Tonight is my class Christmas party for my 5th/6th grade girls. This is one of my favorite nights of the year! We have so much fun! We’ll have a gift exchange. It’s always fun to see who is brave enough to steal a gift from her fellow classmate. At this age, most are really sensitive to their friends, so the stealing is always very dramatic! As an adult and many years of gift exchanges, I can steal a gift without much remorse. I’m not sure if that is a good thing, but I figured it’s a rule of the game and it’s just a game. It’s interesting to see what the girls go home with. After class I let them barter for gifts they might have wanted but didn’t get. There are often many trades. It’s all apart of the experience!
After the gift exchange, I have worksheets for the girls to do. The first one is to put the 12 days of Christmas in order. When did the pipers pipe or the lord’s leap? They’ll see if they know! The other worksheet is matching “Merry Christmas” in 8 different languages to the correct language. I’m pretty sure they’ll get “Feliz Navidad”, but will they get “Mele Kalikimaka ” or “Buon Natale”. We shall see! After the worksheets, we’ll make a magnet craft and enjoy some yummy snacks!
It wouldn’t be a good Christmas party without some great Christmas goodies. A special treat seems to make the Christmas cheer shine just a little brighter, so I spent my evening yesterday working on the snacks for tonight. The first snack I created was a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting and peppermint crumbles on top. I used peppermint discs and realized that candy canes might have been a better option. Pettermint discs are pretty are hard to break… I learned this by beating on them quite loudly with a rolling pin. The rolling pin came out dented from the sharp edges of the crumbles. It was intense. Next time I will use a thinner peppermint candy and I’m sure that candy canes will fit that need.
The second snack and the inspiration for my peppermint theme was a white chocolate dipped marshmallow that is then rolled in peppermint crumbles. These were very easy and fun to assemble. I crumbled the peppermint first. I put lollipop sticks into marshmallows before I melted the white chocolate. Once the white chocolate was fully melted, I set off dipping and rolling. It’s important to let as much extra chocolate drip off as possible. Rolling the marshmallow in peppermint was a little trickier than I expected, but it turned out great. I let the marshmallow pops cool on wax paper. Once the chocolate was set, I wrapped the marshmallows in plastic wrap and tied it close with red ribbon. There was some excess plastic wrap on the pop, so I cut around the pop so the wrap didn’t completely engulf the stick. Tying the ribbon into the bow was the final touch. I knew I needed a creative way to display these pops so I purchased some foam from my local craft store – the kind that they use for floral arrangements. I wrapped the foam like a present and then pushed the sticks through the wrapping paper into the foam. It’s really great for presentation as well as practical for transportation.
I’ve never really used peppermint in baking other than peppermint extract. It was a lot of fun to take something very seasonal and tweak it and create something new. It’s been a fun journey for me as I branch out of my “usual” baking projects and try something new. Peppermint is a very Christmasy flavor. It also has the right Christmas colors with the bright red and white. These goodies are sure to spread Christmas cheer on multiple levels!