A few things we know about moms: they like an occasional treat, they love flowers, and they adore handmade gifts from their kids. Here is an activity that your kids can make for Mother’s Day, a garden pot filled with edible “flowers” that actually hits all these points. We’ve included three “types” of flowers for you to choose from, depending on whether mom likes chocolate, cookies or fresh fruit.
1 small pot for plants. While a terracotta pot will work, most craft stores have more decoratively glazed pots worth checking out.
1 block of dry-flower foam called Oasis (available at craft stores)
1 small bag of faux moss
1 chocolate or candy mold for floral suckers
6 to 12 sucker sticks, depending on your mold count
1 1-pound bag white chocolate molding chocolate disks
1 ¾ butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
3 cups flour, plus extra flour for dusting your work surface
Flower shaped cookie cutter
6 to 12 sucker sticks
¼ cup milk
1 bag colored cooking sanding sugar
An assortment of cut and whole fruit that can be easily skewered to serve as the leaves and stems, such as strawberries, pineapple chunks, raspberries and kiwi.
What You Do:
Start with the "flower pot": Take the Oasis block and place it in the planter. Mark where the block hits the top of the planter, and cut the foam block so it is about 1 inch under the top of the pot. Cover with the faux moss.
Pour the white chocolate into a large glass bowl. Set up a bain marie by placing the glass bowl snuggly over a saucepan filled with about two inches of water.(The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl.) Keep the heat at medium low and stir with a wooden spoon until the disks have melted.
Stir in a couple small drops food coloring and stir to color the chocolate.
Insert sticks in the base of the flower molds. Once the chocolate has melted pour into each of the flower molds.
Once filled, tap gently to remove any air bubbles. Take an offset (metal) spatula to scrape of any chocolate that is not in the flower molds (the plastic between the flowers should not have any chocolate on it.)
Refrigerate until set and arrange the chocolate flowers into the pot.
To make the cookies: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract just until creamy in texture.
Beat in the egg until well combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed, until the dough is well mixed but be sure not to over mix it.
Lightly dust your work surface and roll out your cookies to about 1/3 inch thick. Using the cookie cutter, cut out 6 to 12 flower shapes (the amount depends on the size of the cookie and size of your pot). Place the cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place the sucker stick in the back of the middle of the cookie. Be sure to place enough stick in the cookie to be able to support the weight of the “flower” once upright (about 1/3 of the cookie’s centerline usually works well).
Refrigerate the cookies for about 20 minutes
Using a pastry brush or even your finger, lightly brush a little milk onto each cookie. Follow with sanding sugar to color the cookies.
Bake off cookies and allow to cool before arranging into the pot.
Make 3 to 4 “leaves” by filling the top half of a skewer with green grapes and/or honeydew chunks. (The bottom half of the skewer is kept bare to drive into the foam.) Set aside.
To make the fruit flowers, skewer fruit into the top half of a skewer. Begin with the fruit for the stem (green grapes and honeydew), and then place the “flower” fruit choices at the top part of the skewer.
Keep the fruit skewers refrigerated until ready to use. Then arrange the flowers by driving the wooden half of the skewer into the foam and give to mom!
Mindy Wright is a freelance writer, children's cooking instructor, and owner of Patacake Parties.