Both Matthew and Emma are utterly fascinated with the fact that Jesus died on the cross in atonement for our sins and then spent three dark days in the tomb before rising from the dead. I don't think I have ever encountered two little kids more excited for Holy Week. Not Easter. Holy Week! They look forward to reenacting The Washing of the Feet and The Last Supper on Holy Thursday, venerating the cross on Good Friday, and then, on a lighter and less religious note, decorating eggs on Holy Saturday. It's all they talk about. Matthew has been drawing picture after picture of Jesus on the cross and, while I appreciate his enthusiasm for this event, I am admittedly a little uncomfortable of the constant reminder. Just the other day, he had tacked up about six graphic pictures of Jesus on the cross on our fridge. Right next to his pictures of Michelangelo the Ninja Turtle and Methuselah the Alligator. I removed them and put them in his school drawer. We have a nice little collection going.
I had seen the idea of making "resurrection rolls" on a couple Catholic Mom websites in the past and thought this would be a good year to actually do them since both kids have a working knowledge of what happens on Easter. I also love the idea of teaching through cooking especially because kids are more likely to listen and be attentive when there is promise of a sweet treat at the end! That was Lucy's favorite part.
Basically, I explained to the kids that the marshmallow represents Jesus. I had each kid "pierce" the marshmallow with a toothpick and explained how that represented Jesus dying for our sins by being nailed to a cross. Then, after dipping the marshmallow in butter and rolling in cinnamon-sugar, it is rolled in crescent dough, representing Jesus being placed in his tomb. Into the oven the tombs go to bake for a few minutes. During the baking process, the marshmallow "rises" out of the doughy tomb, leaving a perfectly hollow center in the rolls representative of the empty tomb on Easter morning! The empty tombs are pretty darn tasty too - very reminiscent of cinnamon rolls.
While explaining each of the steps and the symbolism to the kids, they seemed to be following along. Even Emma was answering my questions properly. However, we had a little bit of a hiccup when I finally took the rolls out of the oven.
Me: "Look! Is the marshmallow still in the center of the roll?
Matthew and Emma: "No! It disappeared!"
Emma: "Where did my marshmallow go? I wanted to eat it!"
Me: "Do you remember how I told you that the marshmallow represented Jesus?"
Matthew: "Yes and we wrapped him in the tomb and then on the third day he rose!"
Me: "That's right, Matthew! So these rolls now have a hole in the center. They are empty just like Jesus' tomb on Easter morning!"
Matthew: "Yes because the marshmallow rose and went to heaven!"
Me: "Ummm...no. The marshmallow did not go to heaven."
Matthew: "Yes it did. It was very good to God and God was happy with the marshmallow so when it was in the oven and died then it rose to heaven. That's why it's not there. Right, Mommy? Right?"
*Frustrated Deep Breath*
Ok, so we had a little bit of a theological hiccup with our baking lesson. After re-explaining what we did, I think he got it. Then again, this is the same kid who did this with his palm branch from Palm Sunday.
from an idea seen in multiple sources
1 package crescent rolls dough, separated into triangles
8 large marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Using toothpicks, dip the marshmallows in the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon-sugar. Place in the center of a triangle of crescent dough and then, doing the best that you can, rolls and the dough tightly around the marshmallow, pinching to seal. Place on a baking sheet lined thoroughly with foil or parchment. Repeat with remaining marshmallows and dough triangles.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the rolls are browned and the marshmallows have seeped out.
Let cool for a few minutes before eating.