My son has a school Christmas party tomorrow so I had to come up with a few last minute gifts (teacher and classmates) plus festive desserts with the few items I had on hand. After much deliberation, I decided to make mini cupcakes and brownie bites with varied holiday decor. Some had sprinkles, some had crushed peppermint, some had holiday symbols made out of fondant, and some had strawberry Santa hats (though not pictured).
First, I had to make the fondant holly with berries, candy canes, and Christmas trees. Decorating and arts and crafts do not come easily for me, but I have to say that these were quite easy. (Prior to rolling, cutting and shaping, make sure you have dusted your working surface with powdered sugar to keep the fondant from sticking to your surface.) The candy canes were made by twisting a red and a white “snakes” (as my daughter called it) and then shaping. The trees were from a small cookie cutter and then using some sprinkles and “pearls” I already had in my cabinet. I sprinkled a little bit of water over the trees before “sprinkling” with the sugar crystals to get them to stick. The holly leaves were also a cookie cutter. After cutting hem out, I used the back of a knife to make the veins, then I draped them over rolled foil to get them to curl. Dry the fondant overnight at room temperature on wax paper.
Here they are drying:
Here are a few of the finished products (big cupcakes for the adults and small ones for the kids):
The best part is in the center! It’s no ordinary cupcake – it’s a moist treat for your mouth! See? Each of the larger cupcakes have a surprise middle.
I used a cupcake surprise silicone pan with a bake-in cup to make it easier and yummier. You can fill it with anything from marshmallows, candies, chocolate, fudge, icing, caramel, and more. I love it! It makes me look like an expert baker.
As gifts, the kids and I made chocolate dipped soft peppermint sticks with sprinkles for his classmates. You can also make these with nuts instead of sprinkles, but I didn’t want to chance any nut allergies. Put them in individual baggies and tie them in a bow or knot with festive ribbons. Very easy and fast! Just make sure you “set” them for at least 10 minutes in the refrigerator on some wax paper before putting them into baggies.
For the teachers, my kids and I also made homemade sugar scrubs (which were even more simple than the peppermint sticks!). Some were peppermint and some were lemongrass. These are very easy to make! For each 12 ounces, use 2.5 cups of granulated sugar, 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil and the essential oil of your choosing in the desired amount (by the drop). We used quite a bit of peppermint oil because my son wanted to make sure it was very minty! Mix until smooth and distribute into mason jars. I tied a ribbon on each, and on the peppermint ones, I dangled a peppermint mini ornament. For the lemongrass one, I could have added a dehydrated lemon slice for decoration but I didn’t have any on hand. I covered the lids with a cloth scrap (lemongrass scrub) or a cupcake liner (peppermint scrubs) and some glue. I had some cute scrapbook paper ready to use but decided that I liked my cupcake liners better!
See how easy? Maybe I can be a little creative after all (or at least fake it)!