Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Sweetopia's Candylicious Pink and White Gingerbread House

It’s gingerbread house season and we’ve got tips from a master gingerbread house builder, Marian Poirer, founder of the tutorial-style baking blog, Sweetopia. She is also a guest speaker at this weekend’s Mixed Conference with Duff Goldman!

Marian takes gingerbread houses to new levels with her clever use of candy, foolproof recipes, and templates.

Her sweet pink gingerbread house (above) features pink rock candy sticks as the evergreen trees, pink Sixlets as the siding, and Necco Wafers and Shimmer Pink Bubble Gumballs as the rooftop. Simple ideas that you can easily build on at home.

Marian’s red and white gingerbread house (below) turns swirl pops into trees, and gumballs and Sixlets into Seuss-like shrubs.

Sweetopia's Candylicious Red and White Gingerbread House

 

We had a chance to talk with Marian about her gingerbread houses and gather a few tips. Here’s the abridged version …

Candy.com:  Your gingerbread houses are works of art. What got you interested in making them?

Marian Poirier - SweetopiaMarian: My fascination with making sweets began nine years ago, when a illness prevented me from engaging in physical fitness; what I had previously spent much of my free time doing. I needed to keep busy, and as gingerbread houses had always charmed me, I decided to try my hand at one. The first house I made wasn’t the prettiest, but I was hooked! The more I made them, the more I found there was to try. Thank goodness the illness only lasted about six months, and I’m grateful for it now, because it led me to find one of my favorite hobbies.

 

Candy.com:  What is your absolute favorite candy to use on a gingerbread house? (We love your use of pink rock candy sticks!)

Marian:  Candy canes first, and gumballs come a close second. Oh, and I do love the rock candy sticks, too! They have this pretty, kind of ‘candy gem’ look, and can easily be matched to any color theme.

 

Candy.com:  In your opinion, what’s the trickiest part to creating a gingerbread house?

Marian:  I would have to say putting the walls together and the roof on. As long as you’ve got a really good royal icing (nice and thick), that will do wonders in making the process much easier. Until I found the recipe I use now, I went through a few frustrating experiences.

 

Candy.com:  Do you have a rule of thumb for about how much candy to buy per small-sized and/or large-sized house?

Marian: It depends on the style I’m going for. If I’m making a house that I’d like to have a bit more of a realistic look, I’m a little more choosy and sparse with the candy. If I’m making a fun, whimsical type of gingerbread house, like the pink-themed one in this post, I pile on the candy! It’s always good to buy a little extra, as oftentimes I’m not sure how much I’ll need until I begin decorating. Plus, that way my husband and I can snack a bit, without being worried that there won’t be enough to finish the house! ;-)

Sweetopia's Traditional Gingerbread House

 

For more tips, check out Marian’s blog post Gingerbread House Ideas and video Making a Gingerbread House.

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Here’s a holiday treat that’s shiny new and groovy over at Candy.com: Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Ribbon Candy!

There are a couple of reasons why this candy is special.

1. It’s made in the USA (yay!)

2. It’s made by a small family-owned candy company (double yay!)

3. It’s unique. In all of my years in the food industry, I’ve never come across ribbon candy dipped in chocolate. Genius!

4. Each chocolate-covered ribbon candy is sprinkled with candy cane bits to make it presentation-worthy. And each holiday red gift box doesn’t require wrapping, so you’re spared from having to hunt down tape, scissors, paper, ribbon, etc.

This special holiday candy is also one of Candy.com’s “12 Days of Sweet Deals,” so it’s on sale until Tues., Dec. 6. Score!

For more product info and to purchase, click here.

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Let’s be honest. There are some dud stocking stuffers. Finding a toothbrush poking out the top of your stocking or an orange bulging at the bottom does beg the question, “What was Santa thinking?”

To avoid an epic fail or, at the very least, a tiny teardrop on Christmas morning, here are five stocking stuffers with two important things in common:

• They are top sellers on Candy.com (a.k.a. proven winners)

• There’s something about each item that makes it special

You be the judge, though. Don’t take my word for it.

1. Sévigny’s Peppermint Ribbon Candy
What makes it special? This paper thin peppermint ribbon candy is made in Brockton, Mass., by the family-owned candy company, F.B. Washburn. It’s truly a rare gem that won’t break the bank! Each 4 oz. box is $2.95.


2. Zotz Strings
What makes this special? Zotz are 100% nostalgic fun. Imported from Italy, these hard candies have been around since 1968. (The “I Dream of Jeanie,” “Gilligan’s Island,” and “Addams Family” era.) The “fun” part comes from the candy’s surprise sour fizzy centers and getting a whole string of them. Zotz Strings are available in six fruit flavors, including apple, cherry, watermelon, lemon, grape, and orange.

3.  Mini Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike Gum Dispensers
What makes this special?
These 9.5-inch plastic bubbles dispense gum that’s shaped and flavored to match classic Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike candies. Put one of these on your desk and watch your office turn into Grand Central Station.

4. Baileys Chocolate Tube
What makes this special?
Baileys Irish Cream + Turin Chocolate + Alcohol-Free = Holiday Cheer For Everyone.  Plus, the 7-ounce chocolate-filled tubes fit perfectly in the neck of a stocking.


5. Candy.com Gift Cards
What makes this special?
It’s a convenient e-card that you simply print and drop in a stocking—and you can buy one for as little as $5. It also introduces friends and family to their own private Candy Land, which is way more fun than Walmart or Target. The best part? You don’t need to leave your house to get this sweet gift. ?

p.s. – If none of these ideas grab you, take a look at Candy.com’s Holiday Sweet Deals. Most of these Web Busters can be squeezed into a stocking. Last holiday tip: Take 10% off your entire Candy.com order today (Cyber Monday!) with webcode cyber10.

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Build your best Gingerbread House ever … and don’t be shy with the candy decorations! Candy.com and MyCandyCrafts.com are sponsoring a 2011 Gingerbread House Competition …

The competition is open to bakers of all ages and skill levels, and the winning baker/builder will receive a $75 Gift Certificate to Candy.com or MyCandyCrafts.com. Winner’s choice!

To enter, just go to https://www.candy.com/Gingerbread-House-2011-Contest_ep_94-1.html and follow instructions to submit your original photographs of your gingerbread house, along with a brief (300 words or less) description of your project. There is no limit to the number of entries per person, but each entry must be a different gingerbread house. (Gingerbread “houses” can also be other structures such as a windmill, boat, candy shop, etc.)

The deadline to receive photos and project descriptions is December 15, 2011, so fire up your rolling pin and get cracking!

Winners will be announced on Dec. 20, 2011, and will be unveiled in a blog post, right here, so keep your eyes peeled. Thank you in advance to all who participate! We’re looking forward to seeing and sharing your great work!

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in Candy, Christmas, Contests, Holidays