Just before Halloween our local stores began to put out Christmas items. Woo-hoo! That inspired me to begin doing my research and planning on what I would make as food gifts this year.
Even before the last bag of candy corn had been marked down and put into the clearance basket, I'd spent hours on Pinterest and the food blogs online looking for just the right things to make.
Pretzel rods dipped in chocolate and then covered with cheerful holiday nonpareils, nuts, chocolate chips and mini-candies not only looked pretty but I figured they'd be relatively simple to make and package.
By the first week in November, I started to accumulate colored sprinkles, shiny sugars, nonpareils, numerous bags of pretzel rods and decorated gift bags in which to put them. I was ready to rumba! I was totally psyched and ready to produce treats that would be so gorgeous people would talk about "the year Linda made......".
Realizing that it would be almost two months before I'd need to have these fantastic gifts, I set everything aside and have been eagerly awaiting the time to get started.
Today I was asked to participate in the local Chocolate Festival. It's an annual event and this year the proceeds are going to be used to fund scholarships for the local wellness center. (Which seems a tad bit odd---selling chocolate items to raise money for people to use a center totally devoted to wellness and excercise? But, I agreed to donate some items.)
This gave me the perfect opportunity to begin making Christmas goodies! I cleared off the kitchen counters, assembled my ingredients and was off to the races! While my chocolate was melting, I arranged all my pretty coating materials in a row, right beside the waxed paper covered trays I'd place my creations on as soon as they were dipped and coated.
Who knew that nonpareils, much like styrofoam packing peanuts and glitter, would build up static electricity and cling to any surface they come into contact with? Or, that those little suckers bounce like bullets off of Wonder Women's magic bracelets? By the time I got a dozen or so of the pretzels coated with these little bouncy, clingy balls, they were everywhere!
Thank goodness I had only purchased one small container of nonpareils. The remainder of the pretzels have ingredients on them that are a little easier to handle. I particularly like the ones coated with gold sugar and mini chocolate chips.
Treats in magazines, online and TV are so pretty and look wonderful! I tend to forget that those photos are of things done by food stylists or professional chefs and they look perfect. Well, my goodies may not look perfect, but they turned out pretty! Now, I'm off to find the dustpan and get those little colored balls swept up before I track them all throughout the house!