My friend Michelle told me that she often makes “loaves” as gifts for teachers. Evidently Michael’s sells miniature loaf pans throughout the Christmas season and if you watch for them to go on sale after Christmas, you can pick them up for very little cost. She stocks up each year after Christmas for the following year. I think it is a brilliant idea, but I haven’t yet “cashed” in on the great after Christmas loaf pan sales, so I was pretty excited when I found a set of 6 cardboard loaf pans for sale at Dollarama. I figured I would pick some up and make some zucchini bread with the huge zucchini my neighbour gave me…thanks Kelli! I made a double batch of the recipe and it made 7 pans. The loaves are quite small, but cute. The pans seemed to work well, but I did find the cardboard had enough”give” that the loaves expanded slightly in width, as well as height (when they rose). No big deal, but perhaps not a perfectly formed domed-top and symmetrical shape.
To dress up the loaves for delivery, I just used scalloped scissors to trim the edges of freezer paper (like parchment). I then put a ribbon, cover wire tie and tag on to finish it off. This was super easy and quick to do. The tag was simply a stamped apple that I cut out. The kids took them to their teachers. Of course, baking is always a great gift. My neighbour Jen brought a loaf over the other day and it was such a treat to have fresh baking in the house during my first week back to school! So thoughtful.
If you like to bake, I would suggest picking up some of these next time your at the dollar store. I think I’ll always keep some on hand. I can’t wait to share the awesome pumpkin loaf I discovered last year! If you find yourself down about the cold weather and the end of summer, beat the blues by doing something kind for someone else!