Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Serving Tray

I saw some really cute serving trays made of peppermint candy on Pinterest.  I was really conflicted about trying to make one. On the one hand I am very curious and love to try out new things, but on the other hand I had no intention of using a serving tray.  On the third hand, I have a blog that always needs updating.  Looks like my imaginary third hand wins.

DIY Serving Tray

You’ll need:
a cookie sheet
parchment or wax paper {I used wax paper, but heard parchment paper works better!}
your oven

How To:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Place wax paper on cookie sheet
3. Arrange mints in any design you wish on top of wax paper or parchment paper on a cookie sheet {allowing extra room on the sides}
4. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes
5. Take out and allow to cool on cookie sheet {cools in approximately 5 minutes}
6. Remove wax paper from bottom {be careful, tray is fragile and breaks easily}

I bought 2 bags of generic store brand peppermints and spent the next 3 days unwrapping them all (ok I exaggerated, it was only 2 days) then placed them on my cookie sheet covered in wax paper

Knowing I was only going to make one, I decided to experiment with it and see what the edges would look like if placed on different areas of the tray. So I put two edges against the side of the cookie sheet and let the other two edges hang out all natural.

I put it in the oven and set the timer for 8 minutes.  Around the 7 minute mark the peppermints started smoking like crazy and the edges were bubbling so I quickly pulled it out.  Fortunately it looked fine and didn't have any scorch marks.

The first thing I noticed was the two edges that weren't against the cookie sheet.  They looked pretty pathetic, and thin. I quickly grabbed a knife and cut one edge to see if I could clean it up.  I was surprised at how quickly the peppermint had started to re-harden but I was able to cut through.

I didn't notice that the bottom part of my cut had melted back together so when I pulled the peppermint tray out of the cookie sheet there was a goofy hangnail left on the tray 

The verdict: It wasn't perfect looking but it was really cute.  The wax paper did not come off very well and it took a long time to tear off all the pieces from he back.  However, I later realized that it would have been better to leave the wax paper on. As I was holding it, the heat on my hands quickly made the peppermints sticky.  This isn't a walk around with type serving tray, it's more of a chill on the table with hor d'oeuvres (I have no idea if I spelled that right) on it or as a center piece.

There definitely was a big difference with all the edges.  The top part that was not against the cookie sheet and that I didn't cut was very sharp and brittle. 

 This is the edge that was against the tray.  It left a nice little lip and was very clean looking

Here is the edge where I cut.  I think if I had been more careful with how I was cutting it would had made a very clean and nice looking edge.

Life sure can have some funny coincidences some times.  I wrote this post and left it in my draft pile so I could come back and edit it before posting it.  Three hours after writing it my sons pre-school teacher gave him this cute ornament.

Obviously theirs didn't melt nearly as much as my tray did.  If I every make one again then I will probably start watching the peppermints around the 4-5 minute mark then pull them out as soon as they look melted enough.  Also, she put some type of finishing spray over the peppermints so they wouldn't stick to hands.  BRILLIANT!!!  If your going to use the peppermints as a serving tray then you probably don't want to put a sealant over the peppermints, you don't want any unwanted doctor trips during the holidays.  But if your using the peppermints as some sort of decor then the by all means, spray away. 

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