Thursday, December 16, 2010


The husband's office Christmas gifts totally took me by surprise this year. I had completely forgotten the 12 or 13 presents we give to the rest of the management staff each year and certainly hadn't remembered that we usually give them out around the time of the office Christmas party...which is today! Ooops! So, on Monday, when I made this realization, I decided we needed to do something that met the following requirements:

--It had to be cheap (hello, recession!).
--But it couldn't look cheap (hello, pride!).
--It had to be fast (I was running out of time quickly).
--It had to be festive (these are holiday gifts, after all).
--And, most importantly, it had to be kid friendly, since my little toddler "helper" was bound to be right by my side the whole time.

Inspired by my sister's post which reminded me of these little beauties, I decided we would do an assortment of pretzel candies. First, we made pretzel turtles with rolos and pecans. J unwrapped all the rolos, tasted the pecans after I toasted them, and sampled the pretzels liberally. Here he is helping in his pajamas. No smiles; he's working!

Then, we made candy cane chocolate pretzels, which are just as easy as the turtles. Take small pretzel twists, dip upside down into melted white or milk chocolate, then dip into crushed candy canes. J did all of this all by himself. A perfect toddler friendly treat! We learned a lot as we dipped, such as less chocolate is more and pulverized candy cane is really the best, but, regardless, these taste great, "surprisingly refreshing" in the husband's words. Finally, we returned to the turtle genre and made double chocolate pretzels, which were square mini-pretzels topped with a Hershey's hug, which we then melted slightly and topped with a green M&M (of course). I would have liked to have gotten a more excited flavor for these, either the mint Kisses or the mint M&Ms but these were nowhere to be found and the peanut butter or coconut M&Ms weren't available or didn't come in holiday colors. Add ribbon, cheap cellophane gift bags, and a gift tag and done and done!

Next year, I'll plan ahead and have an assortment of flavored chocolate on hand to do these again, because I am in love with how the little assortments all turned out, and with a preschooler and another toddler in the mix again, I think these will be just right for us once more!

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