Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rapid fire gift giving.

When we dropped Cheeseball off at kindergarten this morning, I learned that although school isn't over for the year until mid-August, today is the day they do gifts to the children and the children bring gifts for the teachers. Wait, what!?!?! This is the last week of German grade school for the year, so families start going on vacation next week, taking their kindergarteners with them.

Well, this left me with nothing to do but speedwalk/sprint home and start brainstorming. I was going to consult a German friend to see what would be the typical kinder-to-lehrer (teacher) end of year gift. But, then I thought wait...when I have friends from exotic places, I don't want them to bring me whatever I'm used to! I want to check out whatever they're used to. So, I decided to bake something American. Apple pie would be a little tough to wrap up and transport and also I suck at it. What's more American (though, less American than apple pie) than chocolate chip cookies!?

Unfortunately, the move and corresponding gutting of the kitchen for the movers still has us a little low on staples. The baking soda, the brown sugar, the flour, really everything is different here and the Internet told me you can't mix American baking recipes and German ingredients. So, I had to drive to post and by then, it was time to bite the bullet and buy ready made cookie dough.

But, the packaging could be homemade! I downloaded some box templates and used an adorable wrapping paper template by Kellie Medivitz that I'd saved previously.

Download the box templates here.

Download the tags and wrap here.

I printed the wrapping paper print on one side of cardstock and the box template on the other.

gift box in the making

Then, used craft glue (even though craft glue and mod podge both claim to be non-toxic, the craft glue seemed even nonner-non-toxic to me) to line the inside of the box with wax paper.

gift box in the making

I cut the wax paper off the flaps and scored the dotted lines. Then, put the box together! I recommend gluing flap by flap as you go - both so that the glue stays fresh and because until you're putting it together, it's tough to figure out which flaps you're going to want to glue on the inside and which on the outside.

I had cut the pre-made cookie dough squares in half to make smaller cookies. I stacked the cooled cookies inside the boxes.

cookies in a box

Then, closed them up, tied a pretty ribbon and attached a coordinating gift tag.

kinder gift

All in all, I thought it was a pretty cute, very last minute and with limited supplies kind of gift!

And, the teachers asked "sind diese amerikanischen cookies!?" and they seemed pretty excited about it. So, I think bringing an American gift from their American kinder was the way to go.

Although I ended up having to use pre-made cookie dough, I'm posting my totally awesome chocolate chip cookie recipe anyway. I use a half a bag of chocolate chips in these, and the girl who originally gave the recipe to me uses a bag and a half, so go with your own chocolate lover level.

2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (or better yet, scrape the inside of one vanilla bean)
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl. Slowly add to egg/sugar mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Enjoy.


Lea said...

That's adorable! I made peanut butter cups for my kids' teachers. I'm determined to get Finns hooked on peanut butter. :)

I think the internet lied when it said you can't mix American recipes and German ingredients.

Jennifer said...

That Internet! You can't trust it.

lol @ your mission. Shouldn't be hard, it's pretty good stuff. :)

Sylvia said...

Yeah the internet certainly lied about not being able to mix American recipes and German ingredients. After all I have been using American ingredients with my German recipes for years now. ;-) They may taste slightly different, because of things like German butter not being salted and stuff like that, but really hardly noticeable.

Royce said...

Very resourceful. Don't think I would have had the gumption.

jennifer said...

Absolutely adorable and very resourceful!

Jennifer said...

Thanks, guys!

Kara said...

That box is SO cute!