Sweet treat for the teachers

With Christmas just days away, I think everyone is in need of a break. I’ve been thinking that if I’m tired, I cannot imagine how school teachers feel about now.

After my son’s first full year at school, I remain in awe of the women and men who navigate our little folk through their education journey. Their energy, enthusiasm, creativity, and sense of calm has surprised and inspired me. How do I get what they have?

Never try telling me that teachers work 8.30-3.00 and get 12 weeks holiday a year – none I know do. But most I know deserve a longer break than they end up having (classes don’t dress themselves and reports don’t magically appear). You couldn’t pay me enough to be a full time primary school teacher – and, more to the point, I don’t have the skills to do it.

Today’s recipe is one I made for teacher Christmas goodie packs. Thanks to my friend Nat who put me onto the recipe from baking=love.

I don’t usually add sea salt to the chocolate, as the crackers and butter both have salt in them. But knock yourself out if you want more. The recipe doubles well.

What you’ll need

80-100g cream crackers, or salted crackers such as Salada brand

120g butter, chopped into cubes

110g brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

100g dark chocolate chips

Optional: 1 tsp sea salt

How to make it

Heat the oven to 200°C. Line a 27cm x 17cm (or 20 x 20cm) baking dish with baking paper.

20161222_090605Line the baking tray with the biscuits – you can break them up first. (I tend to break Saladas but not cream crackers.)

Melt butter and brown sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. (It is important to keep stirring the mixture to avoid separation.)

20161222_093138Bring the mixture to a very rapid boil and stop stirring. Boil for exactly three minutes. Watch it like a hawk, it is seconds between delish and burnt.

Remove from the heat and add the vanilla essence and gently shake the pan to mix it in. Do not touch this mixture with your fingers – it is piping hot and will burn you.

20161222_094120Pour the caramel evenly over the crackers and put into the oven. Bake for five-six minutes.

20161222_094402Take the baking tray out of the oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. Wait for a minute or two for the chips to soften, then smooth the chocolate with a spatula.

If using sea salt, crush salt lightly with your fingers and sprinkle on top of the soft chocolate.

20161222_094541Cool for a few hours at room temperature until the chocolate hardens. (You can put in the fridge briefly to speed up the process.)

20161222_125824When the chocolate has hardened, remove from the baking tray and break into small pieces. Store in an airtight container.

This is something you can whip up quickly – go on, give it a go tonight.

Merry Christmas all! Oh, and be kind to the teachers you come across these holidays, shout them a drink – you know they’ve worked for it.

Choc Toffee Bites

  • Servings: breaks into multiple pieces
  • Time: 20 mins make, 2 hours to set
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

80-100g cream crackers, or salted crackers such as Salada brand

120g butter, chopped into cubes

110g brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

100g dark chocolate chips

Optional: 1 tsp sea salt

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Line a 27cm x 17cm (or 20 x 20cm) baking tray with baking paper.
  3. Line the baking tray with the biscuits – you can break them up first. (I tend to break Saladas but not cream crackers.)
  4. Melt butter and brown sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan over a medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. It is important to keep stirring the mixture to avoid separation.
  5. Bring the mixture to a very rapid boil and stop stirring. Boil for three minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla essence and gently shake the pan to mix it in. Do not touch this mixture with your fingers – it is piping hot and will burn you.
  7. Pour the caramel evenly over the crackers and put into the oven. Bake for five-six minutes.
  8. Take the dish out of the oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. Wait a two-three minutes for the chips to melt then smooth the chocolate with a spatula.
  9. If using sea salt, crush salt lightly with your fingers and sprinkle on top of the soft chocolate.
  10. Cool for a few hours at room temperature until the chocolate hardens. (You can put in the fridge briefly to speed up the process.)
  11. When the chocolate has hardened, remove from the baking tray and break into small pieces. Store in an airtight container.

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