Sunday, October 10, 2010

Caramel Apples


  • 6 apples
  • 1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Remove the stem from each apple and press a craft stick into the top. Butter a baking sheet.
  2. Place caramels and milk in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave 2 minutes, stirring once. Allow to cool briefly.
  3. Roll each apple quickly in caramel sauce until well coated. Place on prepared sheet to set.
After dipping in caramel, you can then use your imagination to decorate them!  You can use the leaf sprinkles as shown in this pic (which are available in our Etsy shop), or M&M's, Reeses Pieces, chopped peanuts, milk chocolate, chocolate chips, coconut, the possibilities are endless!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ghostly cupcakes

I stumbled across this recipe for these adorable and easy to make Halloween ghost cupcakes over at Better Homes & Gardens

Marshmallow creme is the secret behind these ghosts.
To make it, follow these steps:
1.     Start with frosted store-bought or homemade cupcakes.
2.     Microwave 1 cup marshmallow creme (enough for 8 cupcakes) in a microwave-safe bowl on High for 20 seconds or until warm. Cool slightly. Place in a large heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; snip one corner and pipe a ghost shape onto each cupcake.
3.     Quickly attach chocolate chips or other small candies for ghost eyes and mouth before marshmallow creme sets.

Easy peasy!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our Halloween Treat Table

So today at the store I decided to rearrange the front of the shop, and switch our Fall table with the Halloween table.  So far, I am happy with how the Halloween display looks.  I still need to add a few things (I'm dying to make orange and black poms to hang from my chandelier) but I thought I would share what I have so far.  Many of the ideas can easily be modified for a home Halloween party. DISCLAIMER:  Obviously, I am not a professional photographer.  Not even close. 

Here is our Halloween table.  I took the photo from a ladder looking down on it, otherwise I get too much of the back of the store in the pic.  From eye level, it doesn't look as empty.  See the black and orange cloths on the back of the display ~ they are simply kitchen towels!  We use a lot of towels and napkins in our displays, as inexpensive ways to tie in to the holiday and if we need some height in our display, we just place an empty box under the towel.

I'm loving my tiered tray.  I found the so simple directions at Joy's Hope.  I've used it to display cocktail napkins, but at home it would be so cute for cupcakes or hor'derves.  For some added height, I have one of our Halloween figurines sitting on top.

I'm bummed I couldn't get a better shot of my branch display. I found some "good" branches in my backyard and spray painted them black.  I then bought a glass vase at the dollar store and sprayed that black as well. I placed the branches in, put some stone in the bottom, then used newsprint to pack around the branch and then more stones of the top(they came from the dollar store too).  I hung my "BOO"
banner on there, a few decorations, and then I have some chocolate pumpkins and lollipops hanging from the branches!  I have the vase sitting on a clear glass cake stand, then I surrounded it with bags of candy corn. 

Our hand decorated Oreos.

In most of the photos I see for dessert tables, the treats are all unwrapped, like our pretzels above.  While I love the way that looks photographed, I think in reality, you would want most of your treats (especially chocolate ones) wrapped, like the pretzels shown below.  It doesn't take long for chocolate to melt in little (and big) hands, so unless you like hand prints on your furniture, place your treats in cello bags and then tie them up with a cute favor tag.

I'll post some updated pictures in a week or two when I have all our gift baskets and tins ready. Are you having a Halloween party?  I'd love to see your pictures!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Eerie Eyeball Cookies


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup REESE'S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • About 1 cup vanilla frosting(homemade or ready-to- spread)
  • Red and black decorator frosting in tubes
  • WHOPPERS Malted Milk Balls


1. Heat oven to 375° F. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

4. Frost center of cookie with vanilla frosting to form white portion of eye. Decorate with red and black frostings to form outline of eye and bloodshot markings. Press malted milk ball "iris" into center of eye. About 4 dozen cookies

Recipe courtsey of Hershey's.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gravestone Lollipop Cover

Are these guys the cutest thing!  And so easy to DIY.  Head on over to Country Living Magazine and scroll through the slideshow to #3 to find the template for the gravestone. 

To make these clever covers for candy suckers, download a tombstone image and follow the steps below:

Step 1: For each lollipop, print and cut out two tombstones, then glue them, faceup, to a sheet of black construction paper with a glue stick. When dry, cut around each tombstone, leaving a black construction-paper border, as shown.

Step 2: Turn one tombstone facedown and glide the glue stick along its outer edges at the top and sides only. Place the other tombstone on top of it, faceup. Press the edges together to create one cover. Let dry.

Step 3: Use a fine-tipped black Sharpie to spell out "RIP" — or a guest's name — on one side.

Step 4: Repeat directions above to create additional lollipop covers. Insert candy. Place floral foam in a bowl and stand lollipops in the foam. Then fill the bowl with crushed Oreos to serve as the dirt in your graveyard

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Terrific Toffee

I found this delicious recipe for a easy to make toffee over at Better Homes and Gardens.  


  • 1  cup  unblanched whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 3/4  cup  semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 3/4  cup  milk chocolate pieces
  • 1/3  cup  white baking pieces
  • 2  tablespoons  malted milk powder
  • 1  cup  butter
  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 3  tablespoons  water


1. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. In a bowl combine chopped almonds, semisweet and milk chocolate pieces, and white baking pieces. Sprinkle half (about 1-1/2 cups) of the nut/chocolate piece mixture over the bottom of prepared baking pan. Sprinkle malted milk powder over mixture in pan.
2. In a 2-quart heavy saucepan combine butter, sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Clip a candy thermometer to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 290 degree F (soft-crack stage), about 15 minutes. Mixture should boil at a steady rate over the entire surface. (Adjust heat as necessary so that mixture does not boil over.)
3. Remove from heat; remove thermometer. Pour mixture quickly over nuts and chocolate pieces in pan. Immediately sprinkle remaining nut/chocolate piece mixture over toffee. Cool about 1 hour before breaking into pieces. If necessary, chill 15 minutes or until chocolate is firm. Makes about 2 pounds (36 servings).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ladybug Parties

Based on the amout of ladybug favors I've been doing lately, I'm going to say that this is a popular theme for parties.  I've done chocolate ladybugs for baby showers and little girl birthday parties.  For anyone with one of these parties coming up, I've searched for some inspiration for you! 

These pictures are from The TomKat Studio:

I love the use of the green M&M's in this!  If you don't want to do your own pretzels, we can do them for you!

Okay, how sweet are these cupcakes?  Just color your vanilla or cream cheese frosting, and use chocolate chips and Junior Mints for the dots!

Marshmallow pops.  It looks like these were just dipped partially in red candy melts.  Just keep in mind when doing them this way that the marshmallow that isn't dipped will get hard pretty quickly, so it's best to do these the day of the party.  When we do ours, we dip the whole thing first in white chocolate, and then in the colored chocolate.  The marshmallow stays fresh a lot longer this way.

And how simple is this for your dessert table?  Black and red licorice!

And I found these absolutely BEAUTIFUL ladybug cakes at Pink Cake Box, located here in NJ.  I think she makes the SWEETEST cakes I've ever seen!

Okay, one last picture.  These are our ladybug lollipops available at our Etsy shop

Monday, September 6, 2010

Black and White Damask Dessert Table

WOW!  That is all I can say when I stumbled across these pictures of a dessert table styled by Sandra Downie of Sandra Downie Event Designs. I just love the way the apple green pops against the black and white. This table design would be perfect for a bridal shower, a wedding, or an adult birthday party, don't you think? Here are some sweet pictures to drool over!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dylans Candy Bar

Are you familiar with Dylans Candy Bar?  At 15,000 square feet, it is one of the largest (if not THE largest) candy shop in the world!  It is owned by the stylish Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren.  The flagship store is located on 3rd. Avenue in NYC, near Central Park.  I've been there several times, and let me tell you, they have EVERY kind of candy you can imagine!

Anyway, right now on their website they are having a contest.  In conjunction with the Savannah College of Art and Design, six students have designed and created couture dresses entirely out of candy found at Dylans.  You can head over  and vote for your favorite!  I think the "Taffy Blossom" is my favorite!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chocolate Panini

Oh my sweetness!!  I don't think I've ever seen a sandwich like this!  I found this recipe at My Recipes and I am just drooling over it!  And it couldn't be much easier!

Prep Time:5 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 servings


• 4 slices challah or white bread

• 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped


Form 2 sandwiches with the bread and chocolate. Transfer to a hot panini press or waffle iron and cook until the bread is golden and the chocolate has melted, 2 to 3 minutes. (Alternatively, cook the sandwiches in a hot grill pan, turning once and pressing down frequently.)

Boutique Mama

I want to give a big THANKS to very sweet Robin over at Boutique Mama for designing and installing my oh so cute blog template.  This pink and green sweet blog is her "Bubblegum Boutique" design.  Isn't it great?? Soooo much better than the boring, plain Jane design that Blogger gives you.  She was so sweet and easy to work with, if you're looking for an update for your blog or your website, give her a look!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pink & Black Dessert Table

Okay, I love this dessert table shared by Save the Date for Cupcakes!  This could be adapted for a baby shower, bridal shower, or a Sweet 16 celebration.  Imagine how cute hot pink and brown pom poms would look over this table. 

If you would like to impress your guests at your next event with a dessert table like this, please give us a call!  We'd love to help make your party memorable.

Fabulous Fun Finds

Fabulous Fun Finds is a great site that I have become hooked on!  It's a great way to find some of the fabulous things that are available online, and you also have a chance to win them.  This blog searches out all kinds of girly things: clothes, shoes, handbags, bathing suits, party planning items, and then reviews them, shares pictures and the where to buy info.  Here are some of their recent giveaways:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Strawberry Peach Pops

I found this over at Betty Crocker, and they make a nice, healthy snack.  September can still be warm out, these would make great after school treats~

What You Need:

1 cup soymilk

1 cup Cascadian Farm® frozen organic strawberries

1 container (6 oz) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free harvest peach yogurt

2 tablespoons honey

10 paper cups (3-oz size)

10 craft sticks (flat wooden sticks with round ends)

What to do:

1.Place soymilk, strawberries, yogurt and honey in blender or food processor. Cover; blend on high speed about 1 minute or until smooth.

2.Fill each cup with about 1/4 cup yogurt mixture. Place cups in freezer until partially frozen, about 45 minutes.

3.Insert sticks; freeze until firm, about 1 hour 30 minutes. To serve, remove cups

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Treats

I stumbled across this recipe at, and thought how nice it would be to have these treats waiting for the kids when they come home from their 1st day of school!  Everyone love peanut butter and everyone loves rice krispy treats, so what a great combination!  And it's so quick and easy to do.  Enjoy!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutesIngredients:

•3 Tbsp. butter

•1/3 cup peanut butter

•10 oz. bag marshmallows

•6 cups crisp rice cereal

•24 1" peanut butter cups, unwrapped


Grease 13x9" pan. Combine butter, peanut butter and marshmallows in large microwave safe bowl. Microwave uncovered on high for 1-1/2 to 3 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in cereal.

Press mixture into prepared pan, using buttered hands (be careful, the mixture is pretty warm). Immediately make 24 indentations in rows in the cereal mixture using handle of wooden spoon. Press peanut butter cups into indentations. Let cool. Cut into squares with a candy in the center of each square. 24 bars

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Martha's Chocolate Pudding Icebox Cake

This yummy recipe comes courtsey of Martha Stewart...

Serves 8

3 3/4 cups milk

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and scraped, or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

8 large egg yolks

1/3 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder

4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

15 whole rectangular graham crackers

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar


1.In a large saucepan, combine 3 cups milk, half-and-half, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, and vanilla bean and seeds, if using. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.

2.Meanwhile, in a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Whisking constantly, gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Set a fine-mesh sieve over saucepan and strain custard mixture back into saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking, until mixture thickens to a puddinglike consistency, about 10 seconds. Remove vanilla bean, if using, and discard.

3.Transfer custard mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add chocolate and beat on medium speed until chocolate is melted and mixture has cooled slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract, if using. Beat in butter, a little at a time, and continue beating until chocolate is entirely melted and mixture is cool, 5 to 10 minutes more.

4.Layer the bottom of an 8-inch-square baking dish with 1/3 of the graham crackers, breaking up crackers as needed to create a snug, even layer. Spoon 1/3 of the pudding mixture on top; smooth top. Repeat process twice using remaining graham crackers and pudding, to create a total of 3 layers of each. Transfer to refrigerator; refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 3 hours.

5.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together heavy cream and confectioners' sugar until medium peaks form. Spread whipped cream over chilled cake and serve.

My New Blog and a Bit About Me!

Hello, and thanks for stopping by!  I have owned my shop, Sue's Gift Box & Sweet Shop, at the Jersey Shore since 1994.  At my shop, we design gourmet gift baskets, make our own chocolates, and carry an assortment of gift items.  We have also been helping our customers celebrate special occasions by working with them to coordinate their invitations, favors and party accessories.

In addition to my being a shopkeeper, I am a wife and a mom to my 3 1/2 year old sweet girl and my 1  year old darling boy.

Blog Design: