Saturday, December 17, 2016

Treat Trays (Photo Heavy)

I mentioned that this week was the week I do my Christmas "trays".  This was my 10th year doing these trays, and over time, they have kind of evolved into this elaborate gift.  I get really stressed out during the week, trying to get them done, but I absolutely love making them.  And my favorite part happened today - DELIVERY DAY!  I love seeing the expressions as people get their trays.  Even the grizzled guys my husband work with get excited to see me show up with their treats.

I took a bunch of photos along the way and wanted to share.  These were taken with my cell phone, and usually while I was stirring, or balancing a pot or something in my other hand, so please forgive the quality.

I did my grocery shopping last weekend.  Let me tell you, this cartload gets a few comments as you're pushing it through the store!  I had several people look inside and they say they wanted to come home with me.  

I made a small batch of divinity last week.  I don't make a ton of this candy.  It's not my favorite, and there are a lot of people who don't care for it.  But I have a couple of people who love it, and I make it just for them.

I also baked all my sugar cookies last week.   And I made a LOT of cookies.

I chose to make a simple shape and then elaborate with my icing. I sketched out my design in a couple different styles before picking what I wanted to recreate on the cookies

I don't have a huge kitchen, so it gets completely taken over during this process.

No, those aren't potatoes on those cookies!

So many cookies!

But I was happy with how they turned out!

I also made fudge.  A lot of the recipes I use are from my grandmother and great-grandmother.

Tree break!  In all of the work involved, I try to remember to take a few breaks here and there to just appreciate the season.

And, back to work.  I dipped nearly 200 cake balls this year.   I'm not great and dipping chocolate, as the only time I really do it is at Christmas.  Something to work on over 2017 to be in better practice next Christmas.

I made a bunch of smores logs.  These are one of my favorite candy, so I always make an extra batch and freeze it when I'm working on these.

I got a little violent when crushing graham crackers and crushed my rolling pin.  Oops.

That right there = YUMMY!

I made batch after batch of toffee. This recipe was actually a mistake many years ago, where I misread and ingredient in my great grandma's butterscotch recipe.  It makes great toffee though, once it's topped with chocolate and nuts!

 Packaging time.  I usually use a tray or plate for packaging, but this year decided to go with bakery boxes.  I'm super happy with the switch as I think the presentation was much nicer this way.

Loaded up and ready for tags and bows.  

I made super simple tags for the boxes, and tied big bows on with wire edged ribbon  Loved my Yummy Little Christmas stamp set for treat packaging this year.  This is a set I'm definitely keeping for future use.

Inside the boxes:

The top layer had a wrapped smores log, and a packet of toffee, under that were sugar cookies, cake balls in 3 flavors, fudge, and fudge nut bars.

 This is certainly a labor of love, and I love doing it for the people that we care about and appreciate so much.   It makes for very long days (about 19 hours most days - for the number of batches I'm working on in a small kitchen), but is worth it.

And, yes, I took a very looooong nap after delivering trays this morning!  LOL!

Thanks for stopping by!

Much love,                                                         


  1. A true labor of love. I'm sure you are several people's favorite and an honor to revive such a thoughtful gift. Merry Christmas!

  2. Beautiful! It took me years to realize a cooky tray just wasn't complete without some chocolate, like fudge or bonbons. Your treat boxes are a work of love, for sure. I can relate to the folks eyeing your shopping cart!

  3. Beautiful Sara! What a gift. You are so talented.

  4. I loved reading about your process. What a huge heart you have and what a tremendous blessing your hard work and passion must be to others. Merry Christmas!


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