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Sep 8, 2011 11:22 AM

Ideas for Children's Carnival

I am looking for some different ideas for homemade treats for a carnival. They need to be individually wrapped, single serving sized, and should be easy to eat while walking around. We have cupcakes, cake pops, all juice popsicles, and rice crispie squares already. My kids are all college aged, so I am a little out of the loop on what's popular with the kindergarten set, and I was wondering if there was anything new going on out there?

Edited to say - I am looking for cold or room temperature offerings.

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  1. Are you looking for sweet recipes only? Or main dish type ideas as well? I have a great recipe for Porky Pops (grilled ground pork on a stick) and a few others that I could share.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nsstampqueen

      I don't have any way to keep things at a safe warm temperature (I have been told that the Dept of Agriculture may be inspecting ) so I was hoping for cold or room temperature. But thanks - they sound delicious!

      1. re: jeanmarieok

        Caramel apples are a crowd-pleaser, and you could "up" their appeal by doing the "roll it in cookie crumbs and drizzle it with chocolate" treatment. Also chocolate-dipped pretzel rods, which can then be rolled in brightly-colored jimmies or likewise. And something you might consider is fresh fruit spears, packed lengthwise in covered drink cups: pineapple, papaya, mango, cucumber, melons.....could be kept in a cooler w/ cubed ice.....or individual portions of a lavash sandwich....

    2. Those pretzel rod things dipped in ersatz "chocolate" are fast and easy to do and easy to hold onto while other things are going on. If you have a Michael's nearby or someplace else that handles the range of Wilton things they'll have child- and hoiliday-themed molds, the "chocolate" pastilles and even pretzel-shaped bags.

      OTOH, if you don't want to buy molds you could just dip the pretzels and roll them in chopped nuts. If you go that route, you could even use ordinary chocolate chips (plus the alternative peanut butter and butterscotch flavor variations) because if there's any blooming the nuts would distract from it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rainey

        Thanks for the idea. I'm going to try this over the weekend.

      2. Just to add to what others have said, the chocolate dipped pretzel rods are very easy and a big hit. I made them last year for July 4th with red, white and blue sprinkles. There are a million variations that you could do. I would, however, leave out the nuts.

        The other thing that I made this year for July 4th was chocolate dipped jumbo marshmallows. I dipped them in white chocolate and then put red white and blue sugar on them and then made them into pops. We also made them with sprinkles. Not that you need a recipe, but this will give you an idea. I don't happen to like marshmallows, but all the 4-7 year olds at my house went crazy for them.

        In my experience, the Wilton candy melts were much easier to work with than regular chocolate chips. The consistency was better and easier when melted. They sell them, as rainey mentioned, at Michaels, and they also sell the sticks to make them into pops.

        5 Replies
        1. re: valerie

          Thanks - I will make an experimental batch this weekend!

          1. re: valerie

            Also, the dark "chocolate" melts don't seem to taste quite as fake as the light or white varieties.

            1. re: valerie

              Yes, you're right, valerie. Nuts was *not* a good idea for a crowd in which someone is likely to have or be anxious about allergy. Cookie crumbs or sprinkles is much smarter!

              Forgot about marshmallows. I've seen a few regular sized marshmallows impaled on a stick and then dipped in upscale shops. Even made some that were shaped and decorated like snowmen and dipped in white chocolate for the holidays. Cute and fun!

              1. re: valerie

                In case you do try the marshmallows, I went back and looked at the link that I included. It says to put the stick into the marshmallow and then dip it. I found it quicker and easier to melt the chocolate and then dip the marshmallow in the chocolate before adding the stick. Then give them a quick roll in whatever and put them on parchment paper to harden. It happens very quickly. Then when they were set, I added the stick.

                And regarding the taste of the candy melts, I never tasted the dark chocolate ones so I can't compare, but in a crowd of kindergartners, nobody will care...they just love the way the marshmallows look!

                1. re: valerie

                  Thanks for the tip! Can't wait to try these!

              2. I was grocery shopping on Sunday and happened to notice a little cookbook by the checkout - it's published by Publishers International (PIL is their logo). It was a cookbook all about cakes and desserts on popsickle sticks and that sort of thing - you might be able to find it on their website if you google them. They looked pretty cool! It's just a small book (more like a mini magazine) so it might not cost much either. I thought of you as soon as I saw it!

                1 Reply
                1. popcorn balls, caramel corn, pumpkin seed brittle, trail mix