Posts Tagged ‘Party Favors’

Planning a candy buffet for an event sounds really, really fun (what’s not to love?), but when you get down to business, there are a lot of decisions to be made.

With so many candy types, colors, shapes, textures, sizes—and just as many containers, scoops, labels, and table props to consider—two g’s come to mind: “gulp” and “gasp.”

Enter Amy Atlas …

If you aren’t already familiar with the name, Amy Atlas is the goddess of dessert tables and candy buffets. Her work is like looking at a fashion runway with so much attention paid to color, texture, style, and accessories. (If you need to see to believe, click here.)

With such talent and experience, we turned to Amy to answer frequently asked questions about candy buffets … and dish on her highly anticipated new book.

Candy.com: The customer service team at Candy.com is constantly asked, “How much candy should I buy?” and “Is there a rule of thumb for estimating container capacity?” (i.e., How many pounds of salt water taffy or M&M’s will I need to fill a half-gallon apothecary jar?) How do you calculate quantities for your own events?

Amy Atlas:  As a basic rule, I suggest 6 to 8 ounces of candy per guest.  However, if you are looking to make a more bountiful display, you may have to order more depending on your design.

Unfortunately, there is no rule of thumb for estimating candy per container. I use the following guidelines, though …

  • - Salt water taffy: 1 1/2 lbs per half-gallon container
    - Malt balls: 2 1/2 lbs per half-gallon container
    - M&M’s: 3 lbs per half-gallon container

Candy.com: When ordering candy for an event, how far in advance do you suggest placing the order?

Amy Atlas: I recommend ordering at least 10 days to two weeks prior to the event to ensure the candy will get there on time and to avoid additional shipping fees. The candy will stay fresh so long as you the candy is kept in the packaging and stored at room temperature.

 

Candy.com: Should you buy less candy per person if you’re also including cake/cookies/cupcakes on your dessert table?

Amy Atlas: Adding cake/cookies/cupcakes to your dessert spread will round out your dessert table and you’ll probably need less candy.  Another factor in determining how much candy you will need is what type of vessels you are using for the candy. If you are using small bowls, then you won’t necessarily have to purchase a lot to make it look pretty.

 

Candy.com: What are the most practical containers/vessels to use?

Amy Atlas: Containers with wide openings are the most practical so guests can easily access the candy with scoops. I love these containers.

 

Candy.com: Should you provide a scoop for every container?

Amy Atlas: Yes, you absolutely should have a scoop for each container. You will not want flavors of certain candies mixed with others, especially if food allergies are a concern. Having multiple scoops also helps ensure that guests won’t be waiting for others to finish scooping.

 

Candy.com: What are the best types of candies to use in a candy buffet?

Amy Atlas: My favorites to use are jelly beans, M&M’s, and malt balls.

 

Candy.com: What is your favorite candy color palette?

Amy Atlas: I love mixing and matching unexpected color palettes. Currently, I’m loving neon pink and yellow paired with a grayish lavender accent color.

Candy.com: What type of favor bags or boxes do you like to use for guests to take home candy?

Amy Atlas: I often personalize bags like these for the clients to send their guests off with. However, popcorn boxes and muslin pouches are also great containers.

 

Candy.com: What are some ways to create different heights on a candy buffet, so it’s more eye-appealing?

Amy Atlas: You can use vessels in various heights. Also, think outside the “vessel” and use fun containers that tie into your theme. For a rustic dessert bar, tree trunks can add the perfect amount of height while a travel themed party would look fantastic with small luggage containers.

 

Candy.com: Do you have any tips for staying organized while planning a candy buffet or dessert table?

Amy Atlas: Create a mockup of the design before the event to get a sense of whether you need to add additional candy/desserts (or if you have planned for too much and you need to scale back). Keep an organized list for when all of your candy and desserts are being delivered and remember to pack candy scoops for the event!

 

Candy.com: We’re dying for your new book, Sweet Designs: Bake It, Craft It, Style It to be released on April 24! What can you tell us about it?

Amy Atlas: The book is the first book created for making sweets/candy tables. While the pictures are beautiful, it is not intended to be a coffee table book. I created it so people can use it as a reference not only for inspiration, but also as a guide for all of my sweet styling tips. Think of it as a candy table bible.  The book has over 100 of my recipes, 75 of my crafting instructions, and is filled with my styling tips.  There are more than 250 never-seen-before photos as well!


Amy Atlas photo courtesy of Robert Caplin.
Candy buffet and book cover photos courtesy of Amy Atlas.

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This morning I got word that Mars, Incorporated, the makers of M&M’s candies, inked a deal with the fashion jewelry manufacturer Monet International, Inc. to design and produce M&M’s character rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and other keepsakes. For M&M’s fans, here’s a sneak peek at what will be in Macy’s department stores starting late this September and on Monet.com starting on October 15, 2010. So cute!

The price points on the jewelry range from $15 to $45. A higher-end sterling silver line will also be available and that will start at $35 per piece. According to the Mars Retail Group, other retailers will be able to purchase the M&M’s jewelry wholesale beginning New Year’s Day 2011.

My first thought when I saw these necklaces was what great gifts or party favors to build an M&M’s theme around. For clever ideas on how to incorporate M&M’s in cakes, cupcakes, cookies, snack mixes, etc., check out BrightIdeas.com. Here are a few cakes/cupcakes I earmarked from the site. (Click on each photo for instructions on how to make them.)


Have you ever created a theme party around a candy? If so, please share!

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Yesterday, creativity struck in my house. (Run!) My daughter and I huddled in the kitchen to make candy crafts—and spend a near-final summer hour together before the school bell rings.

Now, I’m not a crafty mom, but that’s what makes this exercise all the better. If I can turn out a few candy masterpieces, you can, too! My 9-year-old daughter is artistic, but as genes would have it, I turned out to be the antithesis of Martha Stewart. (Notice my globs of frosting on photos below.)

So, a quick Google search is all we needed to get the following three easy and inexpensive (beautiful words in the Great Recession) candy projects flowing.

Candy Airplane
Inspiration:
Family Fun

Materials:
- Sticks of gum (I used Wrigley’s Extra)
- Smarties (Did you know Smarties now comes in chocolate, bubble gum, and X-treme sour varieties? I did not. What rock have I been living under?)
- Peppermint Life Savers
- White paper
- Small, colored rubber bands (I bought tiny Goody brand hair rubber bands at Target)

Super simple instructions:
1. Thread rubber band through the holes of two Life Savers, then balance the roll of Smarties between them, across the rubber band.
2. For wings, balance stick of gum on top, perpendicular to the Smarties, and pull the rubber band up and over each side of the gum to hold it all in place.
3. Decorate wings with tiny stickers, drawings, or messages.

Candy Boat
Inspiration: National Confectioners Association‘s downloadable
Candy Craft Booklet
Materials:
- Orange slices
- Peppermint Lifesavers
- Pretzel sticks
- Rips licorice squares (a fairly new product, but I found it at Target.)
- Gummy bears
- Can of white icing
Super Simple Instructions:
1. Turn each orange slice curve side down (like a boat).
2. Place pretzel stick in center of each orange slice.
3. Cut Rips licorice square diagonally to create two triangles. (Instead of Rips to make the sail, you can wrap a fruit roll cut into triangular shape around pretzel.)
4. Attach licorice “sail” to pretzel with frosting.
5. Attach lifesaver to side of orange slice with frosting.
6. Add gummy bear on top of orange slice and attach with frosting.
Candy Automobile
Inspiration:
The Stir
Materials:
- Hostess Ho Hos snack cakes
- Smarties
- Lifesavers
- Bunny Peeps or Teddy Grahams
- Peach rings
Super Simple Instructions:
1. “Glue” the following treats together with frosting:

- Car body: Hostess Ho Hos snack cake
- Driver: Teddy Graham (Bunny Peeps work better, but I had to improvise since it’s August.)
- Seat back: Peach ring (I used mini Nutter Butter cookies, which were a decent stand-in.)
- Tires and Steering Wheel: Life Savers
- Car lights: Smarties

Have you made any easy candy crafts lately?
Upload your finished product pics at Facebook.com/candydotcom.

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A very peculiar novelty candy item arrived in my mailbox last week: Gummy Shotz (edible gummy shot glasses). The “shot glasses” ship six individual flavors per pack and flavors include cherry, grape, orange, lemon, lime, cola, blue raspberry, green apple, pink bubble gum, and pineapple.

I’m guessing these colorful, two-inch-tall sticky vessels were dreamed up for gimmicky 1 oz. drinks like Lemon Drops, Kamikazes, and B-52s … and for more mature events like bachelorette parties, Mardi Gras, luaus, etc.

I get that, but I took these super sweet and somewhat rubbery shot glasses in a more juvenile direction. (How many adults really want to eat a gooey gummy “glass” after downing a shot of Jäger? It’s a heck of a chaser.)

I spent a morning in my kitchen concocting candy crafts by inserting a mini baking cup in each shot glass and filling the mini cups with colorful candies like peanut M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, sour crawlers, gummy bears, and Skittles to play off of the primary gummy colors.

My craft project turned out to be something I would use as a kid’s party favor wrapped in cello and tied with a bow (Candy Land theme anyone?), or as eye candy on a candy buffet.

Per my 14-year-old neighbor’s brilliant suggestion, I also filled some of the shot glasses with whipped cream and topped them with fruit and sprinkles. I don’t think I’d serve these to guests older than 14, though, but they do look pretty on a tray.

I photographed some of my final products with my low-budget 35 mm, so my apologies in advance for the following lackluster visuals:

Now it’s your turn to think outside of the box. What would you fill these gummy shot glasses with?

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in Brands/Companies, Candy, Candy Type, Reviews, Soft