Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas - Teacher Appreciation Gifts

I've deliberating all week what to buy/make the teachers of Tilly's Pre-school, on Tuesday I thought I had finally thought of the perfect gift, homemade aprons made out of my stash of lovely Cath Kidston fabric. I was very excited.

Come Wednesday, Tilly is at Pre-School and I have 3 hours to whip up these babies, only to find my stash of Cath Kidston fabric, although gorgeous it is, there just wasn't enough, I had the length not the width, I was so disappointed and it sure set me back as now, I was back to square one and Wednesday really was my only day to make something, but too no avail, my crafting time ended very disappointingly with nothing made and no idea what to make.

Later on I came across a blog post about Rocky Road from Retromummy and thought yes this will do, but today when I was making my list to buy the ingredients, I had second thoughts, so I went with a fudge recipe I had pinned on Pinterest - Baileys and White Chocolate Fudge - sounds yummy.

I even bought myself a sugar thermometer too, to take out the guesswork and get it right first time, as I only had the morning to execute this task - why I didn't just go and a buy a gift card for them I'll never know but here is the delicious recipe - and I know it is delicious as I had to sample one or two to make sure of course......

Baileys & White Chocolate Fudge

500g golden granulated sugar - I used normal white fine granulated sugar
500ml whipped cream/heavy cream
50ml Baileys - I used 100mls
150g White Chocolate

1. Butter and line a 22cm x 22cm tin, leaving a small overhang.
2. Put sugar, cream and Baileys in a large pan and, stirring slowly, bring it to a simmer. Make sure the sugar is dissolved (it will stop feeling grainy on the base of the pan), then turn the heat up to a rolling boil.
3. Adjust the heat until the mixture bubbles without getting too near the top of the pan. Keep bubbling, stirring occasionally, until a small amount of mixture dropped into cold water will form a soft ball that you can pick up on the end of a teaspoon ( or until the mixtures reaches 116c on a sugar thermometer)
4. At this stage, the bubbles will have gone from being large and unruly to smaller and more even.
5. Stir in the chocolate and pour mixture into the tim.
6. Cool & cut.

Ingredients ready to go
Adding the Baileys

Even though the recipes calls for golden granulated sugar - I used fine white granulated sugar and I did add more Baileys to the recipe too,  I doubled the quantity as reading through the comments, people mentioned the Baileys was hard to taste.

Dissolving the sugar in the cream and Baileys
Sugar Thermometer in to get to the crucial temp.

My first batch came out lovely, it was perfect, everything came together so easily, but my 2nd batch, I made the mistake of taking my eye off the thermometer when it was close to the 116c (soft ball mark) to quickly break up the white chocolate - big mistake, literally a few seconds later I turned back and I had gone passed the 116c and my fudge was now turning into caramel - ooppsss

Lesson - keep an eye on that thermometer and I would highly recommend the purchase of one, they are cheap around $5 and they take all the guesswork out too.

And here they are
Ready for giving

Once the fudge was ready to be poured into the pan, I let it cool down a bit, then before it set properly, I used a sharp knife to cut it into bite sized pieces.

My first batch turned out great and tasted delicious too, my second batch, well less said about that the better, but the third batch came out perfect too.

So with Tilly at pre-school, I finished off the making the fudge and wrapping it up for her to give to her teachers later that day at the party.

Ready to go into the Christmas Tins
All tagged up and ready to go

Tilly made the cute Christmas Tree labels, whilst I made the fudge, a box of foam trees, with decorations and letters - $5 from Target a bargain and a great idea for personalized tags.

Once these where finished it was time to go to Tilly's Christmas Party and have a little Holiday Fun.
Tilly was very excited to give out her gifts.

On Friday we had Ruby's Concert at her school, it was so sweet seeing her up on the stage, the 3 Kindergarten classes sang Frosty the Snowman and were very good.

Ruby 2nd girl in on the bottom row

Later in the afternoon, Ruby's Kindy class had their class holiday party, which involved decorating Christmas cookies, making Christmas fruit kebabs, Christmas Freeze Dancing and a Christmas Craft - making snow globes. It was so much fun.

And for a present for Ruby's Kindergarten Teacher, I made her this fantastic Gap-Tastic cowl - a very popluar pattern on Ravelry  - unfortunately as I was in such a rush to finish it on Friday I forgot to take any photos. I also gave her a bag of the homemade Fudge and a $10 Starbucks card.

Now both girls are on Winter Break, Mr C has finished for Christmas too and we are eagerly waiting Christmas now - although I've a few sewing jobs that do need finishing this weekend - yikes.

Recipe from olive magazine, December 2009.

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