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Two If By Sea “The Favors” — Cupcake Dreams and Candle Wishes: Part III

HAVING A BALL!

Two If By Sea: The Favors
My favorite part of planning a party are the favors you hand out! I love giving gifts and I want that gift be memorable useful and fun. That’s why most of my favors are handmade, edible delights or at least useful. I prefer not sending mothers home with tiny plastic toys that will easily break or clutter up the toy box. So I try to think of things that children will use over and over again or things will delight the taste buds and the eyes. Mom’s go away happy and so do the kids!

To hold West’s party favors, I purchased small galvanized pails from Oriental Trading. I had planned on painting them red and then stenciling the sailboat from the invitations on each one. Unfortunately, I ran out of time, but I would love a chance to make these for your party or nautical themed event! If you want to purchase larger buckets that are already painted, try Main St. Supply — very cute!
The various stations throughout the party had little treasures these tiny party goers could put in their buckets:
Sea-fairing Favor Buckets:

Tiny beach balls (these red,white & blue ones matched perfectly)
• Sea Shells (these can be purchased or gathered yourself)
• Fish, Crab, Shell or Lobster Cookie from the “Go Fish” game (see how-to below)
• Chocolate coins from the pirate treasure chest
• Life preserver donut pops (see how-to below)


GO FISH!

THE COOKIES: First thing you will need is sugar cookie dough. I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe to make these cookies, but any sugar cookie recipe will do. You can use store-bought dough, but my experience is that they won’t hold their shape as well as the homemade dough.

INGREDIENTS/SUPPLIES:
Sugar cookie dough (homemade holds it’s shape better than store bought)
• Red candy melts
Royal icing (I use the version that calls for meringue powder rather than egg whites)
• Blue food coloring
• Cooling Rack
• Wax paper
• Deep ceramic bowl with wide opening
• Large clear treat bags
• Small white cotton twine (found at a hardware store or the hardware section of Wal-Mart)

A “CRABBY” COOKIE


COOKIE DIRECTIONS:
1) Take the dough and roll it out to between 1/8″-1/4″ on a clean, floured surface.
2) Cut out the shapes and bake them until they are just barely beginning to brown. I find that keeps the cookie softer.
3) Carefully remove the cookies and place them on a cooling rack until completely cool.
4) While the cookies are baking and cooling prepare the royal icing. Once the icing is made, immediately divide it in to two airtight containers as it will dry out quickly.
5) Keep one container of the royal icing white and dye the other container a light blue.
6) Once all cookies are baked and cooled you can begin piping the white royal icing onto 1/2 of the fish and clam shell cookies. Pipe around the edges first with a smooth line and then flood the center of the cookie till until the surface is covered. (If your icing is running down the sides it may need to stiffen up a bit or you may be over-flooding). Set these aside to dry completely.
7) Take the other 1/2 of the fish and clam shell cookies and flood them with the light blue royal icing and set them aside to dry.
8) While the cookies are drying take your bag of red candy melts and pour 1/2 of the bag into a deep ceramic bowl with a wide mouth. Then microwave them on the defrost setting, stopping to stir them about every 30 seconds until completely melted. Using the defrost setting is very important as the regular setting can and will burn the melts.
9) Take the crab and/or lobster cookies and hold them upside-down between your thumb and your pointer finger and dip the top of the cookie into the candy melts, so that the top and most of the side is covered.
10) Turn the cookie over, holding it sideways above the bowl and shake any excess off in to the bowl (4-5 good taps of your hand against the bowl should do the trick). Now hold the cookie candy melt side up and shake gently back and forth to smooth out ridges. Carefully place cookie on a sheet of wax paper to dry. Repeat this until all the crab and lobster cookies are covered.
11) Once the royal icing is dry, you can go back and decorate the white cookies with light blue dots or outlines and the light blue cookies with white dots or outlines.
12) The final step is bagging the cookies. My advice is to let the cookies dry for a day before bagging them as any moisture in the bag will cause the frosting colors to bleed. Once the cookies are dry place them in the cellophane bags and tie up with knotted cotton twine for a nautical look. Leave some line on the end of the knot where you can clip the fish to the “fishing pole” in the “Go Fish” game.


A PARTY SAVER

THE LIFE PRESERVER POPS: From the start of planning this party, these life-preserver pops were running through my head and I just had to bring them to life. They were surprisingly harder to make than I thought they would be, but the end result was so cute. I displayed them in a large glass votive and a square glass vase filled with sand. The bagged pops were then stuck down in the sand and handed out to guests as they left the party.

INGREDIENTS/SUPPLIES:
Small powdered sugar donuts
• Red candy melts
• White candy melts
• Sucker sticks
• Styrofoam block
• Small clear treat bags
• Small white cotton twine (found at a hardware store or the hardware section of Wal-Mart)

LIFE PRESERVER DONUT POPS

LIFE PRESERVER DIRECTIONS:
1) Take an 1/8th of a bag of white candy melts and pour them into a small ceramic bowl. Microwave them on the defrost setting, stopping to stir them about every 30 seconds until completely melted. Using the defrost setting is very important as the regular setting can and will burn the melts.
2) Take a sucker stick and dip it about 1/2″ down into the white candy melts. Then take a donut and place the candy melt end of the stick up through the bottom ring of the donut all the way up into the bottom of the top ring and stop. Do not push the stick all the way through the donut or it will not stay on the stick.
3) Place the donut pop down into the styrofoam and allow the candy melts to dry, thus securing the donut.
4) While the pops are drying, take your bag of red candy melts and pour 1/2 of the bag into a ceramic bowl. Microwave them on the defrost setting, stopping to stir them about every 30 seconds until completely melted. Using the defrost setting is very important as the regular setting can and will burn the melts.
5) Spoon the red candy melts into a decorator bag with a small round tip.
6) Carefully pipe the red bands onto the life preservers. This will take a steady hand and a little while to get the technique down. If the melts in the bag begin to harden, unscrew your metal tip, place decorating bag on a plate and microwave on the defrost setting for 10-30 seconds until warmed again. Continue piping.
7) Place pops back down into the styrofoam until completely dried.
6) Carefully place each pop into a treat bag and then tie with cotton twine. Knot each end of the twine for a nautical look.


THE LIFE POP DISPLAY


Give The Blu Sash a call if you would like to order these favors for your nautical themed birthday party or wedding. We would love to make your guests feel special! 859.271.6934 or donia@theblusash.com

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