Love & Chocolate: A Brief History of Valentine’s Day

Love & Chocolate: A Brief History of Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air, and to many, so is the sweet smell of flowers and chocolates! 

Valentine’s Day is well-known as an occasion to shower our significant others with gifts. Whether you’re trying to win the heart of a crush or reestablish your love for a long-standing partner, Valentine’s Day is a perfect time – after all, it’s the most romantic day of the year!

But did you know that Valentine’s Day as we know it, with luxurious gifts of decadent chocolate and fragrant roses, is a fairly new tradition? It wasn’t always associated with romantic love, either. 

The roots of Saint Valentine’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Valentine in some parts, go back thousands of years, and not all historians agree about its origins. Here’s a brief peek into where this lovey-dovey holiday came from.

The Valentines of History

Did you know that Valentine is actually a surname? There were various early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. 

Records aren’t always clear, but old traditions are always filled with fun stories. According to tradition, one of the Saint Valentines supposedly restored sight to his jailer’s blind daughter. In later centuries, this story was embellished to include Saint Valentine writing a letter to the daughter and signing it, “Your Valentine.”

Another Saint Valentine may have performed weddings for Christian soldiers who were forbidden to marry, further suggesting the origins of the love-themed holiday.

Yet another Saint Valentine was buried on February 14, which may have contributed to the reasoning for the date.

Let’s Add Some Romance

February 14th was originally a day to honor the martyred Saint Valentines, which isn’t exactly a romantic sentiment. So how did the holiday become so seeped with romance?

One interesting theory by historians is related to Lupercalia, an ancient Roman holiday observed February 13-15. Lupercalia celebrated Pan and Juno, the gods of love, marriage, and fertility. It’s possible that pieces of this ancient tradition melded with the Christian tradition of honoring Saint Valentine at the same time. 

Another connection comes from Geoffery Chaucer, a 14th-century poet and writer best known for The Canterbury Tales. He also wrote a poem called Parliament of Fowls, which mentions Valentine’s Day as a time for every bird to choose their mate. This is considered the first recorded mention of Valentine’s Day as a romantic occasion.

Valentine Poetry and Cards

Showing affection during Valentine’s Day began with poems expressing the poet’s love. Historians have found records of Valentines being sent between husbands and wives as early as the 15th century.

But things really changed in 1797. A publication in Britain called The Young Man’s Valentine Writer was filled with ready-made love poems for those who wanted to woo their sweetheart but lacked the poetic ability to do so.

Around this time, printers began producing gorgeous Valentine’s Day cards with poetry and images, which people could purchase and send to their beloved. These early Valentines were often very fancy and were embellished with lace, ribbons, and floral decorations! 

As for the Question You’ve Been Waiting For… 

So, where’s the chocolate?

Chocolate actually didn’t become a mainstay of Valentine’s Day until 1868. The chocolate company Cadbury created a heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day, and the rest is history. The heart-shaped boxes were so popular that they quickly became a beloved gifting tradition for showing love.

For chocolate lovers like us, it’s no surprise. Receiving a stunning, romantically-themed gift box that’s filled to the brim with decadent chocolate treats? It’s love at first sight!

A History (and a Future) of Love

Valentine’s Day has changed a lot since its origins, and it’s not done yet. Decadent, gourmet Belgian dark chocolate brownies are the new chocolates, for example.

There are also new traditions like Galentine’s Day, a non-official holiday to celebrate friends. Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic love anymore. After all, love knows no bounds!

When you’re surrounded by those you love and appreciate, it makes sense that you’d want to jump on any excuse to express that love. Family, friends, and our network of connections are crucial to staying connected and building a sweeter and more interconnected world.

All in all, we’re happy for another day that makes us pause and say, “I love you.” And if there’s chocolate involved, who are we to complain?

Valentine's Day Gifts to Make Them Swoon

Lavish your loved ones with a unique, heartfelt gift of handcrafted brownies for Valentine’s Day. Our rich, decadent Belgian chocolate treats are baked from scratch with the finest all-natural ingredients for a gourmet quality you can taste!

4 Brownie and Spirit Pairings for Your Next Holiday Party (With Drink Recipes!)

4 Brownie and Spirit Pairings for Your Next Holiday Party (With Drink Recipes!)

There’s so much to love about the holiday season – especially the parties. After all, you get to spend time with loved ones, show your generosity and appreciation, and watch joy spark in their eyes as they open a gift.

And, of course, our favorite part of any holiday party: desserts!

A special time of year means a special time to go all-out on holiday-themed treats. Candy canes in your stockings, cookies left out for Santa – and mouthwatering desserts and treats laid out during every holiday party you host or attend. After all, the holidays are a time to indulge and treat yourself after making it through another year!

This brings us to our second favorite part of any holiday party: drinks!

Eggnog is a classic for any holiday party, but you don’t have to stop there. We teamed up with our friends at San Tan Brewing Company for some irresistibly delicious brownie and spirit pairings that are perfect for serving at your next holiday party.

Cinnamon Crumb Blondie & Morning Coffee

Fairytale Treat: Cinnamon Crumb Blondie

Drink ingredients:

  • 1 oz Cinnamaple whiskey
  • 1 oz Black Stills coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz espresso
  • Half and half

Method: Add Cinnamaple, Black Stills, and Espresso to the glass. Top and pack with ice. Splash half and half on top, garnish, and serve.

Glass: Rocks

Garnish: Cinnamon stick

Raspberry Swirl Brownie & Citrus Rose Gin Fizz

Fairytale Treat: Raspberry Swirl Brownie

Drink Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Saint Anne’s Citrus Rose gin
  • 2 oz lemon simple syrup
  • Soda water

Method: Add Citrus Rose and Lemon Simple Syrup to the glass. Top and pack with ice. Top with cold soda water. Garnish and serve.

Glass: Highball

Garnish: Lemon wheel

Snickerdoodle Cookie & “The” Old Fashioned

Fairytale Treat: Snickerdoodle Cookie

Drink ingredients: 

  • .5 oz Orange Bliss Amaro
  • .5 oz cold water
  • 1.5 oz Crimson Oath Whiskey

Method: Add all ingredients to the glass in order. Top with 3-4 ice cubes, garnish, and serve.

Glass: Rocks

Garnish: Orange twist

Caramel Brownie & Blackberry Sour

Fairytale Treat: Caramel Brownie

Drink ingredients:

  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 2 oz blackberry sour mix

Method: Add ingredients to the glass. Pack with ice, garnish, and serve.

Glass: Rocks

Garnish: Lime wheel

All the spirits mentioned in this blog are distilled, aged, and hand bottled in Arizona by SanTan Spirits. If you’re local, be sure to visit Spirit House, where you can enjoy a tasty meal alongside a huge menu of spirits and cocktails!

Sweeten Up Your Holiday Party

Whether you don’t have time to bake or just want to offer a wider variety of treats, you can’t go wrong with gourmet, individually wrapped Fairytale Treats. They’re a perfect gift for long-distance loved ones, too!

7 Easy Thanksgiving Brownie Dessert Ideas

7 Easy Thanksgiving Brownie Dessert Ideas

We know that Thanksgiving already has a lot of signature desserts. It’s hard to think about a Thanksgiving dinner that doesn’t end with apple or pumpkin pies.

And we get it. Traditions are important. But so is trying new things.

To help everyone who is also obsessed with brownies bring more of them to Thanksgiving dinner, we put together a list of seven easy thanksgiving dessert ideas to bring to this year’s Thanksgiving.

Shop Thanksgiving brownie gifts

1. Brownie Gifts

The easiest Thanksgiving dessert idea requires no baking at all, so we’ll start there.

Just send a big Thanksgiving gift of brownies to the one hosting you for Thanksgiving dinner to say, “Thank you for preparing a huge meal for me, have some brownies. But please save some for my dessert on Thursday.”

If you’re not sure where you’re going yet or have plans to eat at multiple Thanksgiving dinners (we’re jealous), you can ship a brownie box to yourself and bring it along as your contribution to the meal. Maybe some of the brownies will last until dinner!

Depending on who’s at the table, here’s what we recommend:

Get brownie mounds recipe

2. Brownie Mounds

Coconut fans, anyone? Making these brownie mounds is the best way to make sure you get a full brownie to yourself. Plus, it’s delicious and a super easy Thanksgiving dessert to make.

You can bake your own brownies for this recipe, but it’s a lot easier to get your favorite Fairytale Brownies in bulk. They’re fudgy, decadently rich, and baked with Belgian dark chocolate — and if anyone asks, we’ll let you say you made them yourself.

Just mix the ingredients and cool until it’s time to dig in!

get brownie cheesecake recipe

3. Chocolate Chip Brownie Cheesecake

If this isn’t in your Thanksgiving dessert plans, you’re going to want to change that immediately. The mixture of smooth cheesecake and the rich Fairytale Brownies make this easy Thanksgiving dessert an unbeatable combo of flavors.

Bonus: it doesn’t require any baking as long as you order some Chocolate Chip Fairytale Brownies. It’s so easy, you’ll have a drool-worthy dessert ready for your unsuspecting guests with only a bit of prep time and four hours in the fridge to set. 

get pecan brownie with sweet potato casserole recipe

4. Pecan Brownies with Sweet Potato Casserole Topping

For all the brownie fans that love the combination of savory and sweet desserts, we bring you our take on a Thanksgiving staple — sweet potato casserole.

It’s rich, filled with texture, and definitely going to be one of your new favorite Thanksgiving dessert ideas. Just order a dozen Pecan Fairytale Brownies, follow this recipe for the sweet potato topping, and voila! You’re the new go-to person for desserts.

Get Cinnamon Cocoa Brownie Fritters recipe

5. Cinnamon Cocoa Brownie Fritters

This one might not quite count as an easy Thanksgiving dessert, but it’s delicious and so worth it if you’re feeling a bit more ambitious. Our Cinnamon Cocoa Brownies save you from that part of the baking, and you can get the butterscotch sauce from the store to save time there, too.

Warm, flavorful desserts that involve fragrant cinnamon, toasty pecans, and rich dark chocolate brownies are basically a requirement during the autumn season.

6. Vanilla Cream Brownie Pie

Fall means pie season, so you can’t go wrong with vanilla brownie pie!

Many cream pie recipes call for chocolate filling, but when you use an Original Brownie base, we think the vanilla cream is a better match. Brownies, especially Belgian dark chocolate ones like ours, are rich and decadent in flavor. That means they always pair well with vanilla cream’s light flavor and fluffy texture.

This Thanksgiving dessert doesn’t require any cooking – only prep time. It will need to refrigerate for at least 2 hours to properly set, but you can still throw it together the morning of your gathering and have it ready before dinner.

7. Caramel & Peanut Butter Brownies

If you’re looking to wow your Thanksgiving guests with a dessert they might not be familiar with, this mouthwatering combo of peanut butter, bacon banana crunch, caramel sauce, and, of course, fudgy caramel brownies is exactly what you’re looking for.

Maybe it sounds like a wild combination of flavors, and maybe some folks are still wary about the idea of bacon as a dessert. But trust us – this incredible combination of flavors and textures is worth the time to prepare.

The full recipe from scratch takes time and multi-tasking, but it can still be an easy Thanksgiving dessert if you use store-bought caramel sauce and Fairytale Caramel Brownies.

Which Thanksgiving Dessert Will You Make?

If your hands are busy baking the rest of dinner, you deserve a break when it comes to dessert! And since we all deserve more brownies in our lives, any of these easy Thanksgiving dessert ideas will make this year a Thanksgiving to remember.

We know it’s hard to choose just one. Luckily Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to make them all.

Tag us in your Thanksgiving dessert spread on Facebook or Instagram. We’re excited to see how these turned out for you!

This blog was originally published on Nov 13, 2017. It has been updated with new Thanksgiving dessert ideas.

30 Years of Fairytale Magic

30 Years of Fairytale Magic

Guess what? IT’S OUR BIRTHDAY!

Fairytale Brownies turns the big 3-0 this year, and we can’t help but look back on all our favorite memories over the years. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, but overall, it’s been a sweet three decades filled with fun, excitement, and plenty of tasty treats.

Join us on a trip down memory lane!

1966

It all began with Mom’s secret brownie recipe. Growing up, future co-founder David Kravetz always enjoyed munching on Mom’s fresh-baked brownies!

1971

Two kids, David and Eileen, met on the kindergarten playground and formed a friendship that would last a lifetime.

1992

Throughout high school and college, David and Eileen had always tossed around the idea of starting a business together. In the early summer of 1992, they finally took the leap!

In August, Fairytale Brownies was born! The two friends baked late at night after work in a friend’s catering kitchen in Old Town Scottsdale.

1994

Fairytale Brownies goes digital! For only $50, David and Eileen bought the brownies.com URL and went live with their first website.

In 1994, we also received national publicity for the first time! Reviews of our brownies made it into the New York Times, Chicago Times, and USA Today.

Maybe because of the newfound popularity, this was also the first year we sold out of brownies during the holiday season. But the experience only made us stronger — and we haven’t run out of brownies ever since!

1997

Our first bakery was located in Scottsdale, Arizona, and only 1,000 square feet, but to us, a space of our own felt like a dream come true. Famous Amos even visited the bakery!

1999

In just two years, it was time to upgrade our space again!  We moved to a new, 10,000 square-foot bakery in Chandler, Arizona, to make room for our booming brownie business.

2001

And look, Ma – we’re on TV! In 2001, Fairytale Brownies was featured on The Food Network’s “Food Finds.”

Since David and Eileen met on the kindergarten playground, giving kids the gift of play will always hold a special place in our hearts. This was the year we partnered with the national nonprofit KABOOM! to help their incredible work building playspaces for kids across the country.

2002

Hard work pays off! In 2002, David and Eileen received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Retail, which celebrates the success of the best entrepreneurs in Arizona.

2003

This was the year of our first KABOOM! playground build! Over the course of one workday, Fairytale Brownies, Home Depot, and other volunteers around Phoenix built a playground for students at the Foundation for the Blind Academy.

2004

Blink, and you’ll miss it — it’s a Fairytale Brownies racecar! Driven by Chris McMurry, a friend of Eileen and David, this Fairytale Brownies sponsored racecar hit the track. Spectators in the paddocks of his races including Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca were treated to our brownies.

2005

We reached the stars! And by that, we mean that Fairytale Brownies were served at the ET/People Emmy Party in 2005.

2006

Our current, 37,000 square-foot bakery is located in Phoenix, Arizona, and it was built from the ground up just for us!

2010

We can’t ever say no to a fudgy, decadent Fairytale Brownie. And by popular demand, we added cookies to the menu, too! Our first cookie flavors were Caramel Pecan and Double Chocolate. A year later, we introduced Peanut Butter and Mint Chocolate.

2011

We won the Arizona BBB Business Ethics Award, which is judged based on Management Practices (customer, vendor, and supplier relations), Marketing (advertising, communications, and sales practices), and reputation within the industry and community.

2012

Brownies go blonde! For our vanilla-loving dessert fans, we introduced Fairytale Blondies in four flavors — Cheesecake Swirl, Chocolate Chip, Pecan, and Raspberry White Chocolate.

2014

Is there anything better than brownies on the go? In 2014, we launched our mobile site for quick, easy ordering from the palm of your hand.

2017

During another project with KABOOM!, we rolled up our sleeves and spent a day in March building a playground for the Arizona Autism Charter School in Phoenix. Check out the video!

2019

Is there a more perfect pairing than brownies and ice cream? 

We teamed up with another local business, Sweet Republic, to create a special ice cream flavor as part of a fundraiser for the Blue Watermelon Project. The flavor, called Sweet Fairytale, was made with Espresso Nib brownies and Fleur de Sel Caramel ice cream.

2020

During COVID-19 shutdowns, we delivered 200 KABOOM! Play Kits to Phoenix area students to promote physical and creative activity at home.

2022

After 30 years of brownie magic, we can’t wait to keep making new memories in all the years to come!

Our most exciting news on the horizon… we’re building another playground in Spring 2023!

Right now we’re raising funds to make that dream a reality. Every child deserves an exciting childhood filled with fun! We’re so excited to bring the gift of joy and play to kids who need it most.

Together, we can make a difference!

Let's Build a Playground

To celebrate 30 years in business, we’re raising funds to build a playground with KABOOM! in the greater Phoenix area in the spring of 2023!

6 Easy Halloween Treats to Keep Things Sweet

6 Easy Halloween Treats to Keep Things Sweet

Is it just us or is the decision between trick or treat the easiest choice of all time? Especially if we’re talking ooey gooey, fudgy brownie treats themed for Halloween. There’s no competition, even for the biggest pranksters.

We know that this is the time of year where you want to rush out and stock up on everything from sour candy to chocolate bars, but we’re here to tell you there’s a better way to enjoy Halloween. This will even beat the houses that hand out king-size candy bars. Bet you’ll never guess what it is!

You guessed brownies, didn’t you? We’re not very good at hiding our obsession.

Putting our complete bias to the side, we really think these easy Halloween treat ideas will change your Halloween from a sweet holiday to a full-blown party.

Check out just some of the fast and fun ways you can transform your brownie treats to make this Halloween the best one yet.

Easy Halloween treats

1. Ditch the Candy for Magic Morsels

This one is the quickest win for everyone. In your centerpieces, when you’re handing out candy to the neighborhood or when you’re bringing candy bowls to the office — just switch out the candy for Magic Morsels or Fairytale Sprites.

They’re the perfect size for a quick snack and a more exclusive treat than the same candy you can find at a gas station. Trust us, people will invite you to every Halloween party after you bring a bowl full of brownies.

2. Marshmallow Ghost Brownies

If you’re feeling crafty, this is a great, easy Halloween treat to make with young Halloween enthusiasts! Simple, fast, and super yummy.

All it takes is a few Magic Morsels, some regular size marshmallows, white chocolate, and black icing.

Just cover any Magic Morsel with white chocolate, stick the marshmallow on top so it’s standing tall, add eyes and a mouth with the black icing. Voila! You have a simple, delicious, seriously festive Halloween party treat!

chocolate spider web

3. Chocolate Spider Web

This one is for those of you who love to hang out at home with a small group of your favorite people. Maybe you have a Halloween-themed dinner or maybe it’s just a movie night and you need an easy Halloween treat for dessert.

All you need to impress those around you is get a plate, draw a spooky spider web using black icing, then place your favorite Fairytale Brownies treat right in the middle. People will think you starred on an episode of Top Chef and we definitely won’t tell them otherwise.

4. Bite-Size Brownie Spiders

This Halloween treat is a bit more involved than the others, but way cool and worth it in the end! It’s still a fairly simple DIY project that doesn’t require any artistic talent. Just some basic craft supplies.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bite-size Magic Morsels (get a variety or buy in bulk)
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Googly eyes
  • Tiny black pom-poms
  • Double-sided tape and regular tape
  • Glue

Step 1: Create the Spider’s Legs

Take 3 pipe cleaners, spread them like a star then tape them to the back of the Magic Morsel. Bend the pipe cleaners into a zig-zag to create “knees.”

Step 2: Create the Spider’s Eyes

Glue a googly eye to a pom-pom to create an eye. You will need two for each spider!

Then cut a piece of double-sided tape, place it on top of the Magic Morsel, then attach two eyeballs onto the tape.

And that’s it! Just like that, you have an easy Halloween treat to add to the party snack table, at place settings, in goodie bags, or even in your mouth.

5. Magical Mystifying Masks

This next one isn’t a treat, but masks are always a fun trick!

These frightfully adorable Halloween masks are a fun and engaging arts and crafts activity to do with your kids or at a party. Even smaller children can join the fun! Just make sure an adult handles the scissors.

There are plenty of felt mask templates online, so take a look around and pick out some options for your guests. Here are some mask templates to get you started!

Feeling extra creative?

Ditch the templates and encourage everyone to come up with their own design! You can even make it into a competition for the scariest Halloween mask with a prize of brownies, of course.

Supplies:

  • Mask templates
  • Felt in various colors
  • Straight pins
  • Glue
  • Scissors 
  • Elastic string

Step 1: Prepare your template

Print out your favorite mask template and pin it to the felt. Carefully cut out all the necessary pieces. Once you have everything, remove the pins.

Step 2: Glue pieces together

Apply a thin layer of glue to the smaller mask pieces. Firmly press them into place on the base of the mask. If you mess up, don’t worry! You’ll have a few seconds to move things around before the glue dries.

Step 3: Add the headband

Cut two vertical slits on each side of the mask. Cut a long string of elastic, thread it through the slit, and tie a firm knot.

6. Creepy Crawly Cookies

Don’t fear these spiders! Creepy Crawly Cookies using Fairytale Cookies are easy to make and tasty to eat.

These scrumptious little spiders look adorable at parties and get-togethers. They’re so simple, too you can decorate dozens of these easy Halloween treats in just a few minutes.

Plus, you can mix up the candy topping to offer a variety everyone enjoys!

Supplies:

  • Fairytale Cookies – any flavor
  • Black and/or brown frosting
  • Round decorator tip
  • Black licorice laces
  • Candy googly eyes
  • Large black gumballs
  • Peanut butter cups

Step 1: Add the spider’s body

Apply a blob of black or brown frosting to the center of the cookie to act as a “glue.” Firmly place a gumball or peanut butter cup on top of the frosting.

Step 2: Add the spider’s eyes

Add two small blobs of frosting to the body, then attach the candy googly eyes.

Step 3: Add the spider’s legs

For the legs, attach the licorice to the frosting ring or draw thin lines of frosting.

Effortless & Easy Halloween Treats

Try these out or create your own and share them on Instagram! We want to see how creative you get!

Putting in the time to bake or craft a cool Halloween treat for your friends and family is an awesome way to embrace your creative side and get into the Halloween spirit. We’re all for it!

But sometimes the easiest way to treat your Halloween party guests is by letting someone else do the work. Then you can focus on setting up the decorations, making the actual meal, or just partying and catching up with friends.

So we’re here for you there, too. If you want to order easy Halloween treats for your party that taste so good they’ll turn your guests into brownie zombies, take a peek at our Halloween gifts. Not only are they packed with irresistible treats, but they’re also wrapped in frightfully adorable Halloween-themed packaging.

No matter how you like to celebrate Halloween, we think you can be more creative than resorting to the age-old candy bar. Make it fun and it’ll be a Halloween to remember forever!

Now, how about some Thanksgiving dessert ideas or easy holiday treats?

 

This blog was originally published on Oct 23, 2017. It has been updated with new Halloween treats, videos, and instructions.

Your Guide to Personalized Wedding Favors Made Simple

Your Guide to Personalized Wedding Favors Made Simple

Dress, venue, flowers, cake, caterers, invites… it seems the wedding to-do list never ends! Wedding favors and bridal shower favors are just more items on the list. While favors tend to be on the small side, if you’re already overwhelmed by all the planning, it might feel like the straw on the camel’s back. 

Luckily, gift favors don’t have to be especially complicated or expensive. You can choose to keep it simple, stick to inexpensive gifts, or even decide to skip favors entirely. At the same time, you can quickly and easily get your hands on personalized wedding favors if you find the right vendor. 

We’ve put together some quick, easy guidelines on putting together gift favors for your special day. While it feels overwhelming at the time, it’s worth it for a day you’ll remember forever!

Are wedding favors really necessary?

It’s your wedding, so you call the shots. If you don’t want to coordinate wedding favors on top of everything else, nothing requires you to do so.

That said, wedding favors are a tradition many couples choose to participate in. It’s a fun, memorable way to thank everyone who took the time to celebrate with you.

Favors can range from simple to extravagant. If you want to keep things simple, you could offer something like individually wrapped cookies or brownies with a custom label. Bath bombs or candles are great single-item gifts as well. 

Keepsakes such as magnets are also popular, since guests can take the favor home and remember the day every time they look at it. You may even choose to include a variety of small items in a wedding favor goodie bag.

If you do choose to hand out favors, it’s common courtesy to prepare one for everyone at your wedding. That means not just adult guests, but children, entertainers, and your photographer as well. Employees work hard to make your day special, and the favor will keep up their energy and encourage them to continue doing their best.

What are some ways to personalize wedding favors?

Usually, couples will personalize a favor with their new names and the wedding date. Depending on the item, you might have the option to include a photo. You can personalize it by guest, too. For example, some couples will order personalized name place settings. This could be a card, an engraved piece of wood or metal, or a Fairytale Brownie with the guest’s name written on top. It adds a sweet, personal touch that makes your guest feel special — and clears up any confusion about who’s supposedFs to sit where! We’ve had many brownie-loving couples come to us for personalized wedding favors, too. Since we offer a few different ways to customize favors, we can match what you have in mind. Whether that’s printing a full-color image on the box, designing your own treat label, or picking out your own flavors, we can help make your dream day come true. Side note for brownie lovers: You can get pretty creative when it comes to incorporating brownies into your wedding! Check out our list of ways to include brownies in your wedding

What can I put in wedding favor bags?

There’s no rule on what you can and can’t include in wedding favors, so get creative with it! Keep in mind your wedding’s theme and color scheme as you pick out items.

Here are a few common things couples will choose to include:

  • Thank you note
  • Personalized keepsake (magnet, keychain, etc.) with a photo or your wedding date
  • Individually wrapped brownies, cookies, or candy
  • Bubble blower mix 
  • Confetti for guests to toss 

Favors are often handed out at the end of the wedding so guests don’t have to carry them around, but that’s up to you, too. If your favor includes something like a scrumptious, bite-size brownie, your guests might appreciate a snack to tide them over until the meal is served.

While you can include whatever you want, keep guest ages and dietary restrictions in mind. 

For example, if you want to tuck mini alcoholic samplers into your goodie bags, make sure to prepare a kid-friendly version of the bag for any children in attendance. If you take us up on our idea to include brownies, you can prepare some sugar-free or nut-free versions for those with dietary restrictions or preferences.

What if it’s a destination wedding?

Destination weddings are trickier for your guests since they have to manage plane tickets, hotels, rental cars, and all the other hassles of travel. In these cases, couples sometimes offer a “welcome bag” to those who have flown or driven in from out of state. 

This is completely optional, especially as the cost can quickly build up if you have an extensive guest list. However, it’s a sweet way to greet your guests, help them settle in after their journey, and thank them for traveling so far to celebrate. 

Here are some ideas to include in your wedding welcome favors:

  • Soap or small bottles of shampoo/conditioner 
  • A list of local restaurants 
  • Local souvenirs
  • Hangover kit (pain pills, vitamin tablets)
  • Water bottles
  • Treats (Like brownies!)

How can Fairytale Brownies help?

You’re here because you love brownies, and we don’t blame you. And while you already know us as brownie experts, did you know we’re gifting pros, too?

Gifting should always be fun and filled with joy. When you’re spreading the love during your special day, that’s the part that matters – spreading the love! That’s why we do everything we can to make gifting as effortless as possible for you. 

Our personalized gifts have no extra fees or set-up costs. Since we do all our printing in-house, we can also offer quick turnaround times.

For your wedding, that means easy personalization, too. Our gifting experts are happy to talk to you if you want help picking out the perfect wedding favor, or you can do it yourself online. Just head over to our custom wedding favors page, upload a photo from your desktop or smartphone, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Ready to Plan Your Fairytale Wedding?

Take advantage of free white glove service for all your wedding event needs. Our brownie specialists are here to help make your dreams come true. Get in touch today and let’s chat!

We’re Building a Playground — Join Us!

We’re Building a Playground — Join Us!

Once upon a time, two kindergarteners met on the playground. They didn’t know it then, but their friendship would last a lifetime!

You might already be familiar with this story about how our founders, David and Eileen, met. They were fast friends from that very first moment on the kindergarten playground, and that friendship stuck through high school and college. They’d always talked about starting a business together, and in 1992, that dream came true!

This year marks our 30th anniversary, and we couldn’t be more excited. We wanted to celebrate in a BIG way – and that means building another playground with our friends at KABOOM!

We’re raising funds for our next playground, and you can help

The Gift of Play with KABOOM!

For kids, playtime is more than just fun. It’s a time to be social, creative, and physically active!

Unfortunately, not all kids have safe, fun places to run around and enjoy their childhood. Since 2001, we’ve partnered with the national nonprofit KABOOM! to help their incredible work building exciting playspaces for kids across the country. 

At the start of each playground build, KABOOM! works with the kids and adults in the community to design and plan the playground of their dreams. Using art and ideas from the kids themselves, KABOOM! planners design a playground to make those dreams a reality.

After that, it’s time to build! During a KABOOM! playground build, dozens of volunteers band together to build a playground – in a single day! It’s a rewarding, exhilarating experience, especially when you get to see the kids enjoying their playground for the first time.

Fairytale Brownies and KABOOM!

Giving back to the community means the world to us. Our partnership with KABOOM! is near and dear to our hearts, especially since our founders met on a playground. Fairytale Brownies wouldn’t exist without playtime, so we give back and share the love with KABOOM! every time we can!

During our time partnered with KABOOM!, we’ve donated over $500,000, worked countless volunteer hours, and donated lots of brownies. With your help, we’ve contributed to several Phoenix-area playgrounds and assisted with builds across the country.

We’ve been the main sponsor on two playground builds so far, in 2011 and 2017. See for yourself what one of these playground builds looks like!

Let’s Build Together!

Right now, we’re raising funds to build a playground in Spring 2023! There are two ways you can help us meet our goal of raising the needed $140,000+.

Contribute to KABOOM! during checkout 

Give the gift of brownies – and the gift of play! Every donation makes a big difference, no matter the amount.

We’ll match every dollar our customers donate, up to $10,000 a year.

Become a Featured Sponsor

Let’s make the world a sweeter place! Become one of our featured sponsors and help us bring the gift of play to all kids. Each and every contribution brings us one step closer to making this dream a reality. 

As a national nonprofit, KABOOM! is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Your donation is tax-deductible, and a receipt will be provided to you upon successful completion of your donation.

If you have any questions, please contact Alyssa Andrews at 602.489.5140 or alyssa@brownies.com. Thank you for helping us make the world a sweeter place!

Beat the Heat! 9 Things To Do in Arizona During the Summer

Beat the Heat! 9 Things To Do in Arizona During the Summer

Vacations, road trips, exciting new sights – what’s not to love about summer vacation? We all need breaks from time to time, and summer is the perfect time to break from our usual habits and experience something new!

For those who live in Arizona, summer also means soaring temperatures and blistering hot sun. Most of our summer days easily pass 100 degrees, and the extreme heat can make it hard to get out and enjoy summer to the fullest. We spend a lot of time cooped up in the air conditioning instead.

We’re familiar with it here at Fairytale Brownies! We’ve been headquartered in Arizona since the start. As we’ve grown, we’ve moved our main headquarters around Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Chandler, but we’ve always been based in the valley. Our founders, David and Eileen, grew up in AZ, too!

As experts in the area, we know how hot it can get outside. We also know there’s plenty to enjoy in Phoenix that doesn’t require you to endure the sweltering heat.

We’ve put together a list of exciting sightseeing ideas that are fun for tourists and locals alike – and perfect for hot summer days!

1. Musical Instrument Museum

Music lovers will be fascinated by the extraordinary collection of instruments on display at the Musical Instrument Museum, also known as the MIM. With over 7000 objects from 200 countries and territories, it’s easy to lose track of time while exploring the fascinating variety of music from around the world!

The museum provides headphones to all visitors, so you can even listen to recordings of the instruments. While visitors cannot touch the instruments on display, there’s an interactive playroom for children and adults to try their hand at making music.

2. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix

Summer heat and cool, refreshing water – is there a more perfect pairing?

You could visit a standard pool to escape the blistering temperatures, or you could spend a day at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. This kid-friendly waterpark boasts over 30 attractions, including slides, a lazy river, and play areas.

3. Arizona Museum of Natural History

Travel through time with a visit to the Arizona Museum of Natural History! With over 60,000 objects on display, the museum is full of wonder and excitement that’s sure to appeal to the curious mind.

Gape at the bones of dinosaurs and mammoths, explore the origins of life, touch a meteorite, and learn more about the ancient cultures of central Arizona. The 3-story museum includes exhibitions on natural history, anthropology, geology, history, art, and more. There’s so much to see!

4. Heard Museum

Founded in 1929, the Heard Museum is internationally recognized for its exhibitions and high-quality collections that showcase American Indian stories and voices. Explore ancestral artifacts, contemporary paintings and jewelry, and art in all forms on display at the museum.

Don’t forget to check the Heard’s schedule of events! The museum hosts hands-on learning activities such as weaving, printmaking, and creating wearable art, along with festivals and events to celebrate American Indian artists.

5. ASU Gammage 

Fancy a night at the theatre? If you’re a lover of the arts and looking for something to do in Phoenix, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the show at Gammage! The theatre hosts a variety of musicals and performances year-round, so check out their upcoming shows and reserve a ticket for a show this summer.

Gammage is located on Mill Avenue, a hotspot for restaurants, bars, and nightlife–and the perfect place to enjoy a meal after your show!

6. Tovrea Castle

Many locals recognize this unique, iconic building, but until recently, Tovrea Castle has been shrouded in mystery. It was built from 1929 to 1931, and only opened up to the public in 2012.

Since the castle started offering tours, locals and tourists alike have scrambled to get a peek inside. There’s such a high demand for tours that the castle sells tickets via a lottery system.

Tickets for 2022 are already sold out, so you won’t get a chance to see it this summer. But bookmark Tovrea Castle’s website and enter the upcoming lottery for 2023 tickets – you might get lucky!

7. Desert Botanical Garden

Generally speaking, it’s hard to be outside for too long during a hot Arizona day. But since the Desert Botanical Garden is open in the evenings, you can explore the gardens without the sun bearing down on you.

In fact, dusk is the best time to visit! Desert Botanical Garden is always well-lit with gorgeous, artistic light displays and sculptures that are best enjoyed with a beautiful backdrop of the Arizona sunset. They throw special events at the gardens too, such as classes, dog days, and storytime. If you want to enjoy the peace and beauty of nature, this is the activity for you!

8. Lake Pleasant Regional Park

Many locals know Lake Pleasant as one of the best places to go in Arizona during the hot summer months. Located about an hour north of Phoenix, Lake Pleasant is a massive artificial lake where you and your family can cool off and enjoy the water. The park is open year-round and only costs a few dollars a day.

Inside the park, you can swim, go fishing, and play water sports. It’s also a popular spot for hiking, biking, and camping. Locals often bring boats or RVs into the park to escape the city for a few days!

Combo dessert gifts with cookies

9. Visit the Fairytale Bakery

We’re located in Phoenix and always love seeing friendly faces! You can watch the brownie magic happen at the Fairytale Bakery through a huge window peeking into the bakery. We have treat samples available every day, too.

Visitors can also enjoy exclusive in-store discounts and coupons, such as buy one get one free on all treats. Come on by – we’re excited to see you!

8 Captivating Employee Engagement Activities for the Office

8 Captivating Employee Engagement Activities for the Office

Employee engagement is more than just frivolous fun. It’s about recognizing your team and valuing them as people! When you treat your employees right, they’ll return the favor with creativity, inspired ideas, and higher quality work.

We’re people, not machines. Humans can’t churn out nonstop work for 8+ hours a day. We work to live–not the other way around! Overworking employees leads to burnout and mental checkouts, which only hurts a company in the long run. When an individual is mentally checked out, it’s only a matter of time before they leave for somewhere new. And turnover is expensive–not just in money, but also in the time it takes to train their replacement. 

The truth is, employee engagement activities for the office can boost employee morale and make your team more excited and motivated at work. Breaks for fun give us a chance to rest, recover, and be more productive when we return to our tasks.

Here are a few entertaining, inspiring, and exciting employee engagement activities and ideas you can establish in your office.

1. Prioritize Onboarding

Engaging your employees begins on day one. From the moment a new employee walks through the door, they should feel like part of the team!

Dedicate some time and effort to making new employees feel comfortable and welcome starting on their first day. Make sure they have everything they need to succeed. 

Ideas for their first day:

  • Give them a tour
  • Make introductions to everyone else on the team
  • Show them where to find instructions and documentation
  • Prepare a welcome package of company-branded SWAG (coffee mugs, pens, notebooks, treats)
  • Set them up with a mentor if necessary

2. Establish Recognition Programs

Your team works hard every day. They deserve to be celebrated!

Anniversary programs and office birthday parties are easy employee engagement activities that aren’t too hard on the budget. Recognizing work anniversaries is an excellent way to reward employee loyalty, and birthday celebrations show employees that you care about them as people.

Monthly recognition programs can be as simple as cards and small gifts. A few gift ideas include birthday brownies, a gift card, or movie tickets.

At Fairytale Brownies, we have recurring birthday gifting programs and anniversary gifting programs that make it incredibly easy to manage the logistics. Just send us a list of names and dates, and we’ll take care of the rest. No need to remember dates or deal with the hassle of purchasing one-off gifts!

You can celebrate your team during company milestones, too. Recognize everyone’s hard work after an impressive sales milestone or product launch with a party or outing for the entire company.

3. Check in Regularly

On a similar note, don’t forget to recognize your employees’ everyday efforts, too. 

Holding regular 1-on-1 meetings is the perfect time to connect with employees, listen to their anxieties, and offer encouraging feedback. Ask how they’re doing and if there are any exciting life events they want to share.

Keep these meetings informal, relaxed, and focused on them. This is not a time to go through a checklist of everything on their to-do list unless your employee specifically asks for task-related help or clarification. Think of it as an emotional check-in to ensure your team members have everything they need to be their best selves.

4. Make Time for Fun

We’re here to do a job, but who’s to say we can’t have a little fun, too?

During company events, play board games, party games, card games, or trivia competitions. At Fairytale Brownies, we’ve done casino night with various entertaining games of luck and skill. 

If you’re hosting your company event externally, try a venue with bowling, mini golf, laser tag, an arcade, or even karaoke! Playing, cooperating, and competing with our team members is a powerful way to build employee engagement.

Remote teams can play an online drawing game such as skribbl.io to connect with the team, laugh, and bond the difficulty of drawing with a mouse. Slack also offers some free game extensions, such as Wordsgame.

5. Start a Book Club

Any readers on the team? Organize and host a monthly book club! 

Book clubs are engaging on multiple levels. Not only do employees engage with their team members during the discussion, but they also engage with the book itself. This can spark new ideas and keep employees mentally fit as they share their perspectives and discuss or debate ideas with the team. 

As for book topics, feel free to mix them up. Non-fiction or industry-related books can be great for career development, but don’t be afraid to enjoy entertaining fiction books, too.

6. Create “Fun” Chat Channels 

Most modern IM systems let you create different chat channels to organize your discussions. But don’t limit yourself to only work-related conversations!

Create a fun, non-work chat. Employees can share photos of pets or what they cooked for lunch. Your employees are people, after all. Showing that you’re interested and care about employees’ lives outside of work is a genuine, heartfelt way to improve employee engagement in the office.

7. Throw Competitions

Competitions are an energizing employee engagement activity that can get everyone’s competitive spirit going. 

You can also hold a trivia contest, invite employees to caption a photo, dress up in a Halloween costume competition, or compete for the best-decorated cubicle. It can be as simple as filling a jar with candies and asking employees to guess how many are inside. The possibilities are endless!

At Fairytale Brownies, we’ve held competitions for decorating ornaments, frosting brownies, and more. 

Just don’t forget the most important part: the prize! A box of Belgian chocolate brownies is enough to inspire everyone to do their best.

8. Change the World Together

A common cause can bring people together like nothing else. Knowing that you and your team are making the world a sweeter place is a powerful way to bond and keep employees engaged!

Schedule a fundraising event or volunteer together. No matter where you live, plenty of nonprofits are always looking for help. 

At Fairytale Brownies, we love to volunteer with our friends at KABOOM! During a KABOOM playground build, volunteers work together to build an entire playground in a single day! With teamwork, anything is possible. 

We’ve sponsored two KABOOM playground builds in the past. In Spring 2023, we’re going to sponsor our 3rd playground build in honor of our 30th anniversary! Want to help? When you donate to KABOOM at checkout, we match every dollar.

Go Beyond Employee Engagement Activities

Employee happiness and engagement are goals worth striving for! Set up a budget or put together an employee-run social committee to organize your planned events.

That said, fun by itself isn’t enough to foster a caring, healthy work culture. In order to truly keep your employees motivated and excited to do their best, make sure to pair these employee engagement activities with competitive pay, PTO, and benefits.

When you prioritize your team as people over workers, they’ll return the favor. Happy employees make a happy company!

Treats to Treat the Team

Recognize employee milestones, supply the break room with snacks, or reward brownie prizes for office competitions. No matter the reason, gourmet, individually-wrapped brownies make the perfect gift!

How to Create a Dessert Charcuterie Board that Amazes Party Guests

How to Create a Dessert Charcuterie Board that Amazes Party Guests

The date is set, the entertainment is planned, the guests are invited… but what will you feed them?

A dessert charcuterie board has it all! These gorgeous displays don’t just look amazing. They also provide a variety of snacks and treats that guests can conveniently enjoy. 

Other than dicing up some of the treats, dessert charcuterie boards are easy to prepare. You don’t need to follow a recipe or cook something complicated unless you whip together a special dessert sauce. You can design them as simply or as elaborately as you wish.

With Father’s Day, graduation parties, Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and any other summer celebrations, it’s the perfect time to test this out at your next party. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for your refreshment table assortment!

Include a Mix of Flavors

Provide your guests with a variety of tastes so they can pick out a treat to match their cravings. Try to hit a variety of flavor profiles, like decadent, sweet, refreshing, and salty. This balances out the flavors on your board.

Decadent treats could include rich flavors like chocolate candies or bite-size Belgian chocolate brownies. For refreshing bites, go with fruit and berries. Sweet treats can include candies like jelly beans, gummies, and marshmallows. For salty, try adding in pretzels, nuts, or popcorn.

brownie dessert charcuterie board

Consider a Color Scheme

Is there a theme to the party you’re hosting? When you’re deciding on treats, consider picking the right colors to match!

For a 4th of July party, look for red, white, and blue treats. For example, your board could include strawberries, blueberries, and marshmallows. 

Here are some colorful fruits and treats you could consider:

  • Red: Strawberries, raspberries
  • Orange: Cantaloupe
  • Yellow: Pineapple
  • Green: Grapes, honeydew
  • Blue: Blueberries
  • Purple: Grapes
  • White: Marshmallows, whipped cream
  • Black: Blackberries

Other than fruit, you can find candy in just about any color imaginable. Adding jelly beans or gummies to your board is a fantastic way to add new hues to your board.

cutting strawberries treats desserts

Dice Everything into Bite-Size Pieces

Charcuterie boards are all about options and convenience. Not only does the board provide a variety of fruits and treats to choose from, but it also makes it easy for guests to grab a quick snack and go.

Usually, hosts will provide toothpicks or skewers near the board. Guests can pick out a few treats without getting their fingers sticky. Of course, for this to work, the treats need to be bite-size and manageable with a toothpick. Your guests shouldn’t have to hunt down a knife to enjoy their snacks.

Make sure each treat on your board is diced small enough to stab and eat whole. You can also include some single-portion treats, such as cookies. These are easy to grab without touching other food items on the board, and unlike fruit, they won’t make a guest’s fingers sticky.

brownie fruit kebab dessert

Provide Tasty Dessert Dips

Along with treats and fruit, provide dessert sauces, dips, and frosting in small bowls nearby. Guests can dip their treats and enjoy unique flavor combinations!

Here are some recipes for our favorite frostings and sauces:

For some simpler options, you can also provide whipped cream, sprinkles, or melted chocolate.

Serve with Hot or Cold Beverages

No refreshment table is complete without something to drink. Alongside your charcuterie dessert board, set out some cups and drinks for your guests to enjoy.

Not sure what to offer? Think about the time of year! For a summer gathering, set out chilled lemonade, iced tea, or juice. During colder months, opt for a thermos of hot chocolate or tea.

bite sized brownie dippers

Don’t Forget Supplies

The food might be the most important part, but don’t forget the utensils your guests need to enjoy it! Provide toothpicks, skewers, or forks for guests to stab treats. You can also set out plates to let guests pile up on snacks before leaving the refreshment table to mingle. 

If you’ve decided to make a dessert sauce, create a small sign to label it. This can be as simple as a sticky note or a folded paper tent.

Do you have any guests with allergies or food restrictions? You can also label which treats contain peanuts or other common allergies or mark certain treats as gluten-free or sugar-free.

Need Treats for your Next Party?

Fairytale Brownies, Cookies, and Blondies are perfectly portioned and individually wrapped, making them the perfect delight to indulge your guests!