Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Party Favors

Restaurant favor boxes
I love the idea of party favors. There is something so fun about getting to take home a little memento after a party.  It seems I am not alone. Many nice restaurants have a custom of sending guests home with little treats for the next day. I have tried to adapt this to my own entertaining  Here are my criteria for successful party favors:
Must be made ahead. Party favors can’t add stress to your party.  Look for something fairly easy to produce in some quantity that you can make and forget about until it’s time to distribute it.  For me, that usually means a sweet treat. I have done homemade marshmallows and shortbread cookies. One time I gave out teacup shaped cookies after a tea party.  It could also be something savory. I made a lot of preserved lemons earlier this year – perhaps I will decant them into smaller containers and use them as my next party favor.  Homemade vinegar is another good choice. Have an abundance of home-grown tomatoes? There’s your party favor.
Heart-shaped marshmallows displayed in a copper heart

Beautiful packing. Take a tip from fancy restaurants - their take-home treats are always beautifully packaged, often in a box with the restaurant’s name on it.  You don’t have to get personalized boxes, just use a cellophane bag (the ones made for corsages or boutineres work really well or there are many others online - here and here  for example), add some pretty ribbon and you’re done.
Neon shortbread towers for a summer BBQ

Adds to the party décor.  If your favor is seasonal or is related to the theme of the party, so much the better. Think about how to make it part of the décor. Perhaps make the favor a part of the centerpiece or let it act as a placecard.  I sometimes display my favors on a sideboard in the hallway by the front door. Guests see them on the way in and can take one on the way out. It gives some flair to the sideboard and is functional.
The Christmas version of the shortbread towers

Have you ever given out a party favor? If so, what was it?


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