Looking for a special way to celebrate your mom? Do you know someone who will be alone on Mother’s Day and in need of some love? How about making a gift basket for a special Mother’s Day?
Here are some ideas for your basket: Homemade Granola with yogurt and fresh fruit Blueberry Nut Bread and Orange Cream Cheese; add coffee or tea
Once your granola has cooled, place it in a mason jar tied with a pretty ribbon. You can add a pint of your Mom’s favorite fresh fruit and some Greek yogurt to your basket.
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup sliced almonds, nuts or pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup raw honey, or agave nectar plus more for serving
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Line a 9-inch square baking sheet with aluminum foil, extending over the sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl mix the oats, cranberries, almonds, cinnamon, ground nutmeg and salt.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and honey over medium heat, stirring until the butter melts and the mixture begins to boil. Add the vanilla extract and stir. Remove from the heat. Adding the vanilla at the very end intensifies its flavor.
Pour the butter over the oats, mixing until well coated. Transfer to the prepared pan and, using a spatula, press the oats evenly into the pan.
Bake until the top is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool. Using the foil as aid, lift out of the pan and place on a work surface. Crumble into pieces. Serve with berries, plain yogurt and drizzle with additional honey.
Blueberry Nut Bread
2 cups King Arthur unbleached flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped dried blueberries
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
Zest of one orange
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped cranberries and walnuts to coat with the flour mixture.
Mix orange juice, sugar, butter, egg, and orange zest together. Add dry ingredients, blueberries, nuts and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended.
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until done or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Serve with Orange Cream Cheese.
Orange Cream Cheese
8 ounces plain cream cheese or Neufatchel cheese, softened
Zest of one orange
1/2 cup granulated sugar or 3 tablespoons agave or raw honey
Beat mixture together with your paddle attachment until incorporated and fluffy about five minutes. Place cream cheese mixture in pretty bowl and cover for your basket. I’ve seen very pretty bowls with matching spreaders. That would be a perfect addition to thsi basket!