Angie never lets her party guests leave empty-handed. She's like Oprah. In aspiring to the same level of generosity, I decided on some grown-up party-favors: Hot Chocolate Kits.
The best hot chocolate I've had was in France, where the method was often to put milk on the stove and then break up real chocolate bars into the simmering milk. I should point out that French people also commonly resort to powdered hot chocolate, and some of those are delicious, too. I, however, wanted to experiment with the real thing. Williams-Sonoma makes a great hot chocoate mix that is basically shaved bittersweet chocolate. If you don't work there, however, and thus have to pay full-price for the stuff, it's a bit of a rip-off. So I made my own by chopping up dark chocolate chips and bagging one cup per person. (The dark chocolate was a bit too much for my husband who would have preferred semi-sweet or even milk chocolate hot chocolate. Obviously go with the dictates of your tastebuds.)
Even better than the real chocolate, though, were the homemade marshmallows. Now this is where I would not resort to the jet-puffed, store-bought kind--they don't melt well into hot chocolate, and they are gross. Sorry. Making them at home produces a completely different product that is simply delicious. And it's not hard. Check out how effortlessly I cut them into squares...Easy, right?
I packaged the chocolate and marshmallows with colorful tissue paper and a Blonde-Designs-created label. The final product looked cute and tasted delicious. Party-favor tip: You should ultimately give the treats to your guests. As it turns out, I forgot I had these little gems, and after all that my guests did leave empty-handed! I bet Oprah never does that.
Despite forgetting the favors, I'd say this party was a success. Everyone seemed impressed by the festive decor, and I definitely heard a couple rave reviews of the food. And while Oliver will likely have no memory of all the party-details, the time and thought we put into this celebration made it feel all the more special to us.