We just threw a big party for Big Girl. Planning it was stressful, even once I found the venue. I knew I had to come up with favors and centerpieces. In the end, it turned out that the centerpieces were easy. It’s spring. Everyone is planting, so I got enough plants for every family to be able to take home their own Gemini impatiens. Favors, as I have found in the past, were much harder.
I didn’t want anything that would be tossed out on the way to the car. I also wanted to stay away from plastic. Edible seemed to be the right choice, but what? I stumbled on my idea at a garage sale about a month ago. The woman who took the money ($.75 for three paperback books I have been wanting to read!), was giving out samples of cake pops. Cute little cake balls dipped in chocolate and sitting on a stick. How cool! The woman wanted to charge $3 per pop, though, which would set me back about $150. Not a fortune, but it seemed wasteful for something I could probably do for less than $15. Still, I took her card, but mentally made a note to check the Internet for a recipe.
I found one, of course. Many, actually, all inspired by Bakerella. And so that’s why my husband and I found ourselves elbow-deep in a mixture of confectioner’s sugar, cream cheese, and cake crumbs on the night before Big Girl’s event. But as we started the chocolate dipping process (that was actually postponed until the day of the event since we found out they needed to set over night) we realized we had a big problem.
Cakepops are top-heavy. They are big balls of cake and chocolate sitting on a thin stick after all. So we needed a way to have them stand up. That would require Styrofoam. Oh, and they need to be wrapped in order for people to take them home. That would require plastic. Drat.
We got around the Styrofoam issue by reusing the packaging a new ceiling fan came wrapped in. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. The wrapping was another story. I refused to buy candy bags. I just refused. We decided — okay, I decided — that people could eat them at the event, or wrap them in a napkin. I wasn’t going to be responsible for 50 little plastic bags going into a landfill.
It worked out in the end. The kids, of course, downed the pops before they took two steps from the recycled display. The few adults who took them home ended up putting them into little aluminum tins provided by the restaurant. I can only hope that they were all recycled. Oh, and I must add that I am pretty impressed with our work. The pops were delicious, and looked really pretty. My husband did an amazing job dipping them in dark chocolate and drizzling them with white chocolate. Still, there has to be a favor out there that’s completely waste-free. Any ideas?