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TREND: INCORPORATING WOOD INTO YOUR WEDDING DETAILS

As a form of uniquity and a nod to eco-chic, wood is proving to be a welcomed trend in the world of weddings. From wedding favors to centerpieces, wood is being used in its most organic element.

The following are some great ways you can embrace the romance and uniquity that wood conveys.

FUN GUEST BOOK ALTERNATIVE

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This Jenga Guest Book is a great alternative to a traditional guest book. Your guests will have fun signing their names and writing you messages on the wood blocks. After the wedding you will have a fun keepsake to remember your special day. Unlike the traditional guestbook which you would put away in a drawer after the wedding, this guestbook can be displayed as a special piece of artwork in your home. 

RING PILLOW ALTERNATIVE

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Rather than the traditional ring pillow, have your ring bearer carry a keepsake Wedding Ring Box. This ring box is hand crafted from Makha wood which is a rare hardwood found in the deciduous forests in Southeast Asia. (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Burma).
As this wood ages, it develops a beautiful patina of reddish tones. 

WEDDING FAVORS

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Soaps are always a popular wedding favor, but you can make yours stand out from the norm with these Hand Carved Flower Soaps. These scented soaps are packaged in beautiful balls made from mango wood and painted with a floral pattern or scene. Each soap ball has it’s own design.

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Soaps are available in bulk for wedding favors or as individual pieces for gifts.

WOOD CENTERPIECES

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This Rustic Tea Light Holder would be a great centerpiece alternative for those of you who do not want floral centerpieces. This is an unusual piece made out of a teak branch.

The disks can be rotated for different looks and can hold up to seven tea light candles.

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***  A special Thank you to Siam Styles for allowing us to use their product photos. You can see the entire line of Siam Styles here.

Filed under wedding ideas soaps gifts guest books wedding favors wood

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PERFECT SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE

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Sugar cookies are perfect for bridal showers or wedding / party favors. They are easy to make and most people like them.

Mimi’s  Sugar Cookies

Makes 3 – 4 Dozen giant sugar cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup Crisco
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

  1. Cream together Crisco and sugar
  2. Mix in eggs
  3. In a medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt
  4. Slowly mix flour mixture into creamed sugar; Mix well 
  5. In a small bowl combine vanilla, sour cream and baking soda; Add to flour batter
  6. Cover and refrigerate overnight
  7. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  8. Drop large spoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet
  9. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until sides of the cookies begin to slightly brown
  10. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack; Sprinkle immediately with sugar and allow to cool completely

****Original recipe: Peanut Butter Fingers

Filed under recipe cookies sugar cookies desserts bridal shower Wedding favors wedding cookies

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DIY: Canelé Cake Favors / Escort Cards

Canelé cakes originated in France, where they were popular starting in the 19th century. Today you can find them at most bakeries. The little cakes are about three inches tall with a caramelized crust, and a custard in the center. You can make your own or order them in bulk from a bakery. We’ve created a cute, modern packaging for a wedding favor.

                 

Materials:
  • Canelé cakes 
  • bright tissue paper
  • string 
  • pinking shears
  • white pen
  • white round sticker

Step One:

Cut a 6” by 6” square of the tissue with pinking sheers (use two pieces per cake)

                     

Step Two:

Write the name of the guest about 2 inches from the bottom of the paper. Once it’s wrapped up it will look like the photo below.


                    

Step Three:

Roll the cake in the tissue and fold over the end of the paper onto the bottom of the cake.

                    
Step Four:

Secure with a sticker.

                   
Step Five:

Twist the top tissue and secure with string. Trim if necessary.

                  



***Project By: Chelsea Fuss | Photos By: Lisa Warninger

Filed under Wedding favors DIY Canele cake food party favors escort cards

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DIY: Cotton Candy Party Favors - Free Printables

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The photo above makes me feel nostalgic for my youth. Some of my happiest childhood memories are visiting my grandparents in Myrtle Beach and eating cotton candy on the pier. No matter how old I get, cotton candy memories always make me smile.

If you’re looking for a unique, yet fun wedding favor this next tutorial is for you….

DIY: COTTON CANDY PARTY FAVORS

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WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

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  • Cotton Candy - My favorite source is Spinn Candy
  • Translucent Paper with white polka dots for the envelopes.
  • White printable sticker paper or white card for labels
  • Double sided tape or glue.
  • Scalpel or Scissors.
  • Color Printer.
  • Rounded corner punch - for envelopes
  • Small clear plastic sealable bags- these will need to fit inside the translucent bag. (If they are too long they can always be folded back slightly).
  • Label design - Download below.
  • Envelope template- DOWNLOAD HERE

Label Downloads

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Aqua Label | Download

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Pink Label | Download

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Green Label | Download

INSTRUCTIONS

Print out your envelope design onto translucent, white polka dot paper and using the scalpel, cut out, score along fold lines (indicated by dotted lines) and construct your envelope. I’ve used double sided tape on the side tabs to stick the envelope together. Use the rounded corner punch on the corners of the lid.

Put your cotton candy into a sealable bag and make sure it is sealed thoroughly. Slip this bag into your translucent envelope.

Print our your labels and cut out with scalpel.  For the rounded semi-circle edge, I found that cutting carefully and slowly with a scissors produced quite an accurate cut and I didn’t need anything more sophisticated than that.

If you are using white card, put a strip of double sided tape along the length of the back of your label and stick onto the front of the bag. (View photos for positioning).

*** Special Thank You …

I want to Thank my friends Tim and Cindy owners of Spinn Candy for inspiring this blog. They make the best hand spun cotton candy you will ever taste.

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Spin Candy can help you with all your cotton candy needs whether for your wedding, birthday party, or a fundraiser program. They also offer wholesale programs for businesses.

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For more information on ordering Cotton Candy, please visit Spinn City online or give them a call at: (908) 291-8190.

Filed under DIY Wedding favors cotton candy candy wedding favors party favors printables paper crafts

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DIY Mini Candy Milk Cartons - Free Printable

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For a somewhat less traditional take on wedding favors, try these cute and quirky candy boxes in the style of miniature milk cartons!

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FOR THIS PROJECT YOU WILL NEED:

  • White A4 Paper or card 
  • Colour Inkjet or Laser Printer
  • White Brads
  • Guillotine or Scalpel
  • Ruler
  • Double-sided Tape (or glue)
  • Small Round Hole punch (around 2.5 mm in diameter)
  • Template (Download below)

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FREE DOWNLOAD

INSTRUCTIONS

Print out the design template on your color printer. I’ve deliberately removed the cut/fold lines on the design template as it would show on your final carton so please use this milk carton template from Mirkwood Designs as a reference for where to fold and cut on your actual design template.

Using your ruler and scalpel, gently score along the fold lines, that are indicated by the dotted lines on your reference, on your printed template then crop your template out and cut along cutting lines that are indicated by solid lines on your reference. Please make sure you score first because once you’ve cut out your template you will no longer be able to see the guide lines around the edge that I’ve included as a visual aid for where the fold/cut lines should be.

Fold into carton. This should be fairly easy to work out. Use double-sided tape  (or glue) to stick the bottom flaps together and close your carton.

Fill up your carton with candy. Probably the most appropriate candy would be milk bottles! In the center of the top tab of your carton, use your punch to create a round hole then use a white brad to secure it shut.


***A Special Thank You to Eat, Drink & Chic for sharing this fun printable

Filed under wedding favors printable paper crafts diy download diy wedding favors candy boxes party favors paper

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Specialty Candles Make Fun Wedding Favors

image                                            Rex Goliath Soy Candle

Q.  I am getting married in April at my parents beach Bar and Grill in Miami. The wedding will be super casual and right on the beach with a reception inside the bar. Since this is a small wedding (25 guests) I would like to give everyone (mostly family) a really nice wedding favor gift.  I have a budget for this of approximately $350. I would like to give everyone the same gift so nobody feels slighted. Any ideas?

A.  Congratulations on your engagement!  I think specialty candles would make great wedding favors. Although men may not openly admit it, I think they enjoy candles as much as women. 

Doing a quick Etsy search I found a fun store called Stock the Bar Candles which sells unique soy candles your guests will love. Here are a few of my favorites….

For the Guys

image                                       Corona Light Soy Candle

image                                     Absolute Vodka Soy Candle

Female Guests

image                                Vanilla Scented Hennessy Soy Candle

image             These Seashell Soy Candles are perfect for a beach wedding!

Non-Alcohol 

image                        Grab a coke and a smile! Coca Cola Soy Candles


** A special Thank You to Stock The Bar Candles for allowing us to use their photos. You can see their entire candle collection here.  

10% Discount & Free Shipping Offer

As a special offer to Merry Brides Readers, you can receive a 10% discount by typing in the code: LOVECT when you place an order.

Also, when placing your candle order be sure to mention you are a Merry Brides reader and you will receive FREE shipping on all orders over $50.

Filed under Soy candles wedding favors handmade candles candles specialty candles bar candles

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DIY Tutorial: Lip Balm Favors

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Lip Balm is a sweet treat for bridesmaids or can be used as wedding favors. They are perfect for keeping your lips extra kissable for a winter wedding!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 parts Beeswax
  • 1 part Butter (like shea butter or cocoa butter)
  • 1 part Oil (such as jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, apricot kernel, or almond oil. ( Also add a hint of castor oil for extra sheen and Vitamin E as a natural preservative)
  • Your favorite essential oil (we used peppermint and orange)
  • Lip Balm Tubes or Tins
  • Labels (if desired)

*  All ingredients (including chapstick tubes and tins) are available online from Mountain Rose Herbs.

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In double broiler, melt beeswax and butter.

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Add in the oils  and then stir. Remove from heat and add essential oil starting with 4 drops per every ounce.

For tinted lip balm, add beet root, cocoa powder, or any natural tint. Add into mixture until desired color is achieved. This will not stain your lips but add a slight tint.

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Next pour into containers (either tubes or tins), and let cool.

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To add the finishing touch, add a printed label! 

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Aren’t these just the sweetest? Make sure to make a few extra, you’ll want a few for yourself!


* Photo Credit: Apple Brides

Filed under DIY DIY Projects beauty Wedding favors Lip Balm diy lip balm party favors homemade

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DIY: Fancy Ribbon And Paper Gift Bags

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We all have seen it at some point during the holidays: a limp paper plate loaded with cookies and covered in plastic-wrap that’s not clinging. Is there a drearier way to transport baked goods, treats, or gifts from point A to point B? This holiday season, I vowed to make every effort to put an end to this unsightly and ineffective mode of conveyance by making cute brown paper sacks with ribbons. 

These bags are super easy to make. You could use them for your wedding favors or even pack your families’ lunches for school and work.

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Some assorted ribbon and a hole punch (or two, or three…) are all you need to extend the life of these “single-use” paper bags. Get the kids involved making their own lunch bags and they’ll be sure to bring them back home to use again and again.

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A simple basting stitch is all you needed to make a pretty container perfectly suited to hold a batch of freshly made cookies to send to a friend.

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For an even quicker solution, a few knotted lengths of satin ribbon look festive without being fussy.

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These two “woven” examples are my favorites during the holiday. I recently used this pattern for Thanksgiving hostess gifts; one contained homemade brownies and the other Peanut butter fudge (both wrapped in waxed paper before being inserted into their brown paper wrappings).

For the example on left, use a 1/2-inch hole punch. Notice that you crease the bag vertically along the dotted lines and then place your hole cutter halfway over the fold and punch. For the example on the right, seven small cuts made with a craft knife (notice the tiny one at the bottom) provided the lattice through which you weave three bright red ribbons (Fasten the ends with clear tape on the inside of the bag).

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For the holidays, I like to make cookies to give to all of my neighbors. With everyone’s schedule being what it is, I usually end up leaving packages at people’s doors. A 2-1/2-inch circle (again, cut by folding the bag over and cutting half a circle out across the fold) makes a perfect way to hang this gift on a doorknob. I used a custom rubber stamp to label each bag and a little silver cord to stitch them shut around the hole.

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And last but not least a cute shoelace weave. 

Nothing could be less trouble than putting a few stitches in a paper bag, and delivering your holiday goodies in style.



** Photo Credits & Inspiration: Jeff Rudell 

(Source: zazzle.com)

Filed under diy gift bags holiday ideas recycle gift ideas food christmas packaging food packaging paper crafts wedding favors holidays

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DIY: Glitter Love Note Chocolate Wrappers (Free Printable)

Store-bought chocolate repackaged in a homemade wrapper — the underside of which reveals a handwritten love note — tastes doubly delicious.

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MATERIALS

STEP 1

Download the design, color-print, and cut out.

STEP 2

To embellish the motif, dot with glue and sprinkle with glitter.

STEP 3

Wrap around a foil-covered bar; affix with tape.



*Project source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2006

Filed under DIY Glitter Paper projects Chocolate Wedding favors love notes party favors valentines

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DIY Glitter Heart Boxes

You will need:

  • Glitter paper (Here’s a suggestion),
  • Scissors
  • Template
  • Glue gun or glue stick or double sided stick tape


Step 1: Print off your template onto cardstock paper.
Step 2: Cut out template.
Step 3: Trace template onto the backside of your glitter paper.
Step 4: Cut out lines on glitter paper.


Step 5: Fold the bottom portion of the box (indicated on the template with dotted lines).
Step 6: Fold over the tab.
Step 7: Glue the tab to the other side of the box.
Step 8: Gold the bottom tabs up so they are secure.
Step 9: Attach the heart pieces together.




Step 10: Insert CANDY!! Chocolate or conversation hearts preferred (am I right?!)

(Source: zazzle.com)

Filed under DIY favor boxes Favor Box Paper Crafts Wedding Favors Valentines Crafts Glitter DIY Wedding

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DIY Ice Cream Sandwiches

There are few things that I love more than ice cream in waffle cones. It doesn’t take much convincing to go for a scoop so when I saw waffle butter cookies at Trader Joe’s I knew exactly what I had to do: ice cream sandwiches! They’re super easy to do and would make a great treat for bridal showers or cookouts, just pick your favorite ice cream; sandwich it between waffle cookies and violá!!!

What you’ll need:

  • Carton of ice cream
  • Butter waffle cookies (ours are from Trader Joe’s)
  • Round cookie cutter bent into an oval
  • Large knife
  • Cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Wax string

Directions:

Take your ice cream (the boxed kind works best) and cut off a 3/4″ thick slab, it doesn’t have to be exact just thinner than your cookie cutter. Next, use your cookie cutter and cut out ovals from the ice cream, set the ovals on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and put the sheet in the freezer to firm up.

While you wait, cut out 9.5″x2.5″ strips of parchment paper to use as holders for the finished product.

Once the ice cream has chilled for a bit, transfer to the cookies with a spatula. For a little extra sweetness, add decorative chocolate sprinkles; simply roll the edges through the sprinkles for an even coating.

For the final touch, wrap in parchment paper and secure with waxed thread or baker’s twine then freeze until ready to serve. Enjoy!

(Source: zazzle.com)

Filed under Ice Cream DIY Wedding favors Wedding Desserts Summer wedding

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4 Ways to Wrap Macaroons as Favors

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Macaroons — there’s something very luxurious about these meringue-based French confections. And if you’d like to hand them out as favors at a wedding or other special event, you want make sure the packaging is as sophisticated as the treat. Here are four elegant ways to wrap macaroons without hiding the sweetness inside:

1. A frosted gable box gives a hint of what’s inside while keeping the sweets protected. A little wood fill or paper shred on the bottom acts as a cushion, while ribbon and a flower dress up the outside.

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2. Wrap each macaroon individually in cellophane so they look like candies. Cut a square of cellophane large enough to wrap around the macaroon, then twist each end and tie with ribbon. Because the confections are so fragile, you have to be very careful as you wrap them so they don’t get smooshed or crack; be sure to have extras to allow for mistakes.

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3. Show off a pair of macaroons in a clear pillow box tied with a ribbon.

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4. For a variation of the gable box above, try a frosted Chinese takeout container.

 

* Gift wrapping and photography by Corinna vanGerwen

Filed under packaging macaroons wedding favors cookies favors food packaging wedding

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DIY: Rock Candy Tutorial

Rock candy is always a fun favorite and would be great for an afternoon bridal tea party or party favors. All it takes is a few simple tools, lots of sugar and even more patience!

Rock candy ingredients & supplies:

  • Wooden skewers (cut in half)
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Clothespins
  • Glass jars/drinking glasses

The amount of water and sugar you need depends on how many pieces of rock candy you would like to make and the number of jars you have available (I recommend no more than 2 pieces per jar) - the standard ratio is 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water, but we found that we had to add a bit more sugar than our recipe called for. In the end, we used 10 cups of sugar to 4 cups of water.

Directions

To make our batch of rock candy, we started with 4 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar. Put it all into a large saucepan, because once you put it on the stove it will expand while boiling. Mix up the first bit of sugar before putting it on the stove.  Once your pot is on the stove, bring it to a low boil over medium heat, and continue to add sugar one cup at a time until you can no longer dissolve any more of it (making a completely saturated sugar solution).
Turn off the heat and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.

While your sugar is cooling you can prep your sticks. Soak them in water and roll them in a coating of sugar to give the new sugar crystals something to “seed” to. Be sure to let them dry all the way! If they are still too wet when you put them into the hot sugar solution, all of the sugar coating will fall off, and the new crystals will have nothing to grow on.

CAREFULLY pour your sugar solution into your glass jars. If you’d like to add food coloring or flavoring to your rock candy, now is the time to do so. We added color, but we kept the flavor all natural.

Slowly insert your sugared skewers into the solution. You can use a clothespin as shown to keep your sticks in place. Smaller mouth jars/glasses work best, but only allow room for about two sticks per jar. Be sure that your sticks are not touching the sides or bottom of the glass or each other! They need room for the new crystals to grow!

Set them up in a warm, sunny location where they won’t be disturbed, and wait…

..and wait…and wait…and wait (still with me?)…and wait some more…

After about a week you will have made yourself a batch of sparkling sugar rock candy!

So pretty, so tasty and sooooo worth the wait! These would make fantastic holiday gifts to go along with tea or coffee sets (is it crazy that I have Christmas on the brain in July?)!

Filed under DIY Candy Rock Cand Wedding Favors Party Favors

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DIY: Pink Taffy

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Servings: 50 pieces

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons glycerin (please see note below)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature plus more for hands when pulling taffy
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 drops red food coloring (you can use any color you like, this is for a pink taffy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you could use any flavoring you like here)
  • Wax paper cut into 50 (3”x 3”) squares
NOTE:  Glycerin is a colorless liquid made from fats and oils. It can be found in most drugstores, some grocery stores and in craft stores in the cake decorating area. Using glycerin in this taffy recipe helps to make the candy soft and creamy.

Directions

Spray a large baking sheet with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large saucepan, stir together the sugar and corn starch. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the corn syrup, glycerin, butter, water and salt. Place saucepan over medium heat and stir continuously until the sugar has completely dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Once mixture has come to a boil, allow to continue to cook, undisturbed, until it reaches 270º F on a candy thermometer. This is the soft-crack stage. (Make sure to wash down the sides of the saucepan with a pastry brush dipped in warm water while the syrup cooks. This will prevent any sugar crystals forming and clinging to the side of the pan, which could fall into the mixture and encourage recrystallization.)

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Very gently stir in the food coloring and vanilla. Pour mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and allow to cool just enough to handle.

Butter or spray your hands with a non stick cooking spray and begin to pull the taffy until it’s light in color and has a satiny gloss. Have a friend help you with this step, and don’t be concerned if the taffy doesn’t seem to be “working”. This step will take about 10 to 12 minutes.

Using the same baking tray, roll the pulled taffy into a long rope (about 1/2” diameter), and cut with a knive that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray into 1” pieces. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before wrapping in wax paper.

Recipe Credit: Paula Deen

Filed under DIY Recipe Taffy Wedding Favors Candy