'This week is actually the last week of school' a good friend reliably informed me yesterday.  Meaning I had exactly 24 hours left (instead of the 216 I had factored in) to make some 'thank you' pressies for my daughter's gorgeous pre-school teachers.  And they really deserved a thank you, as my daughter (after staying close to my side for the past 3 years and despite my initial fears of separation anxiety and all that modern day mummy-angst) absolutely LOVES school.  So much so that she in fact regularly skips up the path into the school building, gleefully anticipating I'm sure, the lure of paint, song, messy play, the doll's house and an unlimited dress up wardrobe!

So what to make that was quick, easy and a little creative as I also had 3 restless kids in the house to occupy...?  I'll do fudge I thought and, as I had some fab peppermint essence on loan from my reliable informant friend - and will pimp it up er I mean mint it up a bit.   I had this great idea to also crush up some candy canes [the peppermint type not the artificial cherry(??!) flavour] and sprinkle artfully over the top of the fudge...NOTE: you need to do this step AS SOON AS THE FUDGE IS POURED INTO THE DISH AND NOT A SECOND LATER as I learnt (see recipe advice below)!
Otherwise, a pretty successful experiment.

Girls - time to measure the sugar...with these sweet Matroyska measuring cups from Fred I was given by the reliable informant friend recently.
Cocoa and sugar measured and phone rang...I came back to sugar spill and sugar sampling...sugar drinking?  I'm not sure the Mummies would approve girls...!
Choc Peppermint Candy Cane Fudge
(Makes enough for 2 teachers)

3 cups sugar
3 Tbspn unsweetened baking cocoa
3/4 cup milk
2 Tbspn butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp peppermint essence
3 medium sized candy canes (gently smashed in a plastic bag)

Mix sugar and cocoa in large pot and heat gently on stove.
Add milk and butter and bring to the boil.
Boil gently for approx 10 minutes - stirring only occasionally.
Remove from heat, add essences and beat with hand beater (or wooden spoon if you're feeling energetic!) until mixture thickens.
Pour into a greased tray and VERY QUICKLY sprinkle crushed candy canes over top of fudge - you may need to gently press it into the mix so it embeds itself.
Hide from kids and husband so that there is something left for teachers the next day!