Tag Archives: gift ideas

Chocolate Peppermint Pretzels & More!

The finished products.

I needed to make some simple gifts for neighbors and the Kilpatrick Family (because they are seriously like a surrogate family to me, and they are amazing people), and I really wanted to do something where Jack could help.

I figured these chocolate dipped peppermint pretzels would be the perfect solution.

Peeled candy canes, ready to be turned into minty dust.

I used two different colored candy canes (traditional and ones that include green), peeled them, and then separately gave them a good crushing in my food processor. When each was done I poured them into their own shallow bowl.

Powdered minty magic.

I got 2 bags of the honey wheat pretzel sticks. They are a good, medium length. I melted (separately) white and semi-sweet chocolate chips in a double boiler. When they were all melty, I put the bowls at our workstation and we got to dipping.

After we dipped each one we rolled it around in the peppermint crunchies, then we set them down on a huge silicone mat. You could also use wax paper or parchment paper if you don’t have a silicone mat.

Almost done....

At the end we took red and green colored sugar and sprinkled it on them, then waited for them to dry.

Scrumptious

I realized when we were finishing up the pretzels that I still had lots of melted chocolate left. Since wasting food makes me feel nutso, I knew I had to figure something out.

Chocolate peppermint coins

I got out my mini muffin tin, spritzed a little cooking oil in the bottom of each space and then started pouring the melted chocolate in. I quickly sprinkled the leftover peppermint and sprinkles on, then stuck the whole pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

If you don’t have a mini muffin tin you could use a regular one, but the disks would just be thinner and wider. They may also be a little harder to get out so silicone muffin cups might make things easier if you have those.

When I pulled the pan out I let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before carefully popping them out. I put them in little baggies and I’ll be giving them as gifts.

For the pretzels I got some inexpensive containers to package them in. I found a set of green plastic containers and a glass jar with a hinged lid. The glass jar was less than $3 at local dollar store!

When I filled them I put some candy cane striped ribbon around the top and then little “To, From” labels on the top.

The whole project didn’t take more than a couple of hours and it was really affordable. This would also be a great project if you have kids of multiple ages, because even though they might not be able to all the steps, even just putting on the sprinkles would be fun.

So if you are scrambling for any last-minute gift ideas definitely give these a  try!

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St. Nick…you ninja!

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Our first real Christmas here (we first arrived just a few weeks short of Christmas, so that one doesn’t really count in my mind) we only had a few friends in the area. I whipped up a few spice rubs for our friends and neighbors, got a couple gifts for Chris and Jack, and that was about it.

Now we are fortunate to have lots of awesome friends, and since I love making stuff (duh), I want to make all sorts of nifty things for them this holiday season. Here’s the only problem….I swear it’s sneaking up on me faster than ever this year!

I really should start planning this stuff in the summer. I know that sounds bonkers, but some things take longer than others to make and can sit around for a few months before Christmas. I’m referring mostly to knitted/crocheted/sewed things. Also, I should stretch my canning endeavors to include extras for gifts. I didn’t really think of that this year. Ooops.

Then there are the things I have to make right before gifting, such as edibles. Now, I obviously can’t make these whenever I have a free moment, since I have to make them right before I give them….but I should’ve been thinking about these recipes back in October!

Again, I know this is making me sound like some crazy Martha Stewart nutcase, but not all my friends like the same edibles, and with food restrictions and allergies, I can’t just make one big batch of something and dole it out to everyone. I actually need to sit down with a list of people and make notes next to it.

In the end, I know it will all get done, and it will be fun to deliver everything. But seriously, next year, in the heat of the summer (when Chris starts singing Christmas songs because he’s weird like that) I’m going to get out a pen and paper (and login to Pinterest) and get crackin’ on planning.