Candy Trays


I ran across these cute candy trays on Pinterest and was infatuated with them, as was everyone else, apparently. I thought they would be perfect to give with my marshmallows to my neighbors and maybe bring the goodies I was making for my husband’s office party. So I gave it a try.

Mine didn’t turn out quite as perfect and beautiful as the ones on the original blog. The edges were not really nice and straight, I think maybe my oven temp is not even. Something I now want to check. Then again, I still liked them a lot and had fun with them.

A bigger problem is that they WERE sticky! I suspect it’s a function of living in South Florida where it’s very humid and particularly humid right now (70%). Heck, everything is sticky. I happened to be making marshmallows at the time so I had cornstarch out and had an idea. Why not try dusting them with cornstarch like I do marshmallows? So, I put some on both sides and rubbed it all over and let it sit. Then I wiped it off after awhile. I did this several times and it seemed to work. They don’t end up as pretty and glossy, but it does seem to take the stickiness off, at least for long enough to use them.

I’m not posting instructions here, you can check out the instructions at this blog Tutto Bella. Really easy and quick, and fun (except unwrapping the peppermints). Oh, and I had a harder time finding the green ones.  My green ones were a different brand than the red ones and I noticed they melted at a somewhat faster rate. I checked and the ingredients were different, so if I make these again I will try to find some that are the same brand with the same ingredients. Maybe my results will be a little more consistent. But, still, I was happy and they were fun. You could have kids place the peppermints and then have an adult do the oven part. And if you live in a less humid place maybe you won’t have to mess with cornstarch at all!

Peppermint Stick Cocoa

I know Christmas has come and gone, but cocoa is always good, right?  And peppermint is always good, and I have a feeling you can make this with any kind of candy anyway (like red hots!).  I made these for my neighbors this year, because I wasn’t up to baking, and I had found this recipe and wanted to try it.  It turned out really cute, and got good reviews, so I’m going to share it here.  I had a little leftover but I’ve run out, so I made more today and made enough to send a batch to each of the boys as well.  A few Christmases ago I gave each of the daughters in law a hot chocolate maker and frother.  I had recently discovered that two of them had been broken when they got them, but no one had wanted to hurt my feelings by telling me.  After a little searching, because Crate and Barrel was no longer  selling them, I found them here.

At any rate, it made me want to send them all some of this really good cocoa mix. And make some more for us.I made a few changes in the basic recipe, which I’ll explain.  The original is good, but I like this a little bit better.  I think you could give this as gifts, or just keep it on hand for yourself and your family.  I’m not sure about making a sugar free version, because I’m not sure if there is a suitable substitute for the chocolate chips.  I assume you could make a lower sugar version with Splenda or your sweetener of choice.  Or, you could just splurge once in awhile.

So, to see what I did, check it out on my Cook It page here.