It's been said that we eat with our eyes first. And the same could be said about edible gifts. We start anticipating whether we'll like what's inside just by seeing the packaging.
So after spending the week mixing, melting and baking, why not wrap up these holiday treats in a way worthy of their flavors.
After a trip to Michael's and rummaging through my wrapping closet (i.e., corner of the attic), I came up with some ideas that will work well.
The most important thing to remember about candy when giving it away is that it melts. Be sure to keep the wrapped candy in the refrigerator until you are ready to give it away, and then remember to tell the recipient to refrigerate it.
I tend to like simply packaged food for a couple of reasons. First, it makes it easier to prepare and find supplies. And second, packaging that's not too polished looks more homespun.
Small paper takeout containers or paper boxes are perfect for giving away rich chocolate truffles. These come in a variety of colors. Line the boxes with parchment or wax paper before placing candy in them, then tie a contrasting or shiny ribbon to seal the box. Small candy cups help hold truffles in place and keep them from melting into each other.
Small tins lined with parchment paper also provide good protection for these confections. These tins cost $1 at Michael's and can be reused by your recipients.
Cookies are heavy, so keep that in mind when purchasing boxes. Some takeout boxes are made of plastic and tend to hold up better to the weight of cookies. The clear frosted ones are inexpensive and actually give you a glimpse of what's inside the box. Line these with wax paper to help keep the cookies fresh.
Treat bags are another great way to give cookies. These will fit about a dozen small cookies. Tie them with a colorful ribbon, attach an ornament or decorate a tag. Pine cones, dried flowers and cinnamon sticks can also serve as festive accents.
There are countless websites that can help with packaging your foodie treats. Martha Stewart's site hasprintable tags. These can actually be printed out at home and customized. There are also a variety of clip art and stencils that make creating tags and stickers easy. If you're really ambitious, the site includes patterns for making your own gift bags. (I'll stick with buying mine.)
Putting some effort into your gift wrapping will show your host, friend or co-worker that the treats inside are meant as a thoughtful thank you. And maybe they'll even share one.