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DIY Caramel Corn and other great gift ideas from Easybaked!

I love making and getting creative edible gifts. I’m not talking just a plate of Christmas cookies here…I’m talking unique and different.  Take Caramel Corn, for example.  It is my grandmother’s favorite and I remember spending long evenings watching my parents try various caramel corn recipes in search of the perfect (yet not too messy!) one.  There was the giant brown sack method (where you shake the caramel in) and the cookie sheet one where you pour the caramel on and try to mix it on the sheet (my dog liked that method– lots of popcorn on the floor!)

A few years ago a friend handed me an adorable little Christmas package with mysterious items inside (all tied up with a cute tag and bow) and when I opened it I found ingredients for caramel corn.  All I needed was butter….. I promptly made it and YUM!!!  Quick, easy, delicious and SUCH a creative gift.  This post is dedicated to the recipes you can use this Christmas to make creative and memorable gifts for your friends and families.

CARAMEL CORN:

  • Place  1/2c. packed brown sugar in a small bag and zip or tie it tightly.
  • Place 8 large marshmallows in a small bag and zip or tie it tightly.
  • Place both of the above ingredients in a larger bag or gift box with one packet of microwave popcorn.


Close the bag or box with the following directions:

  • Pop corn in microwave according to package
  • Place brown sugar, marshmallows and 1/2 stick (4T) butter into a 2 qt. bowl
  • Microwave for 3 minutes, stirring well at 1 and 1/2 minutes.  Syrup should be smooth and bubbly.
  • Pour over popped corn and enjoy!

Click on the photo below to get free printable tags to use with this gift:

OREO POPS:

These fun chocolate-covered Oreos on a stick are great for any season.  I made them for the 1st time last spring for a baby shower.  Change up the sprinkles and tie some cute Christmas tags on and you have a great stocking stuffer- or even a holiday centerpiece bouquet!  All the how-to tips, including pictures are available if you just click HERE.  I also made up some free tags for you to tie on your pops~   Click on the picture below to get the free printable file:

HOT CHOCOLATE POPS:

I made these as gifts for SO many people last year.  I made extra for myself.  These are so easy and SO delicious~ everyone will LOVE them.  What are they?  Chocolate (in a variety of flavors and colors) hardened over a marshmallow on a stick.  You stir them into hot milk and make the most creamy, delicious hot chocolate ever.  The best part?  You can make them WAY ahead.  I made some in December and used them in March…still wonderful.  The recipe and directions can be found by clicking HERE.  If you want to print some free tags to tie on your pops click on the image below:

SPICED MOCHA MIX:

My cousin Eden made little jars of this wonderful mix for us several years ago at Christmas and I’ve used the recipe ever since.  It’s just wonderful, easy to make, keeps for months in a sealed bag or jar and makes a great gift.  Want the recipe and easy directions?  Click HERE.  Free printable tags?  Click on the picture below to get them: (I actually printed these on full-sheet labels, cut them apart and made stickers for my jars…just another idea…)

I hope that these ideas have inspired you to create your own fun and unique Christmas gifts!!!  Enjoy!  ~r

Want to try some other fun Christmas recipes by Easybaked?  Click on an image below to be taken to the recipe:

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Hot Chocolate Pops!

You’ve heard of cake pops, cookie pops, brownie pops, doughnut pops and even pie pops— but have you ever tried a Hot Chocolate Pop?  Creamy chocolate surrounding a marshmallow surprise center- pop it into a cup of hot milk and YUM- a perfect yummy creamy cup of cocoa.  Wrap them up and they make the PERFECT winter gift!

Ingredients:

  • Wilton White Candy Melts and Wilton Dark Candy Cocoa Melts.  You will need about one 12 oz. bag per 8 pops.
  • Marshmallows (one for every pop you intend to make!)
  • Stir sticks (I found these cute dowels at Michaels)
  • Small plastic cups (I used 3 oz. clear plastic cups by Solo)
  • Clear plastic bags I used Wilton Lollipop Bags -they are so easy- perfect size and come with a bow!
  • Cute tags– use mine if you want or make your own!! 🙂

Hot Chocolate Pop Labels

Hot Chocolate Pop Labels- Mint

Hot Chocolate Pop Labels- Instructions for use.

Instructions:

  • Melt candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Spoon melted candy into a zip-top bag and seal.
  • Clip a corner off and squeeze about a teaspoon of chocolate into the bottom of each cup.  Tap cup against counter to spread chocolate and remove bubbles.
  • Place cups in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes until chocolate is hard.
  • Press dowels or stir sticks into marshmallows
  • Squeeze about 2 teaspoons of chocolate (I used a contrasting color) into cup and while it is still melted, press marshmallow into cup (this will squeeze the chocolate up along the sides of the cup.) Tap to remove bubbles.
  • Top with chocolate until marshmallow is completely covered -or—
  • (If you are using contrasting chocolates) Refrigerate about 10 minutes until second layer is hard and then add contrasting chocolate over the top, completely covering marshmallow.
  • Place cups in fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Clip top of cup with scissors and tear it down the side which will release the pop.
  • Serve or gift wrap!  Enjoy!!!
  • To eat pop: Use a BIG mug (20 oz.) and heat up about 10oz. of milk in it.  Place pop in hot milk and stir until smooth and creamy!

My thoughts:  I love these so much…I love to come up with fun and creative edible gifts each year for giving in bulk (Bible studies, family get-togethers, hair stylist etc…) and these are just FUN!!!  I am wholeheartedly a blonde and my 1st use of these involved a full cup of hot milk plus a pop -resulting in  a huge lake of hot milk on the counter…so learn from me and use a big cup with room in it for the pop- lol!  

Also– I found MINT Wiltons candy melts and that is how I got the mint cocoa flavor.  I just added a little layer of green candy melt before I put lots of white melts and a marshmallow– I like how it turned out!  I wish I’d thought to take pictures as I went for you- I just forgot!  (NOTE: see below!!) Experiment with colors and flavors- these are pretty forgiving projects!

Enjoy– and a very Merry Christmas to you!!!!  -R

Ok– I had to make a second batch because I ran out.  Since I was making them again I took the time to take some pictures for you of the process:

A little bit of chocolate in the bottom of a 3 oz. cup.

White chocolate added over dark and marshmallow pressed into center.

Dark chocolate added over white and marshmallow– don’t forget to tap the bubbles out!

Everything is so pretty set up for pictures….this is what my counter ACTUALLY looked like at the end!

Pops ready to go in the fridge to harden!

Clip the top of the cup and tear down the side to release. (I used paper cups too this second time and they worked great– you just have to peel them off a little more.)

I hope these help– have fun!!  r-

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