Thursday, 20 December 2012

Edible presents for teachers

We do presents for teachers at Christmas. I don't like doing the same as everyone else so we normally make things. This year, I decided to put together a number of edible presents as I'm normally making some for family.

I started in September by doing some damson vodka. I had some damsons in my freezer which I'd been given by a friend about a year ago so decided I needed to do something. I googled around and hit on a recipe that meant I could fill large Le Parfait jars. The third one was a bit light on damsons so I added a vanilla pod. It was basically a bottle of vodka, sugar (anywhere between 170g and 350g was mentioned so I went for about 250g) and 1lb damsons in sterilised jars then hid them in my airing cupboard - where it is dark and warm. I turned the jars over daily until the sugar dissolved and tasted it after a month to check if it was sweet enough. Then I bottled it earlier in the week using kitchen roll to filter out any bits. Bottling was actually the hardest thing, because I bought swing top bottles and fitting the tops turned out to be an art form!

Then in late October, I made some baked bean tin Christmas cakes - lining the tins took us ages! They've been maturing in tins ever since and earlier this week, I marzipanned and covered 4 fully in sugar paste, marzipanned and sugar pasted the tops of another 5, and 3 were baked with an almond decoration. The children did their own design on the tops - Monkey did a Christmas tree with green sugarpaste for his teacher, Missy Woo did stars which I sprayed gold before sticking on. We wrapped a couple of extra cakes for teaching assistants too.

Next, in November, I made some sweet chilli jam. It's quite hot, so I hope it doesn't blow the teachers' heads off!

Then, yesterday, I made some mini mince pies from this recipe so I didn't have to roll out any pastry - everything just got pushed into place with finger and a tart shaper, then I pressed out the rest of the dough and cut out stars for the tops.

I know this all sounds like a lot of faff but everything has been fitted in around everything else. The longest job was lining the cake tins - next year, I have my eye on a mini sandwich tin to cook them all together although I guess I will still need to line them!

Do you make edible presents? What do you like to make?
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