I like alliteration. I like sequins. I like punny jokes. I like Palm Beach fashion. I like a bit of camp. Isn’t it obvious? I like a good gimmick. So by the time Christmas rolls around, I’ve already been bookmarking festive recipes for months. This one jumped right out at me on Pinterest because I’d never seen anything like it and the Santa hats were so festive, so fantastic, so fun! Flavour had absolutely nothing to do with it.
I thought it would be a fun, quick party mix to take to one of my work events during the holidays, which is getting harder and harder to plan for because my co-workers expect me to come up with something interesting every time. Last year I made Chocolate Gingerbread House Petits Fours, and Nigella’s Christmas Cornflake Wreaths. In years past, I’ve also made Festive Cheesecake Pops, which my co-workers are still talking about. And they’re used to my bringing in cupcakes so I try to switch things up a bit. You can find the recipe for this party mix here.
So here’s the thing, I got the oohs and aaahs I was hoping for over the Santa hats. (Damn straight, they took me an hour-and-a-half to make on a Friday night – and I’m not even including making the rest of the party mix.) My one colleague even called me a genius! I can’t take credit for the idea obviously but these Santa hats were showstoppers sure enough.
But you know what? I found the party mix a bit too cloying in sweetness. And maybe it’s the fact that there were several other sweet items at work that day, or the fact I forgot to take napkins or plates for my colleagues, but there was quite a bit leftover for me to take home. And that’s telling, isn’t it?
Substitutions: These are the regular Bugles rather than the caramel ones the recipe suggests. PS – Bugles used to be sold in Canada, and apparently came back into the market this December, but they may be hard to find. To be honest, I think the caramel Bugles are adding another sweet element that’s unnecessary. We bought these Bugles at Wal-Mart.
Would I make this again? Maybe the Santa hats for some other party mix. But not this party mix. It’s too – obvious. Too expected. Too sweet. Too much white chocolate (gasp! I know, but it happens). And next time I make these Santa hats, I’ll try to prop them up so the excess candy melts drip right off and give them a cleaner look.
Grade: Three stars out of five for the Santa hats, the rest of the party mix gets a big fat zero.