What should you give for an adult party favor? Hmmm, well, Miss Party has mixed feelings about party favors. She loves a great ‘swag bag’ as much as the next gal, but she’s not hot on junky, ‘what the heck am I going to do with that?’ themed party favors that the party supply industry pushes and most guests don’t want. If you’re looking for an inexpensive $5-10 party favor, she encourages hostesses to go in a different direction.
What Miss Party loves most for adult party favors is to give something decadent to eat or tasty to nibble, BUT be clever in the choice of container. It’s a ‘chicken or egg’ situation as to which comes first. Choose the edible filler first or find the container first, but be creative when brainstorming ideas on both.
For filler ideas look to your party theme, party colors, season, or regional gourmet favorites. Almost every edible suggestion below can be purchased ready-made, semi-homemade or made from scratch which, of course, will directly affect how much you spend for each favor. Choose one item only or pick 2-3 varieties or flavors of nibbles for guests to choose from (have one nut-free option); you can use the same favor container just add a label identifying each type.
Think outside the proverbial box or bag when looking for favor containers. Really get creative! The container is your opportunity to show your creative side. Go beyond typical party favor containers and try hardware, organizational, craft supply, office supply and discount stores for creative options. Don’t forget an ‘inspiration fabric’ can be turned into simple fabric pouches. Check out a no-sew idea here, “DIY No-Sew Burlap or Linen Party Favor Bags“.
There are three key factors for the container; affordability, size (neither too large nor too small) and being able to get the quantity you need. When you find what you want, do a quick internet search to see if the item can be purchased in bulk to reduce your cost per and get your needed quantity. Also note, if your container is not food safe, be sure to package your edibles in cellophane or plastic bags before placing in the containers.
Miss Party’s FAVORite Edible Fillers:
1) A delicious or decadent baked good that packages well – Consider handmade chocolates; baked goods like cookies, bars or squares, a cupcake or a cake pop; a gourmet-style caramel/chocolate-dipped apple. (If using a meaningful or sentimental recipe, include a paper that makes that known to the recipient or include the recipe itself as part of the gift.)
2) Premium, roasted nuts – Cashews, pecans, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, or pistachios. Look for key words such as ‘whole’, ‘halves’, ‘fancy’, ‘gourmet’, ‘premium’, or is from a region known for producing a high-quality nut. Nuts are expensive so buy in bulk. Choose roasted, salted or unsalted nuts. If you really want to save money, it’s easy to buy nuts raw and roast them yourself.
3) Premium, ‘fancy’ dried fruits – Dried cranberries, dried apricots, raisins, dried pineapple chunks. Again, look for key words such as ‘whole’, ‘fancy’, ‘gourmet’, ‘premium’, or from regions that are well known for producing a high-quality fruit, such as Turkey for apricots. Buy dried fruit in bulk to save money.
4) High-quality dried fruit and nut mix – Make your own custom dried fruit, nut and seed mix (super easy to do with bulk quantity of each item) or purchase a premixed, high-quality ‘trail’ mix. Chocolate chunks or a chocolate-covered item in the mixture can be a delicious addition.
5) ‘Sugared’, candied or honey-roasted nuts – Sugared walnuts or pecans halves, or honey-roasted peanuts or cashews are a delicious and easy, handmade gourmet nibble. Miss Party has a delicious recipe she’ll post very soon for sugared nuts and many others are easily found with a quick internet search.
6) High-quality, chocolate-covered dried fruit, nuts, or similar chocolate nibbles – Purchase high-quality, chocolate-covered fruit or nuts in bulk to keep costs down. Look for gourmet, chocolate-covered (white, milk or dark chocolate) nuts or raisins, dried cranberries, cherries, pineapple, or fruit-flavored chocolates nibbles. Melt chocolate-flavored ‘Candy Chips’ and dip dried Turkish apricots for a delicious treat.
7) Savory snack mix – Make your own favorite recipe or purchase a good-quality, savory snack mix for guests to enjoy. There are lots of great pre-mixed options that can be bought in bulk.
8) Flavored popcorn or a mixture that centers around popcorn – Pick from a myriad of popcorn-related options: kettle corn; cheese-flavored (or any other savory-flavored) popcorn; caramel popcorn with or without nuts; chocolate-drizzled, caramel popcorn clusters with or without nuts. Gourmet popcorn mixtures are ‘hot’ right now, so there are lots of options for pre-made mixtures. Or, do your own semi-homemade version.
9) Homemade granola clusters – Granola clusters are a nice, crunchy ‘daytime’ nibble that would be a great filler for a breakfast/brunch party favor. You can add and delete according to taste and it’s easy to make in quantity pretty quickly. See “New England Farmhouse Granola“.
10) Candy or chocolate – This option is pretty obvious, but is always a favorite ‘go to’ choice. If you’re doing a candy buffet, provide bags or containers for guests to ‘take-away’ their selections. Use era-specific wrapped candy for a themed choice, or choose candy for it’s color. If going with chocolate, PLEASE purchase high-quality chocolates. Individually-wrapped, high-quality chocolate truffles (available in lots of flavor options) are a great choice and can be purchased in bulk at chocolate outlets or warehouse stores.
**Note: For all these options, bag individual servings in cellophane or plastic bags to keep the edible fresh before putting them in your presentation containers.