(Family Features) When family and friends come together in celebration of the holiday season, tasty treats are a must-have for the festivities. You can also celebrate the season of giving with a special giveaway at the end of your gathering to show your gratitude to loved ones.
A simple yet delicious treat, Chocolate Bacon Bark is a sweet-and-salty snack with Gwaltney Bacon as the centerpiece of a crowd-pleaser for nearly any celebration. Try pairing with these creative giveaway bags as a personalized memento to offer a unique memory even after the season comes to a close. The bite-sized morsels are also perfect for individual grab bags by the door as guests make their way home following holiday celebrations.
Visit gwaltneyfoods.com for more holiday recipe ideas.
Chocolate Bacon Bark and Giveaway Bags
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chocolate Bacon Bark:
- 1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate candy melts
- 1 package (12 ounces) Gwaltney Bacon
- toppings such as pretzels, candies and sprinkles (optional)
- Card stock or construction paper
- 24 brown paper lunch bags
- Coloring or drawing materials
- Hole puncher
- To make Chocolate Bacon Bark: Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In bowl, melt chocolate candy in microwave in 30-second increments; stir every 30 seconds.
- Pour chocolate into pan and spread evenly.
- Top with bacon and pretzels, candies and sprinkles, if desired; freeze until hardened (about 12 hours).
- Break into bite-sized pieces.
- To make Giveaway Bags: Using scissors, cut one piece of card stock or construction paper to match width of paper bag.
- Cut length of card stock or construction paper into “V” shape so point comes about 3/4 down bag.
- Decorate card stock or construction paper with sayings or drawings.
- Stuff paper bag with Chocolate Bacon Bark.
- Hold decorated card stock or construction paper to top of paper bag, “V” shape pointed down, and punch two centered holes about 1/2 inch from top and 1/2 inch away from each other.
- Using scissors, cut one piece of ribbon about 6 inches long.
- With holes aligned and decorated card stock or construction paper facing out, insert end of ribbon from back side of bag; tie loose enough knot or bow so paper bag doesn’t rip.
- Repeat process with remaining bags.
(Family Features) These, though, are happy showers filled with good wishes, gifts and a celebration of events to come, like weddings or babies.
Such special occasions deserve special food, says Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs and public relations at Wilton. She suggests cupcakes for dessert, but not just any cupcake. These are unique - shower-ready, decorated theme-appropriately with umbrellas.
They can be prepared from a mix or from scratch and baked and served in color-coordinated silicone baking cups. Siler suggests incorporating a grouping of cupcakes as part of the shower décor. Use them as the table centerpiece, arranged on a tray, or a tiered cupcake stand. Or if it's a sit-down meal, place a cupcake at each setting.
Construct the umbrella decorations from ready-to-use fondant that is tinted in the colors selected for the occasion. Step-by-step instructions ensure foolproof results, plus they can be made several days in advance, so on party day there's no last-minute mad rush. Cupcakes can be baked, iced and sprinkled a day in advance. Place the umbrellas on the mini cakes the day of the party.
Umbrellas in place, let the showers begin!
For additional shower and party ideas, baking and decorating tips or to order supplies, visit www.wilton.com.
Ready for Showers
Each serves 1
- 1 package (24 ounces) White Ready-To-Use Rolled Fondant
Rose, Royal Blue, Lemon Yellow Icing Color
Round Fondant Cut-Outs
- 1 package (about 18 ounces) cake mix, any flavor
Water, vegetable oil and eggs to prepare cake mix
- 1 can (16 ounces) White Decorator Icing
Heart Drops Sprinkles
- Several days in advance, tint fondant rose, blue and yellow; roll out 1/8-inch thick. Cut circles using largest Round Cut-Out; cut across circle, slightly more than halfway. Using smallest Round Cut-Out, cut scalloped edge; with spatula, score umbrella rib lines. Let dry on waxed paper covered cake boards. Reserve remaining tinted fondant. Attach dried fondant pieces to lollipop sticks with Fondant Adhesive. Roll a 1/4-inch ball of matching fondant; attach to umbrella top with adhesive. Let dry.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix following package instructions; place batter in Pastel Silicone Baking Cups supported by cookie sheet. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; cool completely. Ice cupcakes smooth with icing; sprinkle with Heart Drops. Insert fondant umbrella. If desired, tie ribbon around stick.
* To make Fondant Adhesive for attaching dried fondant decorations to lollipop sticks, knead 1/4 teaspoon water into 1 ounce (1-1/2-inch ball) rolled fondant until it becomes soft and sticky. Apply to fondant decoration with brush or place in decorating bag and pipe it onto decoration.
Source: Wilton Products