Brilliant DIY: Candy Button Favors

I'm sure I'm not the first one to post this, but I love it all the same.

Bake It Pretty sells these awesome button shaped candy molds as well as the colored melting chocolate to put in them. The directions seem easy enough and the only tool you need is a microwave. Add a little personalized sticker label and your guests wont soon forget your darling buttons of colored chocolate!

Buy your candy button molds here

Our First Christmas: Gifting

I wanted to give our Del Rio/Laughlin friends a gift for the holiday season without having to buy something and make them feel like they "owed" us something in return. So I figured I'd make cookies! I decided to make my grandma's recipe for Butter Riches.

Butter Riches by Helen Bauer

1. Cream
  • 3/4 cup butter gradually adding
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar and
  • 1 tbs. regular white sugar
2. Add to the mix
  • 1 unbeaten egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla and beat well
3. Blend in
  • 1 3/4 - 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour to form a stiff dough
4. Shape into balls about the size of a marble, place on greased or non-stick cookie sheet
5. Flatten to the size of a .50cent piece with the bottom of a sugared glass
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 -9 minutes until the edges are light brown. Cool and frost.
Optional: garnish with slivered almonds

1. Brown 1/4 cup butter
2. Blend in 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar and i tsp vanilla.
3. Gradually add 3 - 4 tbs cream (you can use milk, but why skimp now?) until it becomes spreading consistency

I doubled the batch and made a ton. I also ended up using more than a few tbs of heavy whipping cream to make the frosting but it is sooo good and creamy.

Now, since presentation is everything and we don't have any holiday tins or red plastic wrap and ribbon I decided to do the next best thing. Make a box.

Having done this kind of thing in my past professional life I was quite excited to design my very own package. I found a free download of package dielines on the web so I sifted through until I found a fairly simple one that would fit a decent amount of cookies (about ten) and I adjusted it a bit so it would fit an 8.5"x11" piece of paper and close properly (after all, free isn't always accurate).

I added my own little holiday pattern from my printable recipe cards (on Etsy), some text and printed them on the eco-white cardstock from
Then I made a nice little round snowflake sticker to punch out with my 2" circle punch (bought for wedding invitations) for sealing the box.

I put an empty sandwich bag inside the boxes, filled with cookies, closed the bag, tucked it in and sealed it all up with the sticker. I'll be including a copy of the recipe with the boxes because you can't have just one, umm ... box.

Viola! I am pretty impressed with myself right now, why, I'm not sure as this is my skill-set, but I think these look damn good and are great personalized, cheap and tasty holiday gifts.

(While product photography is also part of my skill set, I chose not to utilize it tonight. Pardon the bad pictures!)

Holiday Horror

'Tis the season for culinary accidents. While I'm not one to deep fry a turkey and burn the house down, I did make an awesome mess with the blender.

Behold! This is what happens when you follow recipe directions to puree boiling hot soup. I don't know if I didn't put the lid on right or the pressure from the hot soup broke the seal, but the pumpkin soup went EVERYWHERE! I even had to mop the floor of the next room!

The hot soup burned these awesome veins down my arms and got all over my shirt. Thankfully, I didn't get any in my eyes. At least the soup tasted good!

New Blog Discovery & Packaging

I just found what may be my most favorite blog to date. It's called The Dieline and it's all about package design which is something that I find utterly fascinating. It wasn't until working at Impact Confections that I ever really thought about package design. Now I can't ignore it and I love finding beautiful designs as well as functional. There is something about pairing a great product with great design, both form and ornament, that excites me.

Here are some tasty image snippets from The Dieline blog.

If you've ever been in a liquor store, you'll recognize these labels.
I quite like the simplicity, they're also very memorable. I've never
had the wine but hear it is quite good for the price point.

This is one of the concepts for Mockingbird Lager. I would buy it just for the bottle!

Pretty bottles from the Belvoir Fruit Farms

While I'm on the topic I should give a shout out to my brother-in-law at Wink for this super sweet design.
Look! A new flavor!
Not only are these containers attractive and made of
recycled plastic, the stuff in them smells awesome too!
Daub & Bauble

While we're on packaging, these are packages that I designed ... not as hip as the examples above but they fit into the brand's identity.

Chocolate and Cake

It's that time again when all I want to do is stuff my face in a giant chocolate cake and inhale! My mind slipped back to wedding cake because it tasted soooo good and I cannot wait to get our free anniversary cake in only 270 days!!!

I want to eat it all over again!
[gaston photography]