Delicious DIY: Use PEEPS® to Make a Christmas Candy Sleigh

This project is brought to your by Maria Del Pinto.

Here is a fun and easy way to share the holiday spirit with friends and family. This project features adorable Christmas holiday PEEPS® treats on a candy sleigh.

Materials:

  • PEEPS® (Gingerbread Man and Reindeer)
  • Two Candy Canes
  • Rice Krispies square
  • Skittles
  • Royal icing (white and red)
  • Icing piping bags and tips
  • Assorted Christmas Candy

Instructions:

Using your favorite royal icing recipe (or purchase pre-mixed at cake supply store), mix up the royal icing.  Split batch in half and add red food coloring to one batch and mix.   Place the icing in piping bags to use to build and decorate the sleigh.  If you have egg sensitivities, you may wish to use melted white chocolate instead (make sure to follow manufacturers direction to properly melt chocolate).

Before starting, make sure to unwrap all the candy to make the decorating process faster. Then using a piping bag, draw two lines of white royal icing on the rice crispy square.  Lay the two candy canes on top of the Rice Krispies square equally spaced to create the base of the sleigh. Allow icing to dry.

Once the icing has dried, turn the base over. Tthe Rice Krispies square should be facing up. Take the PEEPS® Reindeer and using the red royal icing, attach a red skittle to his nose to make it bigger.  Allow to dry.

Take the PEEPS® Gingerbread Man and using both colors of the royal icing, add a few candy accents to add color to him.  Use the red icing to make a line at his feet and hands.  Don’t forget to put a little red icing on his mouth so you can see his smile.  Once the icing dries, poke a toothpick into him to help support him (and hold him in place) when you put him onto the sleigh.

Using the two colors of royal icing, begin to attach some of the Christmas candy to decorate the sleigh. To finish, use the icing to attach the PEEPS® Reindeer to the front of the sleigh.

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Make sure to leave room for the PEEPS® Gingerbread man at the top of the sleigh. Remove the toothpick from the PEEPS® Gingerbread man.  Use the toothpick to carefully push through the candy bar into the Rice Krispie square.

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For more PEEPS® recipes, crafts and other fun holiday ideas visit www.Facebook.com/PeepsBrand/adventcalendar

Easy Halloween Treats for Kids: 16 Copycat Recipes and More

Ding dong! It’s that time of year again. Trick-or-treaters are preparing their best Halloween costumes, parents are decorating the house, and everyone has candy on the brain. You want to make this Halloween better than the rest…but how? Copycat recipes for candy of course!

AllFreeKidsCrafts teamed up with AllFreeCopycatRecipes to make this list of the best homemade candy recipes for a Halloween everyone will remember, including edible Halloween crafts for kids. These copycat recipes mimic some of the best name-brand candies, so these Halloween treat ideas are great for impressing friends and family at Halloween parties. From excellent candy bar recipes to yummy Halloween crafts for kids, there’s something for everyone to love. Don’t worry; this list also includes sealed-candy ideas for trick-or-treaters, so everyone can get in on the fun.

Trust me; if you give out these awesome Halloween treats, you won’t get a single trick played on you this Halloween.

Copycat Candy Bar Recipes

Homemade Snickers Bars

Chocolate lovers will be in heaven with these awesome candy bar recipes. These Halloween treats are delicious homemade versions of all your name-brand favorites, like these Homemade Snickers Bars. Your kids will love bragging to their friends that the best candy on the block came from their house. Check out more of our homemade chocolate candy recipes:

Trick-or-Treat Ideas for Kids

Trick or Treat Party PoppersGet the whole family in on the candy-making fun with these edible Halloween crafts for kids. Even the youngest family members will love making easy Halloween treats as a family. But instead of just dropping candy into visitors’ trick-or-treat bags, make some Trick-or-Treat Party Poppers to add a little surprise. Trick-or-treaters won’t know if they’re about to get a trick or a treat! Here are more trick-or-treat ideas for a fun Halloween:

 

Copycat Recipes for Candy

Candy Store Gumdrops

Homemade candy recipes make the best Halloween treats! Everyone in the neighborhood will think you got these sweet treats from the candy store, especially if you make these Candy Store Gumdrops. If you’re looking for more Halloween recipe ideas without chocolate, these copycat recipes for candy are for you:

Healthy Halloween Treats

Apple Candy Monsters

Halloween treats for kids can be healthy, too! If your kids need a break from their trick or treat candy but still want something sweet, they’ll love Halloween snacks like these Apple Candy Monsters. Your kids can even help make these Halloween recipes. Don’t miss the last of our copycat recipes for Halloween:

 

Still hungry for more? You’re in luck! Get more delicious copycat recipes for candy with a free ebook from AllFreeCopycatRecipes, or download more Halloween crafts for kids with a free ebook from AllFreeKidsCrafts:

19 Halloween Crafts for Kids

13 Best Homemade Halloween Candy Recipes

 

What’s your favorite Halloween treat?

AllFreeChristmasCrafts giveaway: Sweet Confections

Nina Wanat takes candy-making to a whole new level with her book, Sweet Confections: Beautiful Candy to Make at Home, from Lark Crafts. This wonderful book is separated into four different sections and includes over 40 different candy recipes. Each of the sweet and sensational candy recipes is more beautiful than the last. The four sections featured in Sweet Confections are broken up by crunchy candy, chewy candy, silky candy, and recipes for your pantry. Each one of these candy-making guides shows you how to make your own candies through an easily understandable step-by-step process. Her book includes in depth instructions, guidance, tips, and bright images which catalogue the steps included in each process.

This gorgeous book will have you making your own delicate candy in no time! Each photograph in this book will prove that these beautiful candies are meant for the most special occasions. Use your copy to help plan a pretty and feminine dessert display for all of you Christmas celebrations. From office parties to Christmas Eve to Christmas day, these handmade candy ideas will work for the entire holiday. What’s even better is you can use this book year round too!

 

Sweet-Confections
A few of the candy crafts included in this book are, Chocolate-Covered Cereal Clusters, Saltwater Taffy, Divinity Sundaes, and Vanilla Extract. It’s safe to say that Nina Wanat’s book, Sweet Confections, from Lark Crafts, is as helpful as they come. Explore the lovely world of beautiful candy making with the help of this fantastic edible crafting book.

 

AllFreeChristmasCrafts.com is giving away one copy of Sweet Confections to one lucky winner. You could win!

Learn more and enter to win here.

Contest ends June 4, 2013. You can enter once daily, return often to improve your chances of winning!

Link Love: Super Sweet Candy Corn Crafts

Fall is great for a lot of reasons but if you have a sweet tooth, it’s absolutely killer (in a good way). Candy corn is one of my absolute favorite treats and and now is the time when you can’t go to the grocery store without grabbing a bag. In fact, some of my favorite autumn memories involve those sugary little orange, yellow and white candy triangles. This seasonal delight only comes out during the fall season, so it’s no surpise that crafters are celebrating its return with some candy corn-themed crafts.

If you’re looking for crafty ideas, look no further than that orange bag in your cabinet. Use actual candy to create Candy Corn Earrings. Colorful beads turn this into a pretty jewelry craft that anyone can wear. You can wear your handmade earrings before and after Halloween because, let’s face it, candy corn is a hit all year long. Also, Halloween costumes for kids can get expensive, so stay home instead and create a Sugary Sweet Candy Corn Costume for your favorite little one.

A bowl of candy corn always seems to disappear within minutes of a party, so accent your space with some sweet decor crafts that are sure to last all night long. Fill a Candy Corn Bowl with treats for a festive touch of color this Halloween. This is also a great bowl option when handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. While you’re at it, stick a few Candy Corn Friends on your table and take your party to the next level.

Treat yourself to a crafty afternoon and rediscover your love of all things autumn. Make a few candy corn-inspired crafts this season – your dentist will surely thank you for it later.

 

 

  1. Needle-Felted Candy Corn Headbands from Radmegan
  2. Candy Corn Paper Pennant from Live and Love Out Loud
  3. Halloween Candy Corn Charm from A Splendid Assemblage
  4. Giant Candy Corn from Zakka Life
  5. Candy Corn Shoes from Dream {a Little} BIGGER
  6. Candy Corn Garland from Make and Takes
  7. Candy Corn Memo Holder from Craft Passion
  8. Candy Corn Tie Dye Onesie from The Swell Life
  9. Yarn Candy Corn Decor from Thrifty Decor Chic

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth This Valentine’s Day!

People always have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day. Some are all about it, going all out with red and pink decorations and making handmade cards for everyone they love. Others, myself included, are a bit more skeptical of this gushy holiday. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all about expressing love for the special people in your life. It’s just that I don’t think I need to cover myself (and my apartment) in head-to-toe pink in order to celebrate.

There is one thing about Valentine’s Day that makes the holiday totally worthwhile. What’s that?  The sweets, of course!  This is the one holiday (other than Halloween) where you get to gorge yourself on candy and other sugary treats. And for a chocoholic like myself, that’s all you need to fall in love with a holiday 🙂

To indulge all of us with a larger-than-average sweet tooth this Valentine’s Day, I decided to round up some of my favorite sweet treats.  Some of these you can actually savor, while others are merely dessert-inspired. But either way, these are all — by far — my favorite Valentine’s Day crafts in our collection.

Sweet, Sweet Crafts:


These Licorice Love Cookie Pops are such an adorable way to play with your food!  Hop on board the “cookie pop” trend with these crafty sweets on a stick!

Skip those Candy Conversation Hearts you can buy at the drug store and make your own instead!  This recipe shows you how to make a version that’s much tastier than the boxed variety. Plus when you go the homemade route, you can personalize the candies with whatever sayings strike your fancy!

I love the idea of giving someone a gigantic Hershey Kiss shaped treat for Valentine’s Day. But all is not as it seems from the picture. Inside this foil-wrapped treat is actually a giant rice krispie treat!  I think this is such a clever idea for a gift — or just a fun snack to eat on February 14th!

 

Sugar-Inspired Creations: (*NOTE: These should not actually be ingested):

Don’t these Crochet Cookie Hearts look good enough to eat?  Though I wouldn’t recommend eating them (unless you’re a fan of the taste of yarn!), they sure are cute to look at — and so much fun to make!  Use the free pattern to make a batch for your family and friends this Valentine’s Day!

 As Forest Gump was fond of saying: “Life is like a box of chocolates.”  But for us crafters, life is really more like a Box of Crochet Chocolates, now isn’t it?  Use your yarn to whip up something that will make your Valentine drool!

Who would have thought you can make gift wrap that looks like candy?  This Peppermint Candy Wrap would be a perfect way to give a Valentine’s Day present to someone special. Just make sure they don’t try and lick it!

If you love the idea of crafts that look like food, there are plenty more ideas just like these!  Check out our board on Pinterest for more foodie inspiration!

Now tell me:  Will you be making any sweet treats for Valentine’s Day this year?

 

Design and Build a Gingerbread House for Christmas

Hello there, folks! I hope you’re having a lovely holiday season so far. This year, I was feeling rather ambitious in my preparations Christmahanukwanzakaa (as my multicultural friends and I call it), and I resolved to attempt the daunting feat of building my very own gingerbread house. A gingerbread house, after all, is an edible craft, a creative snack, a delicious decoration, and an imaginative way to enjoy Christmas candy and cookies all season long! Have you ever made a gingerbread house before? If so, post some pictures or tips in response to this post!

Here is my finished product. (You can also find it on FaveCrafts.com).

It’s surprisingly easy. Somehow, I thought that constructing a house out of cookies and candy would be difficult, but I built the whole thing and decorated it in one evening.

Some people will tell you that you have to buy a kit or cookie cutters, but I found that lightweight cardboard makes an excellent stencil. I had never made a gingerbread house before, so I experimented with some different shapes and styles by cutting shapes out of a clothing box. Instead of a basic six-piece house with a plain pointed roof, I decided to play around with different roof shapes. Once I had a shape I liked, I labeled all of the pieces and taped them together to make sure that they would fit properly, like so:

I had to re-size and cut out some new pieces as I went along, but it’s best to do this in the cardboard phase so you don’t have to go back and bake new pieces. Once I has completed my cardboard house, I took it apart and began looking for dough recipes.

Because I wasn’t planning to eat the house, I opted for a sturdier structural dough without the traditional spices instead of the classic gingerbread cookie recipes used for Christmas cut out cookies. If you want to eat the house, you can use a recipe like these Gingerbread Cut Out Cookies for Christmas, but you will have to be very careful because it won’t be as hard or solid as the structural dough and will crumble more easily.  The ingredients and recipe are listed below. If you want the house to smell like gingerbread, add some allspice, ginger, and cinnamon to taste.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dark corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups Crisco
  • 9 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for flouring surfaces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • allspice, ginger, and cinnamon (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine flour, salt, and spices (optional) in a large bowl.
  2. Combine corn syrup, brown sugar, and Crisco in a medium-sized microwaveable bowl.
  3. Microwave corn syrup mixture, stirring every minute, until sugar had dissolved and Crisco has melted. Be careful not to overheat or burn the mixture.
  4. Pour corn syrup mixture over the flour mixture.
  5. You can stir it together to combine it if you wish, but it’s a really tough dough, and I had a lot of fun squishing it around with my hands until the consistency was smooth. If you’re working with kids, they’ll love this part; just make sure the mixture is cool enough for them to handle without burning themselves.
  6. Combine until the consistency is even and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour if it’s too sticky. At the end, you should be able to mold it like playdough, or put a smiley face in it like I did. It’s happy to see you!

  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Store dough in a gallon-sized plastic bag and set aside.

Next, I laid out some parchment paper and floured the surface and a rolling pin. Though this wasn’t in the original recipe, it will make things SO much easier later on.

Once the dough has cooled to room temperature, roll it out on the parchment paper to about ¼-inch thickness. Make sure the dough is smooth and even because it does not rise much and will retain any flaws after it has baked.

Flour your stencils (this is important—the stencils will stick to the dough and peel off the top layer if you skip this part) and lay them on the dough. I used a pizza cutter to cut out the pieces because it made cutting straight lines much easier, but a knife works if you don’t have one.  Lift the stencils off of the dough and set aside. Set out a few ungreased cookie sheets, preferably without edges.

In order to make the transfer to the cookie sheets easier, I removed the excess dough from around the pieces of my house and then used scissors to cut the parchment around the individual pieces, so that each piece was on its own square of parchment. Be sure to leave about an inch around the edges of each piece so that you can grab the edges and gently slide or lift it onto the cookie sheet.

I didn’t have any incidents of breakage, but I’m usually a bit of a klutz, so I made a few extras of the larger pieces just in case. I still had leftover dough, so I made some dinosaur cut out cookies too!

If you want to reserve some for another house or something else, you can just toss it into a Ziploc bag until you’re ready to use it again. Don’t refrigerate it—it may get too hard to manipulate.

I baked the pieces of my house for about 12 minutes, just until the dough had set and had barely browned at the edges.

While the pieces were cooling, I prepared my royal icing cement. Here’s a great recipe for Royal Icing from RecipeLion.com.

For that, you’ll need…

  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 lbs confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar

Instructions:

  1. Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl.
  2. While beating the mixture in the bowl, gradually add the confectioner’s sugar, beating 1-2 minutes at a time, until the icing forms stiff peaks.
  3. Cover the icing bowl with a damp towel until you are ready to use it.

Next, I prepared a construction surface. I used a sturdy tray so that I could create a “yard” for my house, and I set out I set out my pieces and assembled them, beginning with the walls.

Fill up and icing bag and set it tip down in a tall glass. Placing one wall flat on the surface, pipe a line of icing along each side of the flat piece. Hold the two adjacent walls in place until the icing has hardened enough for the walls to stand on their own.

At this point, you can stand the pieces up, or you can top them with the final piece, attaching it to the edges of the two adjacent walls to make a complete square wall. I wish that I had done the latter, because I attempted to stand the walls up too soon. They fell apart, and I had to slather more icing on and wait for it to dry. This is fine, but excess icing makes the house look messier.

Once the house is standing, position it on the tray and add the roof pieces, holding each one in place until it can stand on its own. If your pieces start falling apart, stiffen the frosting by mixing in a little more confectioners’ sugar.

While the icing on the house dries, gather candy for decorating. You can use anything you want, but I looked around for recommendations and made up some of my own. Below is a list of all of the items I used and their purposes.

  • Stick gum for roof tiles and the front door (I used two colors to give it a more complex and festive look.)
  • Hershey’s chocolate bars and graham crackers for the front porch
  • Starburst for the chimney (I assembled the chimney before I attached it, sticking the pieces together with frosting and letting them dry before I attached it.)
  • Pull-and-peel Twizzlers for window frames
  • Regular Twizzlers to line the rooftop and create columns and part of the porch banister
  • Cheez-Itz for window panes (If you don’t want to incorporate cheese crackers into your sweet treat, you can melt hard candies and make “glass.”)
  • Small licorice squares for a row of bricks around the back of the house
  • Thick pretzel sticks for a woodpile and thin ones for the porch banister
  • Skittles or M&Ms for Christmas lights and a doorknob
  • Sparkly white sugar for snow on the rooftop
  • Shredded coconut for snow on the front yard
  • Gum drops to line the walkways
  • Green fruit slice jellies for a bush or tree
  • Sugar Babies for cobble stones

You can also make a mini marshmallow snowball pile or a marshmallow snowman, a sled of graham crackers and a licorice strand, or pine trees and people out of cookies. I had a blast getting creative with all of my decorations, so relax and have fun with it! Happy Holidays!

Check out the 23 Gingerbread House Designs and Recipes eBook for more gingerbread-related craft projects, gingerbread house templates, and tasty candy and cookie recipes for Christmas. Here are some more great gingerbread craft projects from FaveCrafts.com!

Questions? Comments? Tips? Post your ideas in the comments below!

How Do You DIY Candle Holders?

Have you noticed how much different a room looks when you add the flicker of candle light? Candles make all the difference, don’t they? And they’re cheap too! I like to use candles in my centerpieces at every dinner party and family get together, and of course weddings just wouldn’t be the same without the ambiance that candles bring. But you can’t just stop at candles–you’ve got to make decorative candle holders to go with them! I just put together a list of some cool (and better yet, cheap!) candle holder projects. Check out 19 Cheap Votive Candle Holders. Here are my faves:

These Mercury Glass Candle Holders from Mark Montano are made from odds and ends from a thrift store. I love thrift store crafts! And the finished result is gorgeous:

Another fun way to show off candles is by hanging them up! These Under the Sea Hanging Votive Holders are made out of jars and can lend a nautical vibe to your party:

Since 4th of July is right around the corner, I included these Patriotic Candle Holders in the mix. Wouldn’t these be cute for your 4th of July barbecue?

You can see the rest of my candle holder picks in my article, 19 Cheap Votive Candle Holders. And here are some cute, cheap votive candle holders I found online.

Martha Stewart strikes again! Why is it that everything on Martha’s website is absolutely fabulous? Just check out these lacy votive holders–you’ll be surprised at how they’re made!

These Shabby Chic Rose Votives are made with rose petals from the dollar store–the same petals I used in my petal skirt, in fact!

Check out this post to find not one, not two, but three patterns for crochet jar cozies to use as candle holders. These would make such a great handmade touch at a wedding.

Which one is your favorite? Do you know of any other candle holder projects you’d like to share? Don’t miss 19 Cheap Votive Candle Holders!

Meet and Make: Candace Jedrowicz

Today’s Meet and Make designer is Candace Jedrowicz. Candace is a mixed media artist who teaches art techniques and works as a muse for Cool2Craft. She blogs at Spirit Clay, and you can see many of her project tutorials on FaveCrafts as well.

Ready to meet Candace?

10 Fun Facts About Candace Jedrowicz

  1. I’m a Halloween nut.
  2. I’m tickled about things that look like food, but aren’t and things that look like they’re not food, but are.
  3. I like to breathe in the colors of a sunset.
  4. I have a glue collection.
  5. I tie dye all my white undies.
  6. I can make a Tibetan singing bowl sing.
  7. I love coffee and tea cups in art.
  8. I’ve meditated in the Great Pyramid.
  9. I love waking up before dawn.
  10. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue.

Here’s Candace’s Project:

The Tempered Empress Chocolate Box

Materials:

  • Empty chocolate box (start eating!)
  • Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
  • Sponge brush
  • Any metallic rubbing compound like Rub N Buff
  • Brown and dark brown polymer clay
  • Chocolate paper cups
  • Pasta machine or rolling pin
  • Tissue blade or craft knife
  • Hot glue gun
  • Red marking pen or red acrylic paint
  • Variety of gems, earring parts, letter brads, etc.
  • Wide wired ribbon
  • Focal photo for the lid
  • Candle and matches
  • Paper towel and/or wet wipes
  • Optional – Polymer Clay Chocolate Hump Molds for molding your chocolates available at the Cool2Craft Marketplace

Instructions:

  1. My box had a bow on the front, so I removed it. Next, I transformed the box lid with the Aleene’s Burnt Brown Bag technique. If you are not familiar with this technique CLICK HERE to watch a video demo by Heidi Borchers.
  2. After you use a paper towel or wet wipe to clean off the soot, it should look similar to this.
  3. I used copper and green metallic paste, skimming the surface and touching the highlights.
  4. I used a Tarot card – The Empress – as the focal point for the lid. I’m appreciating her archetypal symbolism. I “aged” the card with sandpaper and a copper stamp pad. As an artist, I aged myself the same way! =0) This rich and sparkly ribbon was the perfect accent to the image. If you are creating a self portrait, use an image that resonates with you.   It could be a photo of you, or something from a magazine, etc.
  5. Paint the box base with red acrylic or marker.  Or finish it in whatever finish you like. I loved the velvety look of the marker! I used these polymer clay hump molds to get consistently shaped chocolate pieces.  You can make your own or purchase mine at the Cool2Craft Marketplace. Put enough chocolate papers in to fill the box.  That’s how many chocolate pieces you’ll need to make.
  6. Roll out a chunk of polymer clay large enough to cover the hump mold about 1/8″ thick.  Put a tissue or piece of tissue paper over the hump mold (so it will release easily) and lay the rolled out clay over it. Gently stretch the clay down over the mold until it touches your work surface.  Cut away the excess clay and remove it carefully.  Hold the shape as you would hold a cracked robin’s egg – very carefully.  Continue to trim the clay until it looks just right.  The very bottom does not need to be perfect.  Set the piece in a chocolate cup to test the look.
  7. The square and rectangle shapes will work best if you miter the corners.  Use a tissue blade or craft knife to cut a small triangle from each corner.  Put the new edges together and blend carefully.
  8. I used a cookie cutter to create the heart shaped chocolate.  You could use any shape at all. Cut the top and then cut a strip to wrap around the inside of the cutter to shape the chocolate walls.  Remove the strip from the cutter and put the top on. Gently blend the top edges over the sides. Bake the clay according to the directions.
  9. Brush the chocolates with a satin finish sealer if desired.
  10. Glue the chocolate shapes in their cups and move them around in the box until they look just right.  Use the hot glue gun to secure them in place. I used the glue gun to secure the ribbon ends under the lid, as well. Use every surface of the box that will be visible in the finished piece.