For favors that go beyond flowers
One very good reason to be thankful during the holidays is being able to spend time with family and friends. And now that many of our celebrations can be in person this year, we are even more thrilled when loved ones can stay for more than just the evening. One way to show thanks to guests who have come from near and far is with these perfect take-home gifts. Of course, we always like to make mini flower arrangements part of the send off (nothing a little ribbon tied around a few stems won’t work for), but these favors Courtney created for some editorials a few year’s back are much simpler to make than a holiday feast—with wrappings that are equally festive too.
Sweet Apples Treats
Dress up a seasonal favorite: Store-bought skewers are spray-painted a metallic copper; then inserted into the top of washed deep red apples with stems removed. The apples are partially dipped in hot caramel (so as not to completely cover the beautiful red hue) then placed onto greased wax paper to cool. A twine tie is embellished with acorns that have been spray glued, glittered and hot-glued on. For a bigger crowd, set out on a serving tray with a framed note inviting guests to take one to go.
A Turkey Dessert
Create a chocolate and gold flanked version of the expected dish. Melt chocolate discs in a double boiler, or create your own with one of Courtney’s favorite tips: Boil a couple of inches of water in a large stock pot, place a heat proof bowl filled with chocolate on a cookie cutter set in center of pot (this raises bowl just enough out of boiling water). Pour melted chocolate into turkey mold, using a wood skewer to ensure chocolate has reached all the crevices of mold design. Let cool and remove from mold. Paint tail of “turkey” with edible gold shimmer that’s been melted with white chocolate discs. Display in compote with straw “nest” and festive bow tied at the vessel bottom.
Gather fixings for breakfast the next day in a basket wrapped in tulle. Pumpkin bread pudding with a gourmet preserve wrapped in velvet ribbon work well with a gingham liner; the same cloth is used to frame the jar label—cardstock is hot glued to the fabric and secured to a length of ribbon—and hangtag.
Gather smells of the season. Sew maroon tulle bags with a matching ribbon tie and festoon with dramatic cord and lace trims to fill with mulling spices. Fill each bag with equal parts allspice and cloves. Slice fresh ginger and zest orange peels, then place in oven to dry. Add all to bag, then add cinnamon sticks.
Where to find supplies:
- 3M Tacky Glue, crystals, filler, turkey molds, boxes, paints, glitter, cardstock, tags available at Michael’s.
- All fabrics and trims available at JoAnn’s Fabrics.
- Frame and compotes available at Home Goods.