Tuesday, January 3, 2012

christmas snack boxes

Here's another use for bakery boxes, adapted from this idea for an ice cream sundae kit (originally pinned on Pinterest).

After giving it some thought, I came up with the idea of a Late Night Snack Kit. Look! Here's one now!

It still has the waffle cones and toppings for sweet cravings, plus popcorn and popcorn flavoring . . . and chocolate-covered GIGANTIC MARSHMALLOWS!

I made several kits this year for gifts, and they're a pretty cool gift option, whether or not you're trying to keep your holiday spending in check. For starters, it's:

#1: Useful. Everyone needs a late-night snack once in awhile, right? Or a mid-afternoon snack? Food is always useful.

#2: Doesn't depend too much on a person's aesthetic taste. Unlike a sweater, a framed print, or a Chia Pet.

#3: Doesn't add to a clutter problem, or require dusting. Because it's consumable and/or mostly recyclable, this is one gift that won't sit around indefinitely. At worst, the recipient can use it to fatten up some hungry non-migratory birds.

Start with some of the same bakery boxes used for this project. (Alternately, you can go to grocery store bakery and buy some cake or donut boxes. They might not be quite as cute, but the woman at the counter let me buy some for twenty-five cents apiece, so it's a budget-friendly option you can fall back on.)

In late September, I picked up two bags of gigantic Campfire marshmallows at an end-of-season clearance at the local grocery store. They don't sell these everywhere, and they don't sell them all year, but the expiration date on my bags is for February 2013, so I knew they'd keep fine through the holidays. Of course, if you're using this idea for birthday or hostess gifts throughout the year, you can always use regular-size marshmallows.

Put some semi-sweet chocolate in a double-boiler and melt it down, stirring till it's nice and smooth. Be careful not to get any water in it, not even a drop, or you'll ruin the batch (like I did the first time through)! Stick a jumbo mallow on a lollipop stick, dip the bottom in some chocolate, then into some sprinkles, then put it into a cupcake liner and let it cool until the chocolate sets. I put four jumbo marshmallows in each box; you might be able to fit six or eight regular-sized mallows depending on how much space your cupcake liners take up.

I re-packaged some waffle cones in treat sacks tied with baking twine, six cones to a sack, one sack to a box. For the ice cream toppings, I bagged up some Reese's Pieces, chocolate chips, and a couple of different types of sprinkles for the ice cream toppings, in little candy sacks also tied with twine.

The unpopped popcorn and popcorn flavorings came pre-packaged from Target in such cute little bottles that I just let them be. You can find them in the snack aisle, alongside the regular popcorn, or you can repackage regular unpopped popcorn and salt (a less-expensive option).

Tie up with baker's twine and pretty tags, and you have a fun Late Night Snack Kit!

Cost breakdown for four boxes:

* bakery boxes — approximately 4 for $5 (or 4 for $1, if you go the grocery store option)
* bakery twine — had on hand, but you can use cotton crochet yarn or source the twine through the other bakery box posting
* plastic treat sacks — $2
* plastic candy bags — $3
* sack of Reese's Pieces — $2
* sack of semi-sweet chocolate — $2
* sprinkles —$2
* cupcake liners —$2
* waffle cones — 2 boxes of 12 for $3
* popcorn — 4 for $8 (or buy one large bag for $2 and divide)
* popcorn seasoning — 4 for $8 (or use regular salt, or Nesquik powder, divided)
* jumbo marshmallows (on sale) — $1.13 (or use regular marshmallows)

It breaks down to about $11 per gift for four. Of course, you'll have enough sprinkles, candy, and marshmallows for more people, so these gifts get less expensive per each if you make more.

Have fun with it! If you can think of other snacks you'd like to include, there's no reason why you shouldn't. I added boxes of tea to a a couple, and a salted caramel chocolate bar to one. Just remember to list the ingredients on the tag, and note that mallows (especially large ones) can present a choking hazard.


(p.s. you can make these photos bigger by clicking on them . . . but you probably knew that!)

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