Recipe: Hot Cross Buns

Easter is fast approaching, and as I can’t subsist entirely on Cadbury Creme Eggs (believe me, I’ve tried), I thought I’d whip up a different holiday treat today. Here’s my take on hot cross buns:

IMG_1059

Ingredients:

For the buns:

  1. 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for lining and kneading
  2. 1 1/4 cup milk
  3. 2 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
  4. 1/2 cup butter, plus extra for greasing
  5. 1/6 cup apple juice
  6. 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  7.  1/3 cup raisins
  8. 1/3 cup dried sultanas
  9.  1/3 cup dried currants
  10. 2 1/4 tablespoons (roughly one sachet) self-raising yeast
  11. 1 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  12. zest of two small oranges
  13. 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  14. 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  15. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  16. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  17. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  18. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  19. 1/8 teaspoon all spice

For the glaze:

  1. 1 egg white, reserved from above
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoon milk

For the icing:

  1. 1 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  2. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  3. 4 teaspoons milk

Preparation:

  1. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with butter. Line with a dusting of flour.
  2. In a small bowl, consolidate the dried fruits and apple juice.  Microwave for 30 seconds, and set aside for later.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining wet ingredients for the buns. Mix thoroughly with a whisk or electric mixer.
  4. In a smaller bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the buns (excluding the fruit, of course, which is stewing in the juice). Add them to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
  5. Add in the fruit/juice mixture and beat further.
  6. Spread a light coating of flour on a sufficiently large flat surface. Knead the dough until it is soft and elastic. (This should take 5-6 minutes.)
  7. Divide the dough into ice cream scoop sized pieces, and place them in your pan (or on a baking sheet, in which case you should omit step 1 and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper instead). Cover and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for an hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk together glaze ingredients. Brush the glaze over the tops of the buns immediately after removing them from the oven.
  11. Allow the buns to cool for at least 10 minutes before beginning to prepare the icing. Meanwhile, you should slice the buns, if fused together, into your desired serving portions; you can keep them in the pan to do this.
  12. For the icing, mix the two ingredients, adding in more milk as needed. Pipe icing in a cross shape on top of each bun.
  13. Serve warm.

Enjoy, and I HOP everyBUNNY has an EGGcellent Easter, filled with chocolate and hot cross PUNS. (Sorry, I had to!).

 

Making Pancakes on a Sunday Morning

You’ll wake up one morning, and you’ll be really, bizarrely hungry. You’ll yawn, rub your eyes, and contemplate going back to sleep. But you won’t; you’ll swing your legs out of bed and slippers half-on you’ll wander into the kitchen. Without a second thought, you’ll start making pancakes, greasing the pan with butter and adding extra chocolate chips. You’ll flip them, and it’ll feel so easy, so fun. They’ll fly through the air, and you’ll laugh as they land on the stove with a plop. You’ll have to put them back in the pan and wait a couple minutes. The edges will turn golden-brown, and you’ll switch off the stove. You’ll finally find that syrup in the back of your cabinet, and you’ll open it for the first time in years. It’ll all spill out, too much, but you won’t really care. You’ll just dip your finger in it, and you’ll realize that this, this is what recovery tastes like.

Ingredients:

  1.  1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 2 eggs
  3.  3/4 cup blueberries
  4. 1 cup milk
  5. 3 tablespoons melted butter OR mildly flavoured (I recommend either vegetable or canola, but coconut can be substituted if necessary) oil, extra for greasing and garnish
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  7. 1 3/4 tablespoons sugar
  8. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  9. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  10. Maple syrup, optional, to taste

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, and milk. Whisk well.
  3. Combine the contents of the two bowls. Stir until the batter is uniform.
  4. Add blueberries.
  5. Heat a griddle or large frying pan to medium heat. Grease it with butter or oil so that the pancakes do not stick to it.
  6. In approximately 1/4 cup portions, ladle the batter onto said pan.
  7. Let the pancake cook for approximately two minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.
  8. Flip your pancake and cook for another 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 until you run out of batter.
  10. Serve pancakes with butter and syrup.
  11. Enjoy!

EKG Cookies

Want the perfect Valentine for the one who fixed your broken heart? Make your cardiologist these adorable EKG cookies!

Cookies:

Ingredients:

  1. 3 cups flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1 cup butter
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 teaspoon almond extract
  7. 2 tablespoons almond extract
  8. 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  9. Pinch of salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar.
  3. Add egg, heavy cream, and vanilla and almond extracts. Beat again.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  5. Combine dry and wet ingredients. Beat.
  6. Using the largest heart cookie cutter you have, shape cookies and use a spatula to transfer them to a greased baking tray.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. 
  8. Cool cookies for 2-3 hours before decorating.

Icing:

Ingredients:

  1. 4 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1 cup water or milk
  3. Red and pink food coloring

Tools:

  1. 6 plastic bags, at least one decorating tip, food coloring, and an icing pen OR
  2. 3 plastic bags and pre-made decorating pens in your desired colors

Preparation:

  1. Deposit 1 cup of the sugar in a bowl. Add water by the tablespoon, stirring as you go, until the mixture has the consistency of toothpaste. Place the icing in a plastic bag and configure your icing pen as directed. If you have a pre-made decorating pen, you can skip this step. 
  2. Line the edges of the cookies.
  3. Dilute the icing with at least 1/6 cup of water or until syrupy. Transfer the icing to a bag, slice one corner of said bag, and flood the cookies beginning at the center.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3, adding in food coloring to both icing batches. 
  5. Allow the cookies to set over night. 
  6. Use the remaining cup of sugar to prepare and decorate as directed in step 1. Carefully adorn the cookies with various heart rhythms before giving them to your favorite doctor.

Recipe: Non-Fried Fries

Because I don’t want to get burning oil in my eye and blind myself, I have decided to bake these.


Ingredients:

  1. 1 large baking potato
  2. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  3. cooking spray
  4. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  5. sprinkle of chile and garlic powders
  6. pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Slice potato into as many thin slices as possible.
  3. Mix oil, salt, and spices. Toss potato slices with mixture.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (latter preferred). Spray with cooking spray and spread potatoes in a single layer.
  5. Bake potatoes for 25 minutes. Flip over and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from tray, plate, and sprinkle with pepper.

Recipe: Chocolate Tofu Pie

Tofu in pie? It sounds weird, I know, but trust me when I say it’s wonderful.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 3/4 cup chocolate wafer cookies (or chocolate graham crackers), crushed
  2. 1/3 cup coconut oil
  3. 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  4. 12.3 ounces (1 package) tofu, drained and blotted dry
  5. 1/2 cup soy milk, unsweetened preferred
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  8. 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, mash chocolate wafer cookies. Combine cookie crumbs with coconut oil and two tablespoons of cocoa powder. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie pan, making sure the crust is spread evenly.
  3. Bake for 18-20 minutes and then cool for at least an hour.
  4. Melt chocolate chips either atop the stove or in the microwave. If you are microwaving the chips, do so in 1/6 cup or less increments and microwave no longer than ten seconds to avoid burning. For the stovetop approach, simmer water in a sauce pan and place a metal bowl on top of it; melt the chips in said bowl, stirring often with a spatula.
  5. In a food processor or blender, combine chocolate, tofu, salt, vanilla, cocoa powder, and soy milk. Blend/pulse until thoroughly mixed. Pour into crusted pie pan.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours prior to serving. Garnish with whipped cream and berries if desired.

Recipe: Microwave ‘Baked’ Potato

Because ovens are hard and I’m hungry now.


Ingredients:

  1. 1 large potato
  2. 1 cup mixed vegetables
  3. 1/4 cup sour cream (or 1/2 cup Greek yogurt for a lower fat, higher protein option!)
  4. 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  5. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 1 tablespoon butter
  7. Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  1. Stab the large potato seven times with a fork. This is fun and a great way to channel your rage; it also allows the moisture to escape during the cooking process.
  2. Put one tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Roll the potato in the oil, sprinkling it with salt as you go.
  3. Place the potato in a microwave safe dish and microwave for five minutes. Once the five minutes have past, flip the potato over and microwave for another five minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pan, stir-fry mixed vegetables with remaining olive oil. Cook for ten minutes. 
  5. Slit the top of the potato and fill with grated cheese. Microwave for another minute. Top with vegetables and microwave for additional minute. Immediately add butter.
  6. Top with Greek yogurt/sour cream and pepper. 

Recipe: Butterscotch Caramel Blondies

Do you want your whole house to smell like butterscotch? If so, try this very easy recipe for butterscotch caramel blondies!


Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup brown sugar
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  9. 1/4 cup caramel chips
  10. 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  11. 1/8 cup caramel chips
  12. Pinch of sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Stir these dry ingredients.
  3. Melt butter for 30 seconds in the microwave before placing it, too, in the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Whisk until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Now add the various chocolate (and chocolate-like) chips. Make sure these are distributed throughout the batter.
  5. Grease an 8×8 pan with butter or baking spray. Pour batter into the pan, ensuring it is spread evenly.
  6. Bake for 28-35 minutes or until a knife inserted into the pan’s center comes out clean.
  7. Allow blondies to cool for at least an hour before cutting into squares and serving.