Saturday, February 13, 2016

Groovy Kind of Love Project

If we're living right, we're not waiting for a Hallmark holiday to show people they are in our thoughts or our hearts. You can do this in many ways: a phone call, a letter, a visit, or perhaps this "Groovy Kind of Love" project.

The lead-up to Valentine's Day is a good time to stock up on some love-themed items from craft and dollar stores. For very little money and just a little bit of time, you can treat some friends to some colorful sweets and a simple message that says "I care about you."

I discovered these festive highball glasses for $1 each. So I bought 15 of them. (Some to use now; some for a future project.) The glasses can be filled later with a festive beverage. The other items you'll need can be found at a good dollar store or at a craft store. All told, this project costs about $3 per finished piece. And of course, the affection that inspired it is priceless.

What you'll need:

1 highball glass
5 coconut macaroons
5 heart-shaped gummy candies
1 small piece of wax paper, oil-resistant doily, or other food safe paper (about 4 by 6 inches)
1 square of cellophane wrap (12 to 18 inches square)
1 rubber band
1 tag
Piece of string (10 to 12 inches)
Permanent marker


1. Make the macaroons, using this recipe. They're super easy, I promise! No fancy baking skills necessary. I omit the egg whites--commonly used as a "binder" in cookie recipes--but in this case the cookies turn out the same, both in flavor and appearance. Using a small scoop for uniformity, I made about 60 macaroons that were the perfect diameter to fit into the highball glass. While the cookies are cooling, garnish them with some colorful jimmies. Cool completely before proceeding.

2. Wash and dry the highball glasses. Assemble all the other items to make a convenient assembly line.

3. Drop a macaroon into the highball glass, dome side up, followed by a heart-shaped gummy. Add another macaroon, dome side up, then another gummy, until you've got 5 cookies and 5 gummies in each glass.

4. Crumple the wax paper into a loose ball and place into the top of the glass. (I like to use pre-cut wax papers from my local restaurant-supply store. They're less waxy than wax paper, and one sheet can be cut in half for this project.) This will have the same effect as shipping peanuts and will prevent the contents from shaking around in transport.

Note: I don't recommend shipping these, though it is possible if you package them well. In lieu of the wax paper, you could simply fill the glass to the rim with goodies.

5. Place the filled highball glass in the center of the cellophane square, bring up each of the corners, then twist the cellophane just above the rim of the glass, securing it with a rubber band.

6. Fill out the name tag. Feed one end of the string through the hole of the tag, then tie a bow or knot with the string over the rubber band. If necessary, tape the tag to the cellophane.

7. Enjoy the smiles and hugs (and maybe kisses) of your recipients.

Here are a couple other homemade ideas from years past:
I'm not a fan of cake pops, but these came out well in 2015.

Cream-filled chocolate cupcakes in 2014. 

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