My 4-year-old came home from school the other day with a brown paper bag containing “a super secret Mother’s Day surprise.”
For the last few weeks, I’ve been hearing about this surprise.
“Mommy. We are making something for you at school. But I CANNOT tell you about it.”
“Ok,” I said.
“It is a crafty project,” she said.
“Hey, I thought you couldn’t tell me about it.”
“Don’t ask me any more questions, Mommy. You are RUINING it!”
When she came home, she buried it in a corner of the living room, and put a plastic chair, cash register and box on top of it. I’m really hoping it’s not breakable. She said she set a trap and that I cannot go near it and I am forbidden from cleaning around it. And it just so happens to be near a mess of toys I’ve been after her to clean up, but now she can’t, because YOU KNOW, the surprise could be compromised.
Last week she told me that Daddy was planting a rose bush garden in the backyard for Mother’s Day. (I checked with him. He’s really not.)
The week before that, I heard I was getting a fancy dress and would have to wait outside while they cooked a special meal. That was cute. But I realized she’d borrowed the plot from a “Peppa Pig” episode.
We don’t go crazy with Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, but I can honestly say that I have no idea what to expect this year.
The one thing I do know is that we’ll be visiting some very special Moms and grandmas this weekend, so my sous chef and I have been baking some treats.
1.) Chocolate-Almond Cinnamon Pretzels
This is a super simple recipe that kids can make as a gift. Just make it the day before so that it can cool before you gift it. On our trip to Pretzelvania, we grabbed these Tom Sturgis cinnamon pretzel sticks. They are delicious! If you can’t find them at your local store, any pretzel rod or stick will do.
Gurley’s Almond Bark adds an extra layer of flavor to the chocolate dip.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Melt your chocolate over a double boiler. Grab two spoons and drizzle over the pretzels. Let pretzels cool and harden.
2.) The world’s best, most decadent Chocolate Cherry Bread
Full disclosure: This was supposed to be someone’s Mother’s Day gift. But I ate it. And I have no regrets. I would make another loaf to gift, but I’d probably eat that too. I’m calling it my Mother’s Day gift to myself.
It’s my favorite thing to make in my breadmaker (because which mom has time to actually wait around to make bread?!). I add in the ingredients, soak some cherries in vodka (YES! you read that right), hit a button and I’m done. And my house fills with the most delicious chocolate scent. It’s like you’ve been baking all day, when in reality you dumped a few cups of bread flour, some dark chocolate and booze-soaked cherries into your breadmaker and called it a day.
I found the recipe from parsleysagesweet.com and there is a recipe for making the bread from scratch if you’d prefer.
Want a truly delicious breakfast? Make the vanilla cream cheese spread the original recipe suggests. (I swap mascarpone cheese for their cream cheese, vanilla extract for vanilla beans and milk for heavy cream. You’ll still need a pinch of powdered sugar).
Note: I didn’t run out and buy kirsch like the recipe calls for. I’ve used raspberry vodka, cranberry vodka and current vodka – whatever I had on hand. They are all delicious. I also don’t brush the top of the bread with more vodka. I use 3 cups bread flour instead of 2 3/4, and I only add 2 Tablespoons butter. I tell myself I’m saving a scant amount of calories, and therefore can add more of the mascarpone-vanilla topping, right?
However you enjoy it, make one of these Mother’s Day treats to gift or save for yourself. Happy Mother’s Day!
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