Happy Mother´s Day Eve Day! This one goes out to all of the wonderful mothers out there, AND their daughters who may still be looking for the perfect gift to get their loved one. While I wish I had inherited more traits from my mom (like her never-ending patience, and her always-positive attitude), my Mom and I are pretty alike when it comes to a few things. First, we like coffee. Second, we like chocolate. Third, we basically like all things edible. (She´s weird and doesn’t like tomatoes, but that´s a story for another day.) Regardless, this makes us very easy to shop for, for any occasion. Just give us food, and we will be the happiest ladies under the sun. For those of you with mothers like mine, here are three easy foodie gifts that will leave your moms feeling loved, and full.
If there´s one treat that my mom loves more than the rest, it´s a turtle…of the caramel variety, not the snapping variety. I can´t say I blame her. Caramel, pecans, and chocolate, all in one? How can you go wrong? Not to mention, they´re so easy to make! You´ll need five simple ingredients:
– a bag of whole pecan halves (can be roasted/salted or raw)
– caramel (can be made using the Kraft caramel squares or a homemade recipe….like this one
– heavy cream (if you´re using the Kraft squares)
– chocolate (milk or dark)
– a bit of course sea salt
Do you see how many varieties you can make, right there?
First, up, lay out those pecans. You´ll want to have about four or five in a pile, so that they´re all touching and don´t leave too many gaps for the caramel to seep through later.
Next, melt down your caramel. Most times, I would say that you could easily make your own. Seriously, it’s so simple. But, today, I took the path of least resistance. I went with the chewy caramel squares from Kraft. To melt those down, simply put 25 unwrapped squares in a bowl with a quarter cup of heavy cream, and microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring after each round. Once it is smooth and runny, you´ll need to work fast, as it does harden pretty quickly.
Spoon a bit of caramel over each cluster, so that at least a bit of each pecan has some on it. This will ensure that the turtle doesn´t start losing it´s limbs later on.
Then, melt down that chocolate! Again, you could go dark, semi-sweet, milk, or even white for this. You can also choose to melt it down using the microwave in 20 second increments, or use the double boiler method.
Spoon about a tablespoon onto each turtle, and then add an optional sprinkle of sea salt to each, if salty and sweet friendships are your thing. Let those bad boys dry, and you will have hatched your very own tasty homemade turtles!
Coffee Dipping Spoons
This next one is for the coffee lovers: Coffee Dipping Spoons! Sure, coffee already comes in a million delicious flavors, but when you add chocolate to the equation, you make it that much better. Now, for these guys, you can literally go as simple or as complicated as you would like. The only thing you need to ask yourself is, ¨What is going to make my mom´s coffee even more delectable?¨
In my case, I went with a mix of dark and milk chocolate, topped with toffee pieces, sprinkles, crushed M&Ms, minty candies, and white chocolate drizzles. Not only do these flavors intensify coffee…they’re pretty as well.
Here, all you need to do is dip your spoon in melted chocolate and sprinkle on the toppings before it dries. I recommend pouring your chocolate into a narrow glass first, so that when you dip, the chocolate naturally comes higher up the sides.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzels
Our last treat is kind of a selfish one: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzels. It´s selfish for a few reasons. First, I LOVE peanut butter. Like, I would like to have an actual relationship with it. Second, I’ve been wanting to try my girl Sally´s recipe for these guys for quite a while. I couldn’t have created any more of a delicious sweet/salty, peanut butter/chocolate combo myself, so I stuck with her recipe pretty closely. You can read all about it here
, but I´ll sum it up for you.
First, make that creamy peanut butter filling. Combine your butter and peanut butter. Then, mix in the sugars. The dough will be thick enough to roll into roughly 30 small balls, about a half inch in diameter. Lay out 30 sets of pretzel squares and squish a ball in between each. Personally, I tried to make sure the salty side of each pretzel ended up on the outside of the sandwich, for extra flavor. These will need to freeze for about 30 minutes, so that they are firm enough to be dipped later.
After at least a half an hour, dip to your heart’s content. Dark, milk, white chocolate…go crazy! I decided to dip only a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate more than just about everyone…but I also love peanut butter and pretzels as well, and wanted to give them their fair opportunity to shine.
And, there you have it folks! Three, easy, DIY Mother’s Day gifts to whip up tonight for Mom (or yourself…) Next week, we’ll be talking about solutions for indecisive folks like me.
Until then, stay tuned and stay hungry!