Christmas Cookies for Daycare Teachers

A couple of weeks ago, I was at Chapters browsing through their chocolates and bakes. Did you know that they sell a lot of cookies, chocolates, teas etc. for gifting? I was amazed at the large selection. The food gifts have definitely grown in inventory over the past couple of years at Chapters. Some of them look absolutely fabulous as well. They had these chocolate crunch shortbreads (198 grams) for $19 or you could get an even larger box (439 grams) for $38. To me, these are outrageous prices. Shortbread is one of the easiest things to bake. Then again, I'm pretty frugal. Lol. If I had bought shortbread from Chapters for Christmas gifts, I would be broke. I do agree that they would make lovely gifts for anyone :) Yummy gifts!

Daycare Christmas gift 2011: Melted Snowman Sugar Cookies

Every year for Christmas, I have been baking gifts for my son's daycare staff. The first Christmas he was there, I just started to make sugar cookies. I was learning at the time and although they looked quite dull, I still gave them out. In fact some of them broke when they were delivered. Oops. How embarrassing, right?! But they all tasted the same and they were delicious! Last year, I was much more comfortable at cookie decorating so I made the melted snowman cookie and gave that out to each teacher. Unfortunately, I missed a few people :( The problem is that the daycare has regular staff, part time staff, and occasional staff. I can only see the list of the regular staff.

Our Christmas gift for the staff at my son's daycare this year.

This year instead of tracking down all the teachers in my son's room, I made batches of three different kinds of cookies to be shared among all the staff in his room. I decided to take this opportunity to try a couple of new recipes as well. There was no decorating involved so the cookies were a breeze to make :) I love that.

All I could stuff in the boxes for daycare.

Here is what I made for all the staff at daycare (all nut-free!):
I loved them all. The first two were new recipes. If you like coffee and if you think coffee when you eat them, you ought to love the espresso chocolate chip shortbread. I think it has just the right amount of espresso in them to not overwhelm the shortbread. I used extra dark chocolate chips as well. I personally loved them but today when my husband tried them, he said they were weird. They definitely don't taste like your typical chocolate chip shortbread. These ones have espresso in them and you can tell!

Today my place turned into a bake shop. Oh boy!

While I was baking, I decided to bake a few cut out sugar cookies as well. Since tomorrow is my son's last day of daycare this week, I wanted to have everything ready for gifting. Many of the kids won't be at daycare next week since it's so close to Christmas. I wanted to bake a little something for one of the kids at daycare. Now I hope I don't get in trouble for just gifting one child but he is my son's best friend and daycare knows it! I made a cookie ornament surprise for my son's friend. There's nothing new about the idea but I thought it would be different and cute. I hardly ever do the same thing every year. At least I don't like to.

Ornament sugar cookie with surprise treat inside.

I used big and small chocolate M&Ms for the fun of it :)

I liked the way it turned out but instead of going with three stacks in the middle, I think I will go with two next time. I thought it was just a tad bit tall. The nice thing about the two or three stacks is that you can fit regular M&Ms inside, as well as mini M&Ms. Mini M&Ms by the way, are much more expensive than regular ones and are somewhat hard to find.

The decoration on the ornament was done very quickly using leftover icing from the last time I made sugar cookies. I don't recommend going with leftover icing, unless you stir and beat it until it's entirely smooth first. I tried to cheat but then my piping tip got clogged many times. Ugh. Oh well. It's not great but it's probably enough to please a 4 year old. Right?

Are you baking gifts this year for your child's teacher as well? I would love to hear some of the favorite things you like to make. I wonder how many parents do that. I mean obviously, we can't all bake for the teachers :) If you are a teacher, how do you feel about receiving home baked goods?


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