Mother’s Day is approaching! I’m so excited to celebrate this year. I’ve always loved Mother’s Day, as it’s a beautiful opportunity to celebrate the one woman who’s responsible for my life, my mom. This is my first year being a mother and my perspective has changed. I’m even more appreciative and connected.

Being a mother isn’t easy. And it never ends. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, forever…. What?! Okay, for at least the next 17+ years in the same house. Ha ha. However there is no greater feeling than waking up each morning to the little life I’ve help create and who makes me smile countless times throughout the day. Pure joy.

Each year as the day nears, I consider how to celebrate and honor my mom. I love gift giving and I usually find gifts that are beautiful, whimsical and special. But this year, rather than search the stores for the perfect scarf or vase, I thought to bake my mom something delicious, decadent, and memorable.

Last Saturday at the farmers market, cherries were screaming my name. Their crimson color coordinates with the love I feel for my mom and… they pair perfectly with chocolate! I decided to create cherry chocolate brownies with cardamom. I’ve always loved how well cherries and cardamom complement one another. Back when I owned Cosmic Chocolate, we created a cherry cardamom ganache that was out of this world.

These brownies are hands down, amazing. They are rich, fudgy, fruity, people pleasers. I tested them on Luke and some friends last night, and the words they uttered were, “GIVE ME MORE”. Or at least that’s what I extracted from their expressions.

I’ll be baking a fresh batch this Saturday to deliver to my mom on Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day Mamas! Toasting Love and Life.

10 tb butter*
1 ¼ c sugar
1 c cocoa powder
½ tb ground cardamom
1/8 ts white pepper
¼ ts salt
½ ts pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
½ c plus 2 tb all-purpose flour
¾ c pitted and chopped cherries
¾ c semi sweet chocolate chips

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
-Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper
-In a heatproof bowl combine the first 6 ingredients
-Set the bowl over a pot with simmering water
-Stir gradually until the butter melts and the ingredients blend
-Remove the bowl and let cool slightly
-Stir in the vanilla extract with a rubber spatula
-Add one egg at a time and stir rapidly until well blended
-Add the flour gradually and stir until it’s completely combined
-Add chopped cherries and stir
-Add chocolate chips and stir
-Pour into the lined baking pan and shake the pan to even the batter
-Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center is moist but not wet, 24-29 minutes
-Remove and let cool

Transfer foil or parchment to a cutting board
Cut into squares
Dust with powdered sugar
Gift one to yourself
Dig in and enjoy
Package the rest and deliver
Brownies are best kept in a sealed container or package.
*I used salted butter. Unsalted would work as well.

Oxx, (one BIG hug, two air kisses)