End of the Year Treats for Teachers

Audrey McGinnis from Every Girl Gourmet stops by Good Day to make delicious teacher gifts. She shares three sweet ideas for teachers.

Salted Caramel Sauce

1 Cup granulated sugar
Scant ¼ Cup water
6 TBS. sweet cream, unsalted butter
½ Cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
 1 tsp. salt

Heat sugar on moderately high heat, in a heavy-bottomed 2-3 qt. saucepan.  As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. As soon as all the sugar crystals have melted and have become a dark amber color, immediately add the butter. Whisk until all the butter is melted.  Take sugar off the heat, count to 3 and then slowly add the cream and continue to whisk to incorporate. Whisk in salt and vanilla.  Continue whisking until smooth. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes then pour into a Mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature.

Almond Sugar Cookies

6 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond emulsion
2 Tbs. Amaretto liquor
1 tsp. Princess extract

Preheat oven to 350* Prepared baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together till light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and mix completely.  Add vanilla, almond emulsion, Amaretto and Princess extract. Mix well.  

Meanwhile, sift together flour, baking soda and salt and add to wet mixture. Mix till just combined. Turn out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and form a large disk; wrap tightly. Wrap a second time.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Can be made 1 week ahead or frozen for up to 3 months.

Roll out on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness or larger if you prefer.  Cut desired cookies and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are "just" slightly golden. 

Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes and then move to cooling rack to finish cooling completely.   Frost with favorite frosting or royal icing.  Keep in an airtight container.

Makes 36-4 inch cookies.

Basic Sponge Cake

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cup cake flour, sifted
1 Tbs. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ Tbs. ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temp.
2 tsp. Mexican vanilla
1 cup milk
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup half-and-half

Preheat oven to 350*  Prep 1-9 inch cake pans with non-stick spray and parchment paper. Set aside.

Sift together flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

Cream together butter and sugars till pale and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each is blended in before the addition of another.  Add vanilla.

Add flour mixture, in 3 increments, alternate with 2 additions of milk.  Blend for 30 seconds, scrape down bowl's sides and bottom and then mix on high for 2 minutes.

Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until center bounces back when touched.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing from pan.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze before cutting and decorating.

LINK: www.everygirlgourmet.com