Tag Archives: Easter

Easter Jelly Bean Cookies

 
I wanted to make Jelly Bean Cookies for Easter and dug in my old standard recipes, trying to decide what to make the base cookie out of. I found this really good basic sugar cookie (not a cut-out cookie) and remembered a wonderful butter cream frosting that would go great on them. I did some jelly bean tasting (now I’m a jelly bean expert) and found Starburst jelly beans had the best flavor – sweet and just barely tart.

You probably noticed the cute green grass the jelly beans are sitting on. I found that in the middle of the Easter stuff at Target and thought it was so cute! It’s edible, but not really that tasty. If you’re wanting cute cookies, go for it! If you want awesome cookies, make the sugar cookie, frost it generously with the butter cream and put the little jelly beans on top, leaving the grass off. You could also dye some shredded coconut green and use that for grass.

Here’s a photo of the different ways I decorated the cookies – sugar cookies with frosting, sugar cookies with jelly beans and no frosting (those were cute, too), and cookies with the frosting, grass and jelly beans. Oh, and some have frosting with just jelly beans on top. I tried to make the ones with just jelly beans look like bunny feet. Awwwww.

I think my favorite are the cookies with the purple jelly beans. The flavor combinations are just perfect. Bret doesn’t like jelly beans (what?), so I made some plain and some with just frosting. These cookies are so cute and perfect to make with the kiddos for Easter, or really any time!

5 from 1 vote
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Easter Jelly Bean Cookies

****Terrific sugar cookie with a dreamy butter cream frosting and sweet dots of jelly beans.  Perfectly Easter!

Servings: 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 C (2 sticks) butter softened
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Frosting
  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tbsp milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat.  Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg and mix until well combined.

  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, into the butter mixture, then add the vanilla.  Mix until combined.

  3. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and place on the cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Slightly flatten the cookie.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.  Bake for 9-12 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom.  The top will not brown.  Cool cookies on rack completely before frosting

  4. For the frosting, sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl,  Add the softened butter and mix until combined and smooth.  Add the vanilla and stir.  Add the milk, 1 tbsp at a time until the consistency you want (kind of thick).  Frost the cookies generously, then sprinkle with grass (if using) and gently press jelly beans on top into the frosting.

Recipe Notes
Tips and Stuff: Be sure and use a heaping tablespoon of dough - you want these to be larger than usual so you can decorate them. I always put cookie dough in the refrigerator between batches. If you're not going to use the frosting and want to make bunny feet, press the jelly beans gently onto the cookies before baking (4 across the top and 1 sideways on the bottom). If you'd rather use dyed coconut for the grass, it would work, too.

Hot Cross Buns

 
Where did Hot Cross Buns come from anyway? Apparently a 12th century monk got creative one Good Friday and added a cross to the buns he was baking. It kind of caught on and Hot Cross Buns became a tradition all over the world. I hope the monk got a promotion, although I’m guessing that by now he’s in Heaven and that’s quite a bit better than a promotion. Anyway, kudos to the monk and I’m glad he created these delicious Hot Cross Buns.

You can use currants, raisins or even dried cranberries for the added fruit, although the currants are superior because they’re small and are just tangy enough for the barely sweet buns. These little yeast buns came out so soft and fluffy and delicious. I had the piping for the crosses a little too thin and ended up glazing the entire tops of the rolls, but I think that may have made them even better!

This was the very first time I’d ever eaten Hot Cross Buns and I really enjoyed them. I warmed one up with a little pat of butter and it was just wonderful. I can’t wait till breakfast to have another one with morning coffee! Since this recipe makes 12 buns, I’ll freeze some of them. I think they’ll be just as good thawed and warmed up. I highly recommend making these for your Easter morning breakfast or brunch.

5 from 1 vote
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Hot Cross Buns

****Original Recipe from NatashasKitchen.com.  Soft and fluffy buns - great for breakfast.

Servings: 12
Ingredients
  • 1/2 C currants
  • 1 C boiling water
  • 3/4 C warm milk (about 110°) divided
  • 1/2 C plus 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter melted and cooled
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 envelope Active or Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 2 large eggs well beaten
  • 3 1/2 to 4 C unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg well beaten with 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar mixed with 2 1/2 tsp milk or cream
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine currants with 1 cup of hot water.  Let sit 10 minutes, then drain well, pat dry, and set aside.

  2. In a large measuring cup, combine 1/4 cup warm milk with 1/2 tsp sugar and gently stir in the packet of yeast.  Let sit at room temperature until bubbly and almost doubled in volume (10-15 minutes).

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup warm milk with 1/2 cup of sugar, the cooled, melted butter and 1/2 tsp salt.  Add the 2 beaten eggs and proofed yeast mixture and mix.  Stir in the ground cinnamon and nutmeg.

  4. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and add flour, 1/2 cup at a time until a soft dough forms (after 3 1/2 cups, start adding 1/4 cup more at a time until the dough is a soft ball).  Knead 8-12 minutes with the mixer until smooth and elastic.  Dough will stick a little to the bowl, but not to your hands.

  5. Add the drained and patted-dry currants and transfer dough to a large buttered bowl, turning it to bring the buttered side up.  Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free room 1 1/2 hours until doubled in volume.

  6. Turned out dough onto a lightly floured counter and cut in half.  Continue cutting dough until you have 12 equally-sized pieces.  Roll the pieces into smooth balls and put into a very buttered 9x13" baking pan or dish.  Cover and let sit in a warm area for 30-45 minutes, until slightly puffed up.

  7. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°.  Generously brush the tops of the risen buns with egg wash and bake for 15-17 minutes until tops are golden brown (or 190° when tested).  Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a rack.

  8. After buns are completely cooled, stir together the powdered sugar and 2 1/2 tsp. milk until thick enough to pipe (not too thin).  Put into a ziplock bag and cut a tip off one of the corners.  Pipe a cross shape over each of the buns (or make more glaze and cover the entire tops of the buns).  Good served warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes
Tips and Stuff: I ended up using about 3 3/4 cups of flour to get the ball to form in the mixer. If kneading by hand, knead for 8-12 minutes until you get a translucent window pane when stretching a small piece. When adding the currants, make sure they're patted dry so it won't make the dough sticky. To add the currants, add a couple of tablespoons at a time and fold in so that they're dispersed evenly through the dough. Make sure the 9x13" pan is buttered very generously so the buns won't stick. If they do stick a little, just gently ply them up with a flexible spatula.