Everyone is looking for an affordable gift you can share with you neighbors, co-workers, and friends. A personalized mug with chocolate candy-covered spoons is a fun gift idea. It would also be great for a Christmas party or for some fun at home with your families.
We’ll start with the chocolate. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear about the chocolate first? Right?
What you’ll need:
- plastic spoons
- a variety of candy toppings: ideas include Heath bits, candy canes, chocolate chips, M&M minis, Andes mints, etc
- chocolate for melting (a little goes a long way)
Start by prepping your ingredients.
Chop any candies that need to be chopped. For candy canes, an easy way to prepare them is to crush up what you can by hand in a plastic bag. When the pieces get too small to crush by hand, finish chopping them on a cutting board with a knife. A knife is more difficult to use than breaking the pieces by hand, but it will allow you to get finer pieces.
The chocolate you plan to melt should be in microwave safe bowls, and the candy can be easily accessible if you pour it into bowls as well.
I chose to use milk chocolate chips and vanilla chips in two separate bowls. One at a time, melt your chocolate in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time to avoid burning it. After 30 seconds, pull it out, stir, and place back in the microwave. It should only take about three 30-second rounds in the microwave to be completely melted. Do not overcook it. Chocolate will continue to melt as you stir it. It does not need to be piping hot. In fact, it will be less messy if you wait a few minutes for your chocolate to cool before trying to place it on the spoons.
Use a regular spoon to drip melted chocolate onto the plastic spoons. If you dip the plastic spoons straight into the chocolate you will have a big mess on your hands, plus it wouldn’t be as pretty. Only fill the chocolate to be level with the rim of the spoon. Too much and it will overflow when you add the candy toppings. Add the candy before the chocolate begins to harden.
I lined a baking sheet with foil and propped the chocolate-filled spoons against a wooden spoon so the chocolate didn’t drip backwards off the spoon as it dried. Allow them to set completely before you touch them. They could even go in the refrigerator for a bit if you want to hurry up the process. Once they have set they are good to go and can be packaged in any way you like.
Next, the personalized mugs.
What you will need:
- plain ceramic mugs
- small paintbrush
- enamel paints in your choice of color
- sharpie permanent markers in your choice of color
Start by making sure the mugs are clean and dry. Decorate and paint your mug in whatever style you would like. You can make them Christmas themed or a simple design that will work year-round.
When they are decorated, place them in a cool oven and set the temperature to 350 degrees. Allow the mugs to heat up with the oven. When the oven reaches 350 degrees, turn a timer on for 45 minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the oven off, but do not remove the mugs. Allow the mugs to cool completely with the oven.
Enamel paints are food-safe and dishwasher-safe. If you use just enamel paint to decorate, the design will last without any special care. Permanent markers are food safe, but will wash off in the dishwasher. If the mugs are given as gifts, be sure that the recipient knows they must be hand-washed if permanent marker is used.
Put the two projects together and you have a great gift to give your family, neighbors, co-workers, and friends.