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Happy New Year!

Yeah!  We made it through and are on the cusp of another new year.  New Year is a time of endings turning into new beginnings.  It is a time of making resolutions you really are going to try to keep this year and a time of rejuvenation.  If you haven’t had such a great year it is the renewal of hope.  If you had a great year it is a celebration of good things.  New Year’s celebrations are FUN! Noise makers, silly hats, and food & drink abound as family and friends cheer to the New Year!  What better way to celebrate than with sweets! Below is a really fun and easy craft to put a fun and more personalized twist on the party popper.  My family and I made these over the weekend to proudly offer our guests at our New Year’s Eve celebration.  We used metallic paint pens in silver and gold to add little celebratory messages to these poppers. There is still time for you to make these for your own celebration!

NYE Poppers

New Year’s Eve Poppers

Materials

•Paper towel tubes

•Wrapping paper / tissue paper

•Curling ribbon

•X-acto knife / Scissors

•Tape

•Pin or needle

•Embellishments (ribbon, stickers, spray glitter, etc.)

Hershey® Kisses®, Rolos®, Chocolate Coins (you can color coordinate these to match your poppers!), Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cup® miniatures/party favors

Instructions

1.      Using an x-acto knife or scissors, cut the paper towel tube in half. Each half will become its own popper. Then cut each of these tubes in half again, because each popper tube needs to be pre-cut before you wrap them. So just to clarify, these four pieces of tubes will make two poppers.

2.      Cut a piece of wrapping paper or tissue paper that’s wide enough to wrap around the tube and long enough to have at least 2″ of extra paper on each end of the tube. Place both halves of the tube closely together in the center of the wrapping paper. Then wrap and tape down the paper.  Note: Don’t place any tape along the middle portion of the poppers, so that they will be easier to pop open.

3.       Tie one end closed with curling ribbon. Then use the other open end to fill the poppers with and assortment of Hershey® Kisses®, Rolos®, Chocolate Coins and other surprises. Once the poppers are filled, tie off the other end. Then cut the ends into strips.

4.      Cut pieces of wrapping paper about 2″ wide and long enough to wrap around the tube. Then cut strips down the side of the paper that are about ¼” wide and about halfway in. You will need two of these for each popper. Wrap them around the two ends of the popper so that the cut frills are hanging off the ends, and tape them down.  You may want to curl or bend the frills backwards a little so they flare up more.

5.       Decorate the poppers with ribbon, stickers, spray glitter or even write the year along the center. We embellished our poppers with ric rac trim.

6.       To make your poppers easier to pop open, perforate the paper by poking holes all around the center (where the tube was cut) with a straight pin or needle.

 Your party poppers are now complete! Have a Happy New Year!

Reindeer Antlers

Reindeer Antlers

Who doesn’t love the combination of sweet and salty? Chocolate covered pretzels fill the need. The smooth creamy decadence of chocolate followed by the saltiness and crunch of the pretzel-delightful!  Of course it is the holiday season so why not have fun with it!  If you loved the M&M Chocolate Bark featured on this blog earlier this year, then you will love this holiday variation!

Reindeer Antlers

Decoration Time: 10 min.
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: Makes 14 antlers.

1 3/4 cups DOVE® Chocolate
3/4 cup M&M’S® Brand MINIS®
1 bag pretzel sticks, broken into various sized pieces
Parchment Paper

1. Remove 3/4 cup red and green M&M’S® Brand MINIS® and set aside for decoration.
2. Line a baking sheet with Parchment Paper.
3. Melt the DOVE® Chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir the mixture as it melts. When mixture is shiny and smooth, turn off the heat.
4. Once all the chocolate is melted, dip the pretzel pieces one at a time and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet into an antler shape. Place the M&M’S® Brand MINIS® on each antler as it is finished.
5. Repeat this same process until all the antlers are finished.
6. Let the chocolate cool completely and get firm. You can refrigerate to firm the chocolate more quickly.
7. Once firm, remove them from the Parchment Paper.
8. If desired, wrap each one in a sheet of cellophane, tied with a ribbon or simply put them on a cookie plate.

Tip: Add red M&M’S® Brand MINIS® to form the red nose.

Click here to order your M&M’s® Brand MINIS® and DOVE® Chocolate now!

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

Tasty Tree Lights CookiesThis year the Christmas season seems to have barrelled down upon us.  The stores barely had their Halloween décor stored away or their Turkeys & Pilgrims displayed before Rudolf & Santa made their first appearances. For me it doesn’t feel like Chrismas without my yearly ritural.  I need to wait until we have at least  exhausted the Thanksgiving leftovers so I can start baking a few batches of holiday cookies-have to make sure we have some for Santa!  MMMM Sugar Cookie Holiday Lights with M&M® or Peanut Butter Blossoms and a nice cup of cocoa-now we’re talking!  Then to really bring on the holiday spirit I need to sit in front of the twinkling Christmas tree with my family and watch National Lampoon’s A Christmas Vacation (the squirrel in the Christmas tree!) and A Christmas Story (You’ll shoot your eye out!)…now I’m feeling it!  What goodies and movies get you in the holiday spirit?

M&M’s Sugar Cookie Holiday Lights Recipe (pictured above)

Prep Time: 10 min.

Bake Time: 45 min.

Difficulty: Moderate

Yield: Makes 24 cookies.

Ingredients

2/3 cup flour 

1 18 oz. roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1½ cups prepared vanilla frosting 

3 cups M&M’S® Milk Chocolate Candies Holiday Blend 

4 strands red licorice laces 

Resealable plastic bags 

Drinking straw 

Christmas light shaped cookie cutter (small)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 

2. Knead the flour into the cookie dough until smooth. 

3. Roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. By hand, or using a Christmas light cookie cutter, cut out shapes. 

4. With a spatula, gently transfer the cookies to a baking sheet.  Using a drinking straw, press a hole at the top of each cookie. 

5. Bake for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. 

6. Separate different colors of M&M’S® Brand Minis Chocolate Candies, and set aside. 

7. Spread vanilla frosting on top of each cookie. Arrange a solid color of M&M’S® Brand Minis Chocolate Candies on top of each cookie. 

8. Let the cookies dry for 30 minutes. Run licorice laces through each hole, connecting the cookies into one continuous strand. 

9. Tip for a quicker and lighter version: Tint frosting to match the M&M’S® Brand Minis Chocolate Candies. Frost the cookies and then decorate with color coordinated M&M’S® Brand Minis Chocolate Candies. 

Sweet Memories

Retro Candy-Blog 12-16-13

So the year is winding down and it is a time for reflection and remembrance.  For many of us these memories are initiated by a ‘trigger’.  A song on the radio, an old picture or a childhood favorite candy treat.  For me, Bit O Honey, Mary Janes, Tootsie Rolls, Bazooka and Swedish Fish often bring back my childhood.  They take me to a wonderful place when you got a good report card and the dollar you earned for it burned a hole in your pocket.  I would bounce around like a rubber ball till my mom said I was free to go then I would hop on my bike and ride over to the corner store.  There the counter was like a wonderland of sweet delights!  You could get enough candy for you and all your neighborhood friends and still have enough money from your dollar for a drink, chips and come out with change!  Then it was off to the local park with all of my friends on our bikes where we would munch on our sweets as we rode the merry-go-round till we were dizzy or rode through the streets of town till the street lights came on.  Good times! What candy brings back fond memories for you?

Featured: Candy Bouquet Contest

cbc

Thank you to everyone that made our Candy Bouquet Contest a success! It ran through the month of June and 2 lucky Grand Prize winners, Jenny from California and Matt from right here in New Jersey, received the Grand Prizes and were very excited and happy with their bouquets! We appreciate the excellent response we received from our Facebook community and look forward to future contests and deals we can offer to our followers!

cbc winner 1

One of our winners, Jenny, all the way in California with her basket!

 

 

 

Quatro Rainbow Sour Power Belts

A beautiful Rainbow over a yummy cupcake

A beautiful Rainbow over a yummy cupcake

Twizzlers Twists – Strawberry

Twizzlers Strawberry (36 Ct)

Twizzlers is a widely known locarice product, and as such it’s sparked some serious disagreements over its taste. It’s shocking to see how widely people’s opinions of this sweet ranges. In fact, for all you know, your best friend may not enjoy its flavor and you might not even know…

Horror scenes aside, this particular licorice, in this strawberry flavor, has probably been tried by everyone. These twists come at roughly six inches long per piece, and without the typical extreme thinness that often accompanies such large sweets. They are, however, hollow but don’t let that scare you off-there’s still plenty of licorice in a single piece. In fact, there’s an oddly popular practice among our youths to use these as edible straws, though I’m not exactly sure I would recommend this as a new standard for straws.

The taste itself would make any red-licorice lover content. It tastes as any licorice would, with an artificially added strawberry flavor, resulting in a mildly sweet and chewy candy that, as I not-so-subtly hinted at before, you’re bound to love or hate. If it’s the former, these make for a great snack which I highly recommend to those who have pleasant past experiences with licorice,  or to those who have never tried the stuff before.

This product is Kosher OU.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 240, Total fat 1 g, Sodium 150 g, Total Carbohydrate 56 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Protein 2 g.

Ingredients:

Corn Syrup; Enriched Wheat Flour; Sugar; Cornstarch

Laffy Taffy – Banana

Banana Laffy Taffys

Ever since my childhood, I’ve assumed that Banana Laffy Taffy’s were off limits. Don’t get me wrong, me and my friends all enjoyed Laffy Taffy in general, but the banana ones never seemed quite as appealing as its fellow flavors.

Recently, however, I stumbled upon a facebook page titled “Banana Laffy Taffy’s”. I was somewhat shocked to witness such a fan page, so I checked it out. What I found was astounding; a whole bunch of people posting on the page about how they thought they were the only ones who loved the bananas best. There were even 1,570 likes! While there were the few haters claiming it was the worst flavor, the majority of the people were raving about how they were addicted to these candies.

Suddenly, I felt like I had never given them a chance. I know we’re just talking about sweets here, but I’m the ultimate candy lover – how can I not treat them all fairly? So I opened up the little yellow guy and hesitantly took a bite only to taste… a splendor of delicious banana and sugar! Not too sweet, not too flavorful – it was simply the best flavor of Laffy Taffy I’ve ever tasted! I suppose the quote “don’t judge a book by its cover” would be apt here, especially when there’s a form of peer pressure involved. Don’t let the nay-Sayers keep you from tasting this delicious candy.
Jokes  on every wrapper!

This product is Kosher OU.

Nerds Rainbow Theater Box

Nerds Rainbow Theater Box (12 Ct)Nerds have been around since the early 1980s, and most big kids (aka adults) recall their beloved Nerds lodged inside of a duplex box, coupling two flavors side by side. Now while this packaging is still widely available and tremendously popular, the Rainbow Nerds box contains 5 non-compartmentalized flavors: strawberry, grape, sour apple, lemonade, and orange. Our founding fathers, who preached about the possibilities of abundance, would probably have had the following input regarding such an event: “Why settle for two flavors, when you can have five?” While some (perhaps neurotic) people may prefer to concentrate on one flavor at a time, it appears that the majority of candy consumers like the chaotic spectrum that they find when pouring out a handful of uniquely shaped Nerds. Although the florescent colors of Nerds Rainbow candy can solely be found on the Las Vegas strip, one can still symbolically compare these little nuggets of joy to snowflakes: No two are alike and they feel great when they land on your tongue.
While most candy packages are about 3 times the size of their actual cargo, Nerds containers are packed almost all the way full. So you’re not just getting what you paid for…relatively speaking, you are probably getting even more. Rainbow Nerds are prevalently sold in a classic movie theater box with a convenient re-sealing tab on the side to keep the Nerds from spilling out and of course, to save some for later. The box itself is decked out with an attractive array of colors, stamped with the famous Wonka manufacturer logo, and intermittently decorated with little creatures closely resembling what a frog and platypus hybrid baby might look like. Next time you think “nerd,” instead of imagining the Steve Urkelcliché, think adorable brightly colored amphibian.
Similar to the carefully selected candy brand name Smarties, Nerds implya certain level of intelligence upheld by its consumers. So next time you need a sweet fix, don’t be a dummy – grab a tangy delicious generously filled box of Rainbow Nerds.

Jolly Rancher Gummies

Jolly Rancher Chews Bulk (13 oz Bag)Ever get that craving for something sweet and you just can’t put your finger on exactly what it is you are looking for? Perhaps you want a hard candy…but at the same time, you feel like exercising that jaw and chewing on something. No, not chewing gum, that would be too much work without the super sweet return on all the effort. No caramel – too sticky. Someone offers you a Jolly Rancher and now you are really frustrated. You said you wanted something chewy! No, no, they say, it’s a Jolly Rancher Gummy. Ahh, sweet victory at last.
Jolly Rancher Company, originally founded 1949 in Golden, Colorado, was best known for their ice cream and chocolate sold primarily in the Denver area. In 1996, Hershey acquired Leaf North America, a company that had bought Jolly Rancher Company a little over a decade earlier. No doubt the product has morphed and evolved throughout the years, but what Jolly Rancher is most identified for today is their unique flavors of hard candy: Green apple, blue raspberry, cherry, grape and watermelon.
While Jolly Rancher Gummies flavors do not stray far from their predecessors, they gave blue raspberry the boot and introduced orange and lemon gummy flavors. This was a great move on the part of the manufacturer, since Jolly Ranchers all share a common citrusy taste. Even after transitioning into a gummy consistency, this form of Jolly Ranchers has not lost this distinguished, classic flavor for which they have become so well-known. Some other modifications include manufacturing this gummy candy in fun fruit shapes and flavors that other gummy manufacturers do not offer. You may frequently find fruit snacks made out to look like their fruity flavored counterparts, but gummy candies are typically found in the shape of a bear or a worm, which is kind of bizarre if you think about it, because what bear could possibly taste like a watermelon? Just saying.
These gummies in particular are very soft and are easy to chew, unlike some gummy candy that feels more like chewing gum. This is a great benefit for those of you prone to cavities because this candy doesn’t leave behind large chunks of itself. Awesome flavors, fun shapes, and a perfected gummy consistency… Jolly Rancher has succeeded in creating yet another great product.

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