Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gift Idea using Buckeyes

Last May, during Teacher Appreciation Week, I just couldn't get it together to complete the requested task from my kid's teacher's supervisor for their Teacher Appreciation gift. The supervisor wanted to collate a book of letters/pictures from the kids with each letter/picture saying/showing what that kid appreciated about his/her teacher. That was a really busy week, and I just didn't have time to sit down with BonnieBlue to have her draw the picture. I will shamefacedly admit that I even considered drawing one myself, but frankly, BonnieBlue draws better than I do. She can get a facial expression down pretty darn well. Here's an example:
Rhett so very much loved this picture that he wouldn't let us erase it for weeks. I finally took a picture so that he'd let his daughter draw on her easel again!

Anyway, I felt bad about missing the Teacher Appreciation thing, so the next week, when I had more time, I made these:

Being in Central Ohio (go bucks!), we can use Buckeyes (chocolate covered peanut butter balls that look like buckeye nuts after they come out of their husks) for any occasion. And just a few weeks before, Kroger was having a sale on these boxes, 10 for $10. So I scooped some up for just something like this. Since I had missed Teacher Appreciation Week, I created the message to coincide with my apology of sorts: "We appreciate you everyday!" But you could come up with something like, "I'm nuts about you!" for something more generic. But this was pretty good for my needs.

What I did:
The wired heart ribbon is from Costco - big ole' role for $7. I used red and gray cardstock; I cut the gray paper like a fat letter "T", backed the horizontal rectangle in red, and printed out my message on regular copy paper. I cut the message to fit inside the gray rectangle, and then stuck the vertical gray bar into the candy box end.

These are Anthony Thomas buckeyes, but I'm a big(!) fan of Harry London's. Costco (at least ours here in Columbus) sells this 1.25 lb bucket for $7.99. That is the deal of the century!

I could use any number of cute little containers to divy up the buckeyes or give the whole bucket to someone I really love.

Oh! If you want to make your own, here's a recipe I adapted from the JoyofBaking.com

Buckeyes2 cups creamy peanut butter (you can't use the organic stuff for this...too oily)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 - 2 1/2 cups confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
     (note: Start with just less than 2 cup and add to taste; I don't like mine really sweet)
Chocolate Coating
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and mixed with
2 T shortening

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper.

Get the butter to just over room temperature so that it is soft and just about to melt. Mix in peanut butter (heat it a bit too if that helps). Add the vanilla extract and then gradually add the confectioners sugar until you get dough the consistency of cookie dough.
Chill if the dough is still warm to the touch. Roll  into 1 inch  round balls (buckeyes in nature are not all one-inch, so don't worry about exactness here). Stick a toothpick in a ball and pick up. If the ball falls apart or off, chill some more.
Melt and mix the chocolate and shortening. Using a toothpick, pick up the balls and dip in chocolate. It's tricky to do this without dropping the peanut butter ball into the chocolate, but if you kind of hold it sideways, it works. Leave the round spot where the toothpick is chocolate-free (so that it looks like a buckeye nut!). Place on the cookie sheet. When done dipping all the peanut butter balls, chill in fridge for an hour or so. Store in an airtight container. (Makes about 3 dozen buckeyes)

I've linked up with Get Your Craft On Tuesday at Today's Creative Blog.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the buckeye recipe. Don't know where mine went. Cute idea. I bet they loved it. And, frankly, when it comes late it can be more special....because it is really meaningful!


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