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Easter treats

Good morning, all. I’m sitting here, sipping my morning coffee (white no sugar) and eating a hot cross bun. Which isn’t hot, but is still delicious. 

They’re called”Hot Cross Buns”from an old rhyme, that goes “Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns, One a penny, Two a penny, Hot Cross Buns.”  They’re very tasty, spiced with cinnamon and other spices and  studded with currants and sultanas.

I bought these ones fresh yesterday, and they’re still delicious. Once they start to get stale, they are equally yummy toasted. In my old house, my neighbors’ kids  once brought me some home-made hot cross buns and they were the best I ever tasted, but alas, I didn’t get the recipe. Still, the ones my local supermarket bakes are very yummy, so I’m not repining.

Easter is usually a social time for me, with friends dropping in to catch up. So if it’s lunch, or a “bring a plate” affair, there are some fun easter-ish dishes I enjoy making. I often make stuffed eggs, and I pinched these pics of Easter variations on that from the web. 

These little chickie boiled eggs are very cute, aren’t they? I’ve also seen much more complicated versions —one with  zig-zag cutting, instead of a straight cut, but whichever way you do it, I think they look great — and not too hard to make..

And I saw these on Facebook, too — see below —and thought they were very elegant. Boiled egg tulips with spring onion stems.

A friend was coming for afternoon tea on Friday, and when I whizzed down to the supermarket of course it was closed — Good Friday here is a public holiday, as is Easter Monday. So I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies, using a recipe from a friend given to me years ago, but for some reason I’d never tried it. It uses sweetened condensed milk, and I had a tin in the cupboard so its time had come. I have to say, the cookies were delicious. I’ll definitely make them again. But by the time I remembered to take a photo, they were all gone. An almost identical recipe is here. I found it by googling “Chocolate Chip cookies condensed milk” which saved my typing it up.  My recipe also added a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

I didn’t roll it into balls as that recipe says to — my mixture was too sticky for that — I just put blobs of the mixture on the parchment paper and they were fine. Also I baked them around 15 minutes+ at C 160 degrees fan forced, checking to see if they were a pale golden color. If you’re American you’ll have to work out the measurements. Most Aussies have scales to weigh ingredients.  1 stick of butter = 110grams,  and for choc chips I cup choc chips = 200 grams.  You do the math. <g> But if you use more choc chips, nobody will complain. I had large dark choc melts (different from choc chips? so I chopped them up a bit and they were yum.
And if you don’t want to convert everything, try this American version. But I make no promises for the final result. I haven’t tried it.’

I enjoy baking, but I generally only do it when I have someone coming, and then I give them some to take home. I gave my friend some to take home to her husband and son, and packaged up some more to give to my neighbor. That way I’m not tempted to eat cookies for the rest of the week.

There are lots of biscuit (cookie) recipes with easter-theme decorations. Last year I made some iced bunny bikkies for some little friends, but I’m not wonderful at decorating food.  They tasted good, though, which is the main thing.  I did love these, which were made for the children of the UK royal family by the royal kitchens.    So pretty. But my lack of food decorating skills aside,  I am very tempted to try making these gorgeous bunny bikkies, which you could do with almost any cookie recipe. I’ve also seen some pics where people have softened  cookies in the oven and let them sink into a muffin tray, so that they form a nest shape, and when they’ve cooled and hardened, they fill them with mini chocolate eggs or peanut  M&Ms.

Orthodox Easter usually comes later than the general Christian Easter, but this year a Ukrainian friend told me, “This was the first Easter we celebrated with everyone as our church moved the calendar entirely to align with Rome and away from Moscow.” 

I have quite a few friends from various orthodox Christian backgrounds, and I’m used to being given red eggs from some friends and the occasional elegantly decorated ones from others, and I’ve dyed eggs with onion skins and other things. But when I came across this chart — see below— I was very tempted to try some of these lovely variations of color, using quite everyday ingredients. I haven’t yet — I’m busy writing at the moment, but here it is for you, in case you’d like to try some.

Do you make or bake special treats for Easter? What sort of things to you do?