My contribution this year started out looking like this...
...and ended up looking like this.
These beauties are called Easy Salted Caramel Turtles and I found them on A Pumpkin and a Princess. Note that the Easy part of Easy Salted Caramel Turtles is a relative term. There are only four ingredients, so how hard can they be to make, right? Well...
Everything started out all Food Network-y. See how nicely the little gobs of caramel and pecan fit on the spoonfuls of melted chocolate?
But word to the wise...let them dry before you try to move them and make sure that you have enough room on your countertop at your final destination or they will slide off your parchment paper like a toddler at the kiddie park.
I wonder who the lucky recipient of that extra crunchy turtle was??
(No, I'm not.)
(Yes, I am.)
And you want to know what a really talented cook I am? Check this out.
I fashioned all this deliciousness while wearing a full body Santa apron. It covered me in red and fur from my neck to my knees. When I finished, I went to change clothes, and there was a spot on my white shirt!
What, you say, didn't you just tell us you were wearing an apron over your shirt?
I know, right?!?
So I whipped off my shirt, looked into the mirror--and I kid you not--I'm staring at a big spot of chocolate on my belly.
What, you say, you mean there was chocolate on your belly that was under the shirt that was under the apron?
I know, right?!?
I would have taken a picture of it, but
a) that is one selfie you don't need to see. Trust me. And
b) you know me well enough to know that it's true.
I kind of remember when I was breaking the turtles apart a piece of Ghirardelli went flying down the front of my shirt.
Yep. I'm that good.
Oxyclean, if you're looking for a spokesperson, I come with my own testimonial.
Me: Are you plagued by belly chocolate ruining your good white shirt? Oxyclean will get it clean!
Anyway, I realized a couple of years ago if your cookies are suspect, the best guarantee of getting people to grab your goodies at the exchange is to put them in a cute package.
So I was browsing my favorite papercraft blog, All Things Paper, and Ann Martin pointed me to Kate's Creative Space where I found the cutest, easiest Santa bags ever. I made them just like Kate says only instead of watercolor paper, I used book pages, of course!
Word to the wise: Anytime you see cutest and easiest in the same sentence--make that craft!
The fun part of these bags is they involve make-up! I used my "How 'Bout Them Apples? Cheek and Lip Cream Palette" that showed up in a Birchbox that my kids got me.
A little dip here...
...and a little dab there...
And ta-daaaaah!!! The cutest, easiest, delicious-est Christmas cookie combo ever.