Monday, December 6, 2010

Fun easy and cheap holiday gifts for kids (friend gifts or if you have billions of lil ones in your life)

I have been racking my brain and doing my research to find easy and affordable gifts for the little ones in your life. If you have kids you know they often need gifts for friends. Or if you come from a ginormous family like I do it's always fun to have a lil something even for the small ones. Here are some fun ideas...

Kool Aid Play Dough
Kool-Aid Play dough with Cream of Tartar (*Nonedible* make sure you tell the kids because it simply smells delicious which is why I love it!)

The addition of cream of tartar makes the play dough last longer. You can find cream of tartar in the baking supplies aisle at your grocery store. This play dough, if stored in an airtight container in the fridge will last months( up to 6 months ). You can always leave it out at room temp but it may not last as long. I'm sure I will not be storing play dough in my fridge IT's FOR FOOD!


• 1 cup flour

• 1 cup water

• ½ cup salt

• 2 to 3 tsp cream of tartar

• 1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid mix (6 g pkg, for Christmas red and green?)

• 1 Tbsp cooking oil

*optional food coloring (i only use the gel based, it never changes the consistency of anything GENIUS you can get it at craft or cake decorating stores)
Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Slowly add the water mixed with oil and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens to dough. It takes about 3-5 minutes. Let cool a few minutes and then knead until smooth.

Now the fun part you can purchase cookie cutters the cheap ones and attach one to each individual gift. Think of all the cute containers you could put it in and personalize... so fun! Also be cute to add 2 colors to one simply cellophane bag and attach with cookie cutter. I found these tins on clearance along time ago at my local Roberts craft store. I wish I could point you directly to them, sorry.

Cupcakes in a jar (or every lil girls dream)

Ok if you are not dieing at this idea well then we just are not soul sisters. So cute so practical and easy! I like this version better then baking the cake in the jar it's just easier to me.

Here is what you will need:
Box of cake mix and if desired pudding (you'll see) and all ingredients to prepare cupcakes.

Frosting I gave 2 great recipes on the bottom.

Sprinkles or crushed cookies or candy

Canning jars 4 ounce if you want small and 8 ounce if you want large. You will need 1 per girt you want to give. Individual servings.

Optional fancy fabric, ribbon, cute spoon and  labels.

Here we go:
Bake favorite cupcakes according to box directions. I always add a small box of instant pudding to every mix and make per directions (so chocolate with chocolate, vanilla with white cake just adds flavor.) Just grease muffin pans, no need for cupcake liners right now you are making standard cupcakes without liners. Bake as directed. Then cool. Now prepare frosting recipe below and place prepared frosting in a gallon sized Ziploc bag with the end snipped or in a pastry bag fitted with a simple round tip. K now you have 2 options big or small?

*For small slice cupcakes in half. Then in a 4 ounce canning jar layer cake, frosting squeezed out of bag making an even layer, top with sprinkles or crushed candy if desired. And repeat one more layer ending with frosting and topping if desired. Then top of with lid. If desired add cute fabric Cut into 5 inch squares and ribbon and if your really want to go the extra mile a cute spoon. Easy and sweet!

*For Large 8 ounce jars you will follow the exact same steps as for small but you will use double the frosting and 2 cupcakes per jar.
Here is the C&H's 5 minute butter cream recipe I use: Didn't you ask for easy? And here is my tried and true butter cream the worlds best.This is how the whole blog started.

1 box powdered sugar

1 stick salted butter at room temp.

1/4 cup milk

1 tea. vanilla

Combine and beat until creamy. Now you have no excuse to by frosting at the store again! Please DON'T!!!

All said and done these cutie cupcakes came out to about $1.50 each!

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