Posts Tagged 'easter'

Shortbread Tales: WICKLE BUNNY BUNS

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You know you have to go make these right now. There is nothing cuter than baby bunnies. Nothing.

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Except maybe Nutella-stuffed baby bunnies.

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You can use up your extra sprinkles and create…

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…horror bunnies.

What do you expect from a recipe I pulled from DeviantArt?

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But don’t worry, they’re not really awful. Their sunken skeleton eyes belie their amicable hearts.

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Want more shortbread tales (pun intended)? Check out this last year’s digital flip book.

Your fast friend,

L

Wickle Bunny Buns (Cookies)

Adapted from DeviantART

Makes about 24 little bunnies.
150 grams flour
a pinch of sea salt
60 grams cold, cubed  butter
33 grams melted butter
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 teaspoons cold water
1 teaspoon milk
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

heavy cream, for glazing

Cadbury Mini Eggs and Nutella, for stuffing

Pulse together the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Chuck in the cold butter and the melted (slightly cooled) butter into the flour and pulse until it looks like fine bread crumbs.
In a small bowl, beat together egg yolks, cold water, milk and vanilla extract. Add it into the butter-flour mixture. Pulse until the crumbs just come together. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Scoop balls of dough using a 1 tablespoon measurement. Quickly roll into balls and chill in the fridge for ten minutes.
Once chilled, flatten each dough ball with your hand and fill with a Mini Egg or frozen Nutella chip (see note below). Wrap the dough around the filling, rolling each ball into an egg shape.

To make the bunnies, snip two ears into the top of the dough ball. Use chopsticks or another utensil to shape the ears, and make eyes. If you want, you can poke sprinkles into the eye holes. Chill for another 10 minutes, then glaze the bunny ears with heavy cream. Bake at 350 degrees for about 24 minutes. The bunnies should be lightly golden. Let cool on a rack, and store in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Note: To stuff the cookies with Nutella, stick a 1/4 cup of Nutella in a little bowl in the freezer while you make the cookie dough. When you are ready to stuff the cookies, remove the Nutella from the freezer and scoop 1/2 teaspoon measurements before it gets melty.

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Pipe Dream #183: To Single-Serve Splurge – No Bake Nests

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Do you ever buy Mini Cadbury Eggs in single-serve packages even though you know it would be a better deal to buy them in bulk?

Ok, me neither. Phewfta.

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Ok, I can’t carry on like this.

Confession: I bought Mini Cadbury Eggs in single-serve packages. they were like 84 cents! Mini Eggs are my delight. Even more than regular Creme Eggs. Hay-eck, I can make regular Creme eggs from scratch. But I will pay someone to make Mini Eggs.

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Seeing Mini Eggs in-store means that it is Easter time. I thought it would be cute to stick little candies in a classic no bake cookie, making little nests for a themed treat. I thought this was an #lhoriginal thought, but after a quick Google search, I’d been scooped once again.

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No bake cookies are literally the easiest cookie on the earth. And they take no time (exaggeration). And they are high in fiber. And they are so chocolaty peanuty nom nom.

One thing to heed is the amount of time that you boil the sugar/cocoa mixture. Boiling for a short minute will give you soft, shiny cookies. If you boil it for longer than a minute, your cookies will be a little crumbly. I couldn’t tell if the mixture was boiling–it was kind of a slow glurg at the edges of the saucepan–so I think I boiled them for a little too long. This turned out to be good, though, because they set up a little stiffer into their nest shape.

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Happy Easter! Guys, spring is tomorrow today! And don’t forget Jesus!

L

No Bake Nests

Adapted from Food Network

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups quick oats
Cadbury Mini Eggs or other candies

In a heavy saucepan bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute (I let mine go maybe two minutes so they held up better for the nests, but next time I would boil them for just one minute), then add the peanut butter and the vanilla, stirring well until combined. Stir in the oats. Drop the mixture by the tablespoonful onto a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Let cool for a minute, then use the back of a spoon to make a depression in the center of each cookie so it looks like a bird’s nest. Once the cookies have cooled for about 30 minutes, fill each cookie with a Cadbury egg or two. Makes about 18 cookies.

Pipe Dream #175: To Interpret Ambiguous Phrasing – Grandma’s Fabulous Orange Buns

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You probably know by now about my love of yeast cinnamon rolls. Check out the archives. You won’t be disappointed. My mother has an equal love for rolls of the orange variety. They are nostalgia-inducing. Plus delicious. My grandma, the best baker in the world, used to make them for every holiday.

My mum tried to carry on the tradition, and I remember having them every Easter as a kid. But something happened between yeast and my mum, and the recipe “stopped working for her.” I found it difficult to believe that the yeast would be at fault here, so I endeavored to recreate the rolls for her sake as much as mine. Like a present.

This task was a bigger challenge than I expected, mostly because the recipe is peppered with phrases like “Add enough of the remaining flour to make a ‘moderately stiff dough,'” and “Let rise for 1-2 hours.” There is a big difference between one and two hours! And I don’t know what satin feels like (I’m a millenial)–how am I supposed to tell what a “satiny” dough feels like?

But despite my fears, I think things turned out all right. I’ve tweaked the recipe below with my notes.

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This picture looks like a Sunday morning. Easter morning. Except it is not, but it could be your Easter morning this year.

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The zest in this is precious. The thinner you roll out the dough, the more dramatic your swirls will be. I think my grandma doesn’t roll them out so thin. Next time.

Also, I doubled the recipe and made four different variations of the rolls. We’ll be set for a while. #saturdays

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Caramel and pecan and hazelnut stuffed buns, anyone?

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gmas cinn rolls

Or you can go with the regular cinnamon variety. Classic.

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The stamp of approval. The rolls were successful, and tasted just like I remembered.

Glad to make you happy, Mum. Thanks for putting up with me especially when I ask you to pose your hands just so,

L

Grandma’s Fabulous Orange Buns

Adapted from Mom’s Favorite Recipe (a family cookbook)

1 cup milk

9 tablespoons butter, divided, at room temperature

1 cup white sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 ounces (1 package) active dry yeast

3 eggs

4 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon (or more) orange zest (from one orange)

2 cups powdered sugar

2-4 tablespoons orange juice

Scald milk in a small saucepan (Heat it til it is almost boiling). Remove to a the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and cool until lukewarm (110 degrees F). Add 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and yeast to the milk. Let stand for three minutes, then add egg and 1 cup of four. Beat well.

Add enough of the remaining flour to make a “moderately stiff dough.” This part is tricky and relies on feel. I used about that much, maybe 3 cups. Beat on medium speed with the dough hook for five minutes, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for an additional 5 minutes until the dough is “smooth and satiny.”

Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat the surface of the dough, Cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Divide the dough in half, and roll each into a 12″ by 8″ rectangle.

Stir together the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, the second 1/2 cup of sugar and the orange zest. Spread this over the dough. Roll up each rectangle, starting on the long side and rolling toward yourself. Pinch the seam closed. Slice each roll into 18 buns. From here, you can place them into 3 greased 9-inch baking pans, or into individual muffin cups. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes, checking them to make sure the middle is getting done. If you find that the rolls are getting too brown before the center is baked, cover the pans with aluminum foil.

While the rolls are baking, combine the powdered sugar and orange juice to make a thinnish glaze. Drizzle over the warm rolls. Makes about 3 dozen.

Variations:

Try filling the rolls, with butter, cinnamon and chocolate chips and topping with a cream cheese glazeOr caramel bits and nuts with a caramel glaze! The best.

Favorite Shots: Peeps!

It is Easter this week! If I were at home, I would be eating Peeps. You know Peeps? The fluffy little sugar-coated, chick-shaped balls of marshmallow wonderfulness that puff up in the microwave and only migrate seasonally in America? Oh, how I rue the fact that these birds only peep out of their nests for three weeks of the year. (Did you get that pun? :]) I love Peeps.

There is a boy at school with a Peeps t-shirt. I told him I could probably eat 100 Peeps because I loved them so much. He didn’t believe. I tried to convince him (not sure why, death by sugar for me, I guess). He said he would buy me 100 Peeps and see if I could eat them.

Well that hasn’t happened yet, which is why I am not lying dead before you with crystallized sugar freezing up my veins, but I tell you the truth! I love Peeps. And point of the story, these chicks look like Peeps.

These shots were taken on my old camera, so the quality is not super high, but I love the yellow next to the aqua of the box bottom. It is striking.

Even more striking, though, and even more worthy of my love than Peeps, is the real reason I love Easter. Easter is a reminder of how much Jesus loves me. He died a death far worse than eating 100 Peeps all so that we would be free of the guilt of our sin and experience real life. Here’s what he said:

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” –Jesus

Happy Easter,

Lauren

Pipe Dream #45: To Wipe Out Wonderbread – Braided Lemon Bread

I don’t eat bread very often. I usually have enough carbs in my diet (ahem), and plus, have you ever tried making a sandwich? If I go to Jimmy John’s, I’m not paying six dollars for a ham, tomato, lettuce, mayo and bread I could eat at home. I’m paying for someone to take all of those ingredients out of the fridge in single servings and arrange them. Making a good sandwich, like making a good salad, requires a lot of patience and creativity.

Wonderbread is basically horrible nutritionally and flavorfully. Give me something whole grain, with wheatberries in it or something.  I like to chew my bread, not have it dissolve in my mouth like so much angel food cake.

That being said, this lemon bread is not a superfoodwholegrainsubstantial bread. It is made with all purpose flour, and it is filled with lemon curd and cream cheese. Hello. I know I probably sound hypocritical right now. But this bread is part rustic substantial bread and part unhealthy goodness. So it is bad for you, but it won’t melt in your mouth. Man, I’m making this bread sound worse and worse. I should put this on my resume somewhere. Proficient public relations writer: cannot describe anything in an appealing way.

I’ll get lots of call-backs, I’m sure…

Point of the story, this bread is fabulous and decadent and almost wholesome. My family ate the whole thing when it was fresh from the oven. We couldn’t wait.

I apologize for the picture quality/lack of explanatory shots in this post. For a great tutorial on how to braid the loaf (man, I want that on a business card), click on the link in the recipe. SmittenKitchen does such a nice job of it. And also, this recipe includes lemon curd. You can find my recipe here or another recipe on the Ahnternit or buy some from your local grocer.

Braided Lemon Bread

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Sponge
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 cup (1 ounce) unbleached all-purpose flour

Dough
Sponge (above)
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) sour cream or yogurt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, 1 beaten for dough, 1 beaten with 1 teaspoon water for brushing bread
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
Pearl sugar* or sparkling white sugar for sprinkling

Lemon cream cheese filling
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons (5/8 ounces) sugar
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (2 ounces) homemade (recipe below) or prepared lemon curd

Make sponge: In a small bowl, combine the sponge ingredients. Stir well to combine, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for 10 to 15 minutes.

Make dough in a stand mixer: Combine the sponge, sour cream, butter, egg, sugar, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add flour and mix with the paddle attachment until the dough is a rough, shaggy mass. Switch to the dough hook and knead on until a soft, smooth dough forms, about 5 to 6 minutes. ??Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until quite puffy and nearly doubled.

OR

Make dough by hand: Whisk together sour cream, butter, egg, sugar and vanilla in a large, wide bowl. Stir in sponge. Add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon as best as you can; you may need to get your hands in there to form it into a shaggy ball. Turn ball of dough and any incorporated scraps onto a counter and knead until a smooth, soft dough forms, about 5 to 10 minutes. Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until quite puffy and nearly doubled.

OR

Make the filling (while dough rises): Combine all the filling ingredients (except the lemon curd) in a small bowl, mixing until smooth and lump-free. Reserve the filling and lemon curd until ready to fill the braids.

Prepare bread: Gently deflate the dough and roll it out on a very well floured counter to a 10″ x 15″ rectangle. Transfer rectangle to a large piece of parchment paper, please; I did not and it led to all sorts of trouble. With the side of your hand, lightly press two lines down the dough lengthwise, dividing it into three equal columns. Spread the cream cheese filling down the center section, leaving the top and bottom two inches free of filling. Spread the lemon curd over the cream cheese filling.

To form the mock braid, cut crosswise strips one inch apart down the length of the outer columns of you dough (the parts without filling). Make sure you have an equal amount of 1-inch strips down the right and left sides. Be careful not to cut your parchment paper; if you have a bench scraper, this is a great time to use it. Remove the four corner segments. To “braid”, begin by folding top flap down and bottom flap up over the filling. Lift the top dough strip and gently bring it diagonally across the filling. Repeat on the right side, and continue down the entire braid, alternating strips until you are out. You can tuck the last couple that hand off decoratively under the end of the braid.

Carefully transfer the dough and the parchment paper to a baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic and set it aside to rise for 45 to 50 minutes, until quite puffy.

Bake bread: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the loaves with egg wash, and sprinkle with pearl or coarse sparkling sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.


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