from heat.

Quickly and carefully pour mixture onto ungreased cookie sheet. Spread with a knife to form an even layer. While toffee is still hot, sprinkle on chocolate chips and spread. Sprinkle nuts over chocolate. Refrigerate until candy is set. Break into pieces of desired size.

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When it comes to candy, “Super-Size” doesn’t have to be a dirty word. It can actually be a whole lot of fun. Here are 5 super-sized treats to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth (or impossible friend) on your holiday gift list.

The 4.5 Pound Gummi Bear
You’re either going to think this bear is gross or great. For gummi bear fans, it’s the ultimate chew. 

Giant Tootsie Pops
I am a Tootsie Pop fan (chocolate and cherry flavors are the best!), so seeing these giant pops was like discovering great boots at DSW.

World’s Largest Mint Stick
Weighing in at 2 lbs., this mint stick on steroids should last until President’s Day.Over-the-Top Lollipop
The Melville Candy Company‘s Smile, Flower, and Peace Pops tip the scales at 2 lbs. And each one of these heavyweights rests on a 24-inch stick. Joe Melville (that’s him above lifting a 2-lb. pop), his dad Gary Melville, and the rest of the crew at the Massachusetts-based Melville Candy Company, make these and a bazillion other pops by hand. Really.

Big Hunk XL
“Go big or go home” seems most fitting here. Annabelle’s legendary Big Hunk chewy nougat bar comes in a king-sized version for your favorite hunk. Pop two in a stocking and you’re stuffed.

(Sweet shopportunity: Use coupon code “golarge5″ at checkout and get 5% off these colossal candies and everything else on Candy.com! Offer valid through Dec. 10.)

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