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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!

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. 

Don’t Miss Out On Our S’mores Kit!

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Don’t miss out on our Deal of the Month! Supplies are limited for our exclusive S’mores Kit. Everything you need all in one package for only $11.00! Now that’s a steal! Enjoy a camp fire with a classic S’more. Our kits are better, because we have JUMBO Marshmallows for an extra messy, extra gooey (the way we like it) treat! Your family and friends will love you!

Place an order with us today at http://www.candycentral.com/featured/summer-time-s-mores-kit.html.

PartySweets’ Customized Candy

These days, you don’t see much customized themes going around when it comes to candy. Buy a piece of candy today, and the wrappers just seem so…generic. Pop on a logo, some phrase or another, nutrient facts, and ingredients, and bam-most candy wrappers explained in four simple steps.

From common peasants to powerful kings, the idea that aesthetic appeal on candy wrappers is no longer much of a concern or a choice would make them scream in horror and heartbreaking grief and agony.

That is, until they’ve seen PartySweets comes into play.

Only then will a shining realization dawn upon you – there are choices! (Disclaimer: Futuristic tiny movie screens on candy wrappers not likely…anywhere.) PartySweets, a division of Hospitality Mints, was launched in 2009 for the sole purpose of giving the people some freedom of choice when it comes to ordering candy for special occasions.

Before the wrappers, allow me to describe the candy itself. PartySweets is largely known for their fantastic mints. The candy is a delight with a slightly tough shell of mint that entombs even more mint that’s creamy and outrageously delicious. Each piece is somewhat small but does a wonderful job of leaving that fresh mint taste in your mouth after just consuming one. In a more likely scenario, where you’ll find you just had more than you probably should have, the taste of mint will only build up and the cream will not, thankfully, stay around in your mouth as if you had just eaten chocolate.

Now, for the wrappers. These wrappers are equipped with designs fitting for a stunning amount of occasions. To give you an inkling of just how many occasions these are suited for,   here’s a small list:

  • 25th Anniversary
  • 50th Anniversary
  • Award Night
  • Baby Blue
  • Bachelorette Parties
  • Fiesta(!)
  • Birthday Parties
  • Thank You’s

 

 

 

There’s also a few ones which are simply colored (green, orange, ZEBRA) and could feel appropriate in any situation. Host one party with these, and you’ll be guaranteed a gasp of surprise from the guests and numerous people complimenting you on your ability to do the meaning of a party justice.