With our annual Halloween party looming, I was racking my brain to come up with a fun and creative party favor that could top...or at least compete with last year's Halloween S'mores party favors.
I mulled it over, perused hundreds of photos on Pinterest, looked through my library of Halloween books and old issues of Martha Stewart magazines, but came up with nothing. I didn't find anything that made me excited about celebrating my favorite event of the year. That is, until I started to get really hungry one day last week while shopping for our week's groceries. You know how you're not supposed to go to the grocery store when you're hungry? Well, if you're ever trying to come up with a tasty and fun party favor, the opposite is true -- hunger gets the ideas flowing. Seems I developed a bit of a craving for that childhood favorite of mine, Oreos.
My idea was simple, and hopefully effective. Since offering my guests a handful of Oreo cookies wouldn't quite make the grade (though they're undeniably delicious on their own), I decided I could pump it up a little by adding a bit of chocolate to the mix.
I started our my attempt at a tasty and fun favor by melting the chocolate chips in the microwave in short 20-30 second increments, stirring between each microwave session. I repeated this process until the chocolate was smooth and lump free. Doing it in shorter bursts also helps prevent the chocolate from seizing up, which if you've never experienced it, basically means it turning into a big hard glop that you can't use.
Once my chocolate was warm and smooth, I started to dip away. At first I had planned to coat the whole cookie in chocolate, using something like a toothpick or tines of a fork to submerge the whole thing, but after I did a test run with only half of the cookie dipped, I figured this was a much better way to go. It would mean I could complete the project more quickly, I was ensured to have enough ingredients on hand, and it actually looked a bit more interesting than a solid chocolate blob.
The dipping process didn't take much time at all. It was a simple three step process of grabbing a cookie, dipping in chocolate, then laying it on wax paper to cool...repeat.
Rather than sticking only with milk chocolate chips, I also picked up a couple bags of white chocolate chips and did about half of the cookies in white as well. I can tell you that taste tests proved each was equally as tasty.
In addition to the white and milk chocolate, I also grabbed some orange chocolate "melts" at my local craft store and melted it down to add as a bit of festive flair. This is Halloween after all, and it's really not complete without a little orange somewhere. So I loaded up one of my Wilton bags with just the very tip snipped off to begin piping on the orange.
I tried my hand at some quick lettering by writing "BOO", as well as some random thin stripes here and there. It started out a bit wonky, but after I worked on it a little bit I got the hang of it and ended up with a unique cookie treat that didn't look too hideous.
While I was at the craft store this weekend, I also saw these great looking trick-or-treat boxes that look like miniature Chinese takeout cartons. I figured these cartons would work perfectly as our party favor vessels. Like I said earlier, it's just a little uncouth to throw a bunch of cookies in the hands of the departing guests.
These little cartons are awesome, just $2.99 for six, and come in a variety of colors and notes. All in all, I bought two large packages of oreos, and used 1 1/2 semi sweet and 1 white chocolate bags of chips to make roughly 70 chocolate covered oreos. With today being the RSVP deadline for the party and the jury still out on roughly 30 invites (yikes!), I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I estimated our attendance accurately.
How perfect to be able to hand these to guests as they walk out the door, surely already overwhelmed having just experienced our 11th annual Halloween extravaganza?
After some tenuous moments, and a few difficulties in getting the creativity going in creating a memorable and great tasting party favor, I'm pretty happy with the final outcome. Each box will get two cookies and I'm relatively sure an average of one of those two cookies will be consumed before each of our guests reach their homes.