January is a bleak time of year. Christmas is over, New Year’s is past and it’s a looooooong wait until Easter. (Fortunately, in BC this year we finally got an official holiday added in February – a long weekend called Family Day. But there’s still all of January to get through.)
It usually takes me a while to let go of Christmas (our tree is still up), and it also takes Christmas a while to let go of me. As in, there are gifts still to put away (currently sitting under the tree that’s still up) and chocolates still to be eaten (we may never get through all this chocolate) and leftovers still to be used. Leftovers such as candy canes. I bought a package of 100 mini candy canes because it was the only way I could find to get mini candy canes, which I needed about 25 of. So now I have 75 of the darn things left. Well, Christmas is a time for bringing people together and helping one another. So why not extend that into January! And my friends are going to help me whether they like it or not, by ingesting some of these leftovers.
I’ve made a batch of peppermint bark (fairly simple stuff to make, though melting and spreading white chocolate is a bit of a nuisance). And along with various extra (wrapped) chocolates and perhaps some peppermint sugar cookies, I’m going to stuff them into little paper gift packets and foist them off on
whomever I can people I love.
For the peppermint bark, there are tutorials & recipes all over the place for it. I used this one from myjudythefoodie.com, which uses both white and dark chocolate. Oh, and if you don’t have a double boiler (because how many of us actually have a double boiler)? Just heat water in a small pot, and put the chocolate in a metal or glass bowl that’s big enough to balance on top of the pot and not fall in. There – now you have a double boiler.
For the funky little triangle-ish treat packets, I’ve posted the very quick and simple steps for making them below. There must be a name for these, as I’ve seen them here and there online and in stores, but I don’t know what it is. Let’s call them twisted triangle gift packets, because they look a bit like that. Once you’ve made your gift packets, try adding fun details and decorations:
What you’ll need:
- paper, pretty and colourful, cut into rectangles. Any size, depending on how big or small you want your gift packets to be
- glue, whether a glue stick, white glue, super glue or anything else, as long as it will work well on paper
- a paper cutter OR scissors and a pencil and ruler
- large book or other heavy object
Putting it all together:
1) Use your paper cutter or a pencil, ruler and scissors to cut a rectangle of paper. Exact dimensions and exact size are up to you. Your finished gift packet will be slightly less than half the length of your paper rectangle, and the same width as the paper rectangle. Diagram below to clarify:
2) Put the paper down with the pretty side (the side you want to show on the outside of the packet) facing down. Put a line of glue along one of the rectangle’s short edges.
3) Curl the rectangle into a tube, overlapping the glued edge with the opposite edge of the rectangle. Press the glued edges of the paper together, and hold them if necessary until they stay together on their own. Let that glue dry fully.
4) At one end of the tube, put a good amount of glue around the inside edge, with the glue extending about 1/2 inch into the tube.
5) Press this end of the tube flat, so that its two sides meet and form a straight glued-together line. I suggest you align things so that the line down the side of the tube, where the two ends of the rectangle that form the tube meet, is in the center of the flattened end of the tube.
Press the edges together until they stay on their own, and perhaps place the flattened end of the tube under a thick book or other heavy object while it dries. Or use some binder clips to hold the sides together. Let dry completely.
6) Once the glue on the flattened end of the tube is dry, flatten the other end of the tube in the same way, but with the fold running exactly perpendicular to the other, already-flattened end of the tube. So if you followed my advice in step 5, now you can flatten this end so that the line down the side of the tube is right and one end of the fold, instead of in the center. Don’t glue it yet though!
7) Pop this second flattened end of the tube back open, fill the packet with some goodies,* then put glue along the inside edge of the open end of the tube, flatten the sides back together and hold (or place under a heavy book etc.) until dry.
*If you’re filling it with edible treats that aren’t already individually wrapped, you may want to put some plastic wrap around the treats first, both to keep them clean and to keep anything from melting/leaking through the paper.
Tip: Instead of gluing the ends of the tube, you could also sew them. (Even if you’re using paper. You can totally sew paper.)
You could also try making a fabric version of this container, though I suggest using a fairly stiff fabric or a material like felt. Otherwise the packet won’t hold its shape well, and then it’ll just look like a random, floppy tube of fabric with the ends sewn together.
So, what Christmas leftovers are you trying to sort through?