I mentioned way, way back in our first Fete Favorites my love of Dia de los Muertos. I still haven’t convinced anyone to have an actual party celebrating the holiday, which I really cannot understand. It’s much more upbeat, colorful, and well styled than Halloween. So, I’m obviously going to have to throw myself my own party on November 1st. Here’s what’s topping my list of inspiration.
1. These gorgeous wedding invitations are obviously slightly more upscale than I need for my own party, but I love the idea of combining the bold colors with geometric prints.
2. I love the idea of a large communal table for dinner and that table runner is ahhmaazing.
3. Sugar skulls + edible confetti = party happiness.
4. Mini tissue paper flowers for striped straws!? That’s a new one (to me) and a must make.
5. Pan de Muerto is a traditional Day of the Dead pastry and looks delicious.
6. Obviously our Almond Milk Horchata Cocktail will be in circulation (and probably our Blood Orange Tequila + Lime Spritzers, too).
7. Decorated candles look like a simple enough DIY to help keep things festive.
8. Papel picado!
9. I’ve really been waiting for a good time to try a honeycombed wall and this seems like the perfect opportunity.
While I’m getting a bit sad that warmer weather will be on its way out soon (although it has been super hot and humid around DC lately and I won’t be sorry to see that go), I love love to see fall jewel tones make their arrival. Couple that with my general love of all things sparkly and a real sweet tooth (it is some serious kind of cruel that Halloween candy is already in stores), I thought I’d try my hand at making some edible candied jewels. Now, as I’ve said before, I’m really not much of a baker. I just lack the ability to measure exactly and patiently work in that particular arena of the kitchen. And while I love how these candied jewels turned out, they certainly pushed my frustration meter to the limit. It took me lots and lots of tries to get a good batch and, even then, I’d make a random bad one. They’re not difficult, but they require some time to concentrate. I do think they’d be beautiful as a lovely little favor packaged up in a glassine bag, served alongside a cup of cider or hot toddy, or even topping a plain cake. So set aside some time to slow down and try them yourself!
DIY Candied Jewels (adapted from Martha Stewart)
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup water
– 2 tablespoons corn syrup
– gel paste food coloring
– 1/8 teaspoon of flavor extract, such as lemon, orange or cinnamon (optional)
– cooking spray
– hard candy gem molds (such as these)
– candy thermometer
– pyrex measuring cup
1. Spray molds lightly with cooking spray and set atop waxed paper or aluminum foil.
2. Bring sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat in a saucepan. Heat until mixture reaches 300 on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat immediately and add 1-2 drops of food coloring and 1/8 teaspoon of flavor extract if using. Transfer mixture to a pyrex measuring cup and let settle for 15-30 seconds.
3. Slowly pour mixture into candy molds sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Fill molds until just below the top. Let cool for 30 minutes.
– Make sure the mixture is heated to exactly 300 and then remove quickly from the heat source. If it’s under that temperature, the candy will be sticky. If over, the mixture will caramelize.
– Pour less than you think will fill a mold cavity to start out — the mixture expands a bit once its in there.
– If candy hardens inside of your saucepan and/or pyrex measuring cup, fill the saucepan with water, place measuring cup inside, and bring to a boil. Discard water once residue melts.