I dipped pretzel rods in milk chocolate and added a variety of toppings (nuts, white chocolate chips, coconut, white chocolate drizzle, etc).
I then made home made caramel popcorn and sealed that first in plastic bags which were then placed into burlap bags I had sewn together and tied shut with a fabric remnant.
The biggest and most time consuming undertaking was the homemade caramels dipped in chocolate. However, they were definitely worth the work! They were a huge hit.
Aunt Emily's Soft Caramels
2 c sugar
1 c packed brown sugar
1 c softened butter
1 c milk
1 c whipping cream
1 c light corn syrup
1 t vanilla
Directions: In a 4 qt saucepan combine all ingredients except vanilla. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted (20-25 minutes). Contineu cooking without stirring until candy thermometer reaches 248 degrees or a small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a firm ball (about 2 hours). Note: Usually I have to go a good bit longer than 2 hours to reach 248. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, pour into buttered 13x9 pan (I used glass) and cool completely. Cut into small squares.
I added various items to each bucket as well as personalized it with a wooden monogram.
It was a huge success! The guys loved it (especially the chocolate!)
The finished product: