Host a Last-Minute Candy Making Party This Weekend!
October 30, 2016
DessertsHoliday PartyParty Theme
Adulting has its perks (ahem, wine!) but it also has its drawbacks. For instance, it is no longer acceptable to put on a costume and go door to door doing cartwheels for candy. Unless I suppose, you've got kiddos and they share theirs with you. But you know what's WAY more fun? This genius candy-making soiree from Lauren Kelp, which is the perfect little party idea to keep in your back pocket straight through the holidays. See how to make it happen in four easy steps and grab the recipe below!
From Lauren Kelp... Hello, hello, my favorite festive friends! How has your fall been? Can you believe we are already halfway through October?! Holiday season is officially around the corner and we are talking all about how to get the jump on party planning today (it involves wine so you know it’s going to be good!)

The holidays can get so hectic and while everyone wants to get together for parties, potlucks, and mini gift exchanges, your already busy schedule can’t handle much more. Sound familiar? It’s true! We are busy birds but we also love a good get together, so that is why we are throwing a candy making party! That’s right, folks, four party-planning steps, one killer chocolate almond bark recipe and you’ve got yourself one heck of a party! It’s almost too good to be true, right? Wrong! It’s the best idea ever! Whether you want to be fabulous and make your own Halloween candy, try a dry run for Christmas presents, or be extra prepared and get a holiday party on the books, this candy making party is legit and perfect for so many reasons.


Everyone loves a good get together, but everyone loves it more when good wine is involved. You know I am right! Here is a hint, it involves delicious chocolate, sliced almonds and the most perfectly paired Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet you’ll ever had. The rich flavors of dark chocolate paired with the complex oak and cherry notes of the Cabernet are legitimately divine!


When sending out the invites for your fabulous candy-making party ask your guests to bring their favorite chocolate bark, toffee, or caramel recipe to share with the group! Grab some index cards or print off this recipe card (made by the amazing Ashley Cooper Design) for your guests to do a fun recipe share! For our get-together, we had the ingredients of two of our favorite bark recipes—white chocolate and cranberry bark and a dark chocolate and almond bark—already prepped and set out. This way, while your guests are swapping recipes, pouring wine, and catching up, you can have some candy already set out and ready to whip up!


Whether you’ve got a big island that everyone can gather around or a tiny little galley kitchen, it’s important to create a designated candy-making space. Since my kitchen is the latter, I clear off my dining room table and have everything all laid out and ready to go. That way, my friends can sit around the table, drinking wine and catching up, all while making their own little tin of candy from the pre-prepped ingredients on the table. Not interested in going the individual tin route? Have a few bigger baking pans and have everyone work on those. Once the candy is done, you can break up and divvy up then.


You are hosting a candy-making party, of course, there have to be goodie bags! Luckily, they are wildly easy and most of the work is already done for you. Grab a few clear plastic bags (your local grocery store should have them in the baking aisle) and a packet of twist ties, and if you are feeling really fancy you can make or buy little name tags for your bags! Cut up the candy into squares and divvy them up amongst the bags and voila! Add in those recipes you asked everyone to bring and you’ve got yourself one heck of a little parting gift.
View as
Chocolate Almond Bark
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Total Time
45 Minutes
1/2 cup chopped almonds 2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening Kendall-Jackson Vintner?s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Pour yourself a big ol? glass of Kendall-Jackson Vintner?s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and let?s get to baking!
Line a 9x13 inch-baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. Put chopped almonds in a skillet and cook over medium high heat, until golden brown and remove from heat. PRO TIP: you want to stir often so the almonds don?t burn!
Melt your chocolate chips and shortening in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir every once and a while to break up any bits.
Once smooth, remove from heat and stir in half of the toasted almonds. Spread onto the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining almonds, and chill 30 minutes, or until solid.
Now, how freaking easy was that?! Okay, here comes the best part—the wine. When you think of perfect pairings, you probably think of peanut butter and jelly, milk, and cereals, and, every adult’s favorite, chocolate, and wine! Pair this chocolate bark with a glass (or two!) of Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

The Cabernet’s notes of black cherry and vanilla pair so well with the nutty flavors in the chocolate almond bark, it’s like magic. The Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet is truly one of my favorite wines. We always have a few bottles on hand when entertaining and it never fails to impress our guests. So friends, what do you think? Ready to host your own candy-making party?! We can’t wait to see! Happy hosting, my friends!