Making vanilla wreaths as teacher’s gifts

I like getting my children to give gifts to teachers, etc – and I prefer them to be involved in the gifts somehow. I’m also conscious that most teachers probably get too many candles and soaps as it is.

So last year, my kids make some vanilla wreaths and balls for their teachers – the recipe below made about 30 of each which we shared between 9 paper plates and wrapped in cellophane, tied with red ribbon and given as gifts the next day.

Before you assume 9 teachers is a lot, I included one for each of my children’s class and instrument teachers, plus the lollypop lady, school librarian and the school cleaner (an under appreciated man!)

Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

250g butter, softened

145g smart sugar (or 290g castor sugar)*

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

1 teaspoon baking powder

600g plain flour

PLUS

About 320g smart icing sugar *

6 – 8 tablespoons fresh orange juice (the bottled stuff is too sweet for my liking)

15 mint leaves (the lolly variety!)

About 90 red smarties or equivalent lolly (useful if you’re used to eating the red ones last! Sorry, old ad jingles stick in my head!)

Packet of 100s and 1000s or mini lollies of some sort

Method

Cream butter and sugar

Add eggs and vanilla; combine well

Add flour and baking powder; mix into a dough

Roll out dough to about 5mm thick – it’s a bit sticky so I use sheets of baking paper on either side. I also do it in batches as there’s a lot of dough!

Cut out large circles – circle biscuit cutter or a mug will do the trick

Cut a smaller circle out of each biscuit – use a smaller circle cutter or a glass

Put the rings (wreaths) and circles (Christmas balls) ont greased or lined biscuit trays

Put full trays into the fridge while you continue rolling and cutting and all dough is used up (rework the scraps back in each time)

Place trays in pre-heated 180° oven for 8 – 10 minutes – biscuits should be a lightly golden-brown on the top

Cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the trays onto a wire rack

When completely cool, decorate as wreaths or Christmas balls.

Vanilla Wreaths

Slice the mint leaves through the middle (so they become thinner but have the same shape as they started with)

Mix the icing sugar and orange juice in batches

Ice the top of the wreaths – I let it drip down the sides but you could ice the sides properly if you wanted to

Stick two leaf halves onto the biscuit to form the holly leaves

Dab some left over icing onto 3 smarties and stick them onto the leaves as holly berries – repeat for the other biscuits!

Christmas balls

Mix the icing sugar with some orange juice and a drop or red or green food colouring. If you have time, it’s really nice to use two colours, but one or none will work fine!

Spread icing onto the smaller circle biscuits – making some half red and half green is fun

Sprinkle 100s and 1000s over the top

 

 

* I tend to use smart sugar for everything now – you need half as much so the food is lower GI and it’s made from Australian cane sugar. If you can’t get it, castor sugar or normal icing sugar works just as well.

10 Responses to Making vanilla wreaths as teacher’s gifts

  • Clauzetta says:

    How wonderful. I do think the school cleaner needs to be included. His job is indeed important for the school. My kids made Christmas cards one year for their teachers but a special treat is indeed appreciated.

  • Santa's Elf says:

    Thanks for sharing your idea and recipe, Anna. I might just have to make a batch of these and put a photo up with your recipe! Just to be sure they’re ok to leave out for Santa of course – not because I think they’d be yummy for me to eat now…
    I agree with you and Clauzetta, too, that cleaners deserve a thanks as well 🙂

  • Trissandra says:

    I think your children giving vanilla wreaths to their teachers is a wonderful (and delicious) idea. My children usually prepare Christmas cards for their teachers but this year I planned something special. Me, my daughter and my son are going to bake some gingerbread. I hope my children’s teachers will like it 🙂

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Even if the teacher’s don’t like gingerbread I’m sure they’ll appreciate the effort, Trissandra – and eat it happily, too. I think making teachers (and child carers, leaders, coaches, etc) a gift is much nicer than bying a cheap token and shows good values to your children.

  • GaryG says:

    These sound wonderful! This past year has been a difficult one for our local school community and I think these would go over very well as a small symbol of our appreciation. Thank you for this idea.

  • vida_llevares says:

    During the Christmas season, we go beyond what we receive. It’s the thought that really matters more. We may not like the object or the actual present but we would sincerely appreciate the fact that someone took the effort to give us something.

  • GSBryce says:

    What a wonderful idea! My child is about to start daycare so I am actually looking forward to providing his teachers gifts for the holiday season, especially Christmas time! I may have to try these if I get some free time! Very hard when you have a 3 month old who ties up most of your time! I look forward to reading about more ideas from you!

    • Santa's Elf says:

      At 3 months, your son won’t do much to help make the wreaths but they will be a nice gift idea and you will probably enjoy making them as well. Set him somewhere near by while you cook – your movements will probably fascinate him.

      Enjoy your first Christmas with your baby, too, GSBryce 🙂

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