Make Your Own Candy Bars (or How I Obsessively Overplan All My Birthdays)

This post is way late, but I turned a gloriously ripe 31 a few weeks ago.  Last year I had a girls weekend at my father’s house in Jersey…he lives in a state park and it’s very pretty and picturesque, you would never believe that a scant 40 minutes away is where Snooki and the gang fist pump the night away at the shore.  Being a specialty cake baker, I know that I go overboard for other people’s birthdays, so for the past couple of years I figured, why not do the same with my own?  Last year there were goodie bags that included R.L. Stine books, homemade NJ shaped cookies with a little heart sprinkle showing the girls where we would be going in Jersey, MASH cards that I made myself (remember that game?) and much more.  We hung out, played badminton, watched silly movies, played video games, and drank a ton of prosecco while eating the heart shaped coconut covered cake that I had made for myself, all while lounging under the handmade crepe flowers that I had made to decorate the house with.  Psychoooooooo.

This year I decided to keep things a lot more “chill”.  The movie Water for Elephants was coming out the day before my birthday (and if you know us at all then you know that we have lots of love for dorky/cute RPattz and his awful yet hilarious brand of acting).  I decided I would have a dinner and a movie sort of birthday with my fave girls, and with the help of PA Tammy (who I planned this totally crazy Harry Potter party with), we set about putting together some delicious and cute treats for the ladies to eat during the movie.  After lots of back and forth that may or may not have included a google document and lots of late night baking, we had this to show for our work:

Aren’t they so cute?  You can make all of these treats at home…they are totally easy, and they turned out to be the perfect snacks to munch on as we LOLed our way through Water for Elephants.  Sad but true, that movie was wack.  Although, I can honestly say that it is almost worth watching it, because towards the end there is a scene where Robert Pattinson is so gloriously good looking that I sweaaar the audience gasped.  So if you like to ogle then, you know, go for it.  I like to ogle.

The homemade almond joys can be found at Joy the Baker, they were so good but I would recommend going with a darker chocolate than the one in the recipe, I think it would have been a nice foil for the sweetness of the coconut.

The elephant animal crackers, how cute are these!  Just like the elephant Rosie from WFE.  You can find the recipe at Smitten Kitchen (that site is amazing, every recipe I have tried from there has been a gem).  The elephant cookie cutters can be found in this set of animal cracker cutters, from Amazon.

Finally, the chocolate cookies with chocolate lavender ganache was something that Tammy and I sort of made up (sounds so obnoxious!  haha).  Just buy some culinary lavender, soak it in the milk overnight that you plan to use in your ganache recipe and sandwich it between your favorite thin chocolate cookies and voila!  A grownup oreo of sorts.

If you guys make any of these let me know!  And if you have favorite treats that always go like hotcakes at your gatherings, make sure to share in the comments below.