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America’s Test Kitchen Deviled Eggs

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. In fact, the one food weakness he has is deviled eggs. Not just any deviled eggs. These.

Deviled Eggs02

I love my America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook. Something about the detail and testing that encompasses each recipe appeals to my logical nature. I don’t just want a recipe to be successful, I need to understand WHY it is so.

America's Test Kitchen Deviled Eggs - Bakerlady

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Easter Foods That Are Easier Than You’d Expect!

Easter is coming! Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite springtime breakfasts, sides and desserts, perfect for your family get-together this week! Just click on the recipe title to be taken to the full recipe! Enjoy and Happy Easter!Hard Boiled Eggs

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Hot Cross Buns

These light, gently spiced buns are one of my favorite Easter week traditions. I make them every Good Friday, always bringing them to my mom for sharing with a  cup of tea. This recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is a little time intensive, but not difficult and, it has never failed me.  You get big, beautifully golden rolls that are a perfect breakfast or brunch treat. Although they are a traditional Easter delight, these buns are delectable (my daughter’s new favorite word) all year round.

I love bread. It’s so gorgeous.

And, it kinda makes me happy in my heart.

I’m sure food shouldn’t do that, but these buns just have that effect on me. Mmmmm.

Hot Cross Buns

* 3/4 C buttermilk, warm (110 degrees)
* 6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
* 3 large eggs
* 4 1/4 C all purpose flour
* 1/4 C sugar
* 1 envelope instant or rapid-rise yeast
* 1 1/4 t salt
* 1 t ground cinnamon
* 1 C  raisins
* 1 large egg
* 1 T water
Glaze:
* 3/4 C powdered sugar
* 1 t milk
* 1/2 t vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

1. For the buns: Whisk the buttermilk, melted butter and eggs together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 4 C of the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and cinnamon in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
2. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If after 5 minutes, more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/4 C flour, 1 T at a time until the dough clears the side of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.
3. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter, add the raisins and knead by hand to form a smooth round ball with evenly distributed raisins. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place  until doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
4. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, divide it into 12 even pieces. round the pieces of dough into small taut rolls. Arrange the rolls in the prepared baking pan and wrap tightly with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until the rolls have nearly doubled in size and are pressed against on another, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the egg and water together and brush over the buns. Then, using a sharp knife, cut an X through the top 1/4 inch of each bun. Bake until golden and puffed, 25-30 minutes.
6. For the glaze: Let the rolls cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Whisk the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together then drizzle in an X into the cut groves of the buns. Serve warm.

Simple Egg Salad Sandwich

It is practically a requirement to eat egg salad sandwiches the day after Easter. Or for an entire week after Easter if you have lots of kids who collected gads of eggs. Funny story actually, at my parents yesterday there were LOADS of kids scurrying about collecting eggs (we have a big family). Candy filled, some with money in them, bubble eggs, confetti eggs – we had the whole spectrum of oval-shaped delights. As I was watching kids eagerly scooping them up and into their baskets, I saw one little girl pick up a “real” egg. When she realized it wasn’t chocolate coated, sugary or filled with a treat/toy – she turned up her nose in disgust and put it right back where she found it. It was cause for great amusement among the adults who witnessed it, but made me a little sad that our kids don’t realize the simple joy of an egg anymore. Eggs are like the perfect food. In addition to being a great source of protein, the hard-boiled ones are easily transportable and delicious. I’m glad my munchkins brought home a bunch of them for me yesterday so I could make this salad for our sandwiches today. [Read more…]

Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a’ penny, two a’ penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons
One a’ penny,
Two a’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns!

That’s right. The girls get them first! Lightly spiced, filled with flavor and pretty much the one exception to my raisins in bread rule – I love hot cross buns on Good Friday. These rolls are perfect warm from the oven with a little butter and a cup of tea. I love the simple reminder on top of these rolls of the cross. The sacrifice paid for me. Thank you Jesus!

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Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

It’s Easter time and everyone is getting their eggs ready to be dyed, hidden, found and gobbled up. I’ve discovered a couple of things that help create absolutely perfectly hard-boiled eggs. You may be thinking “How hard can it be? Throw some eggs in some bubbling water, right?” Wrong! It’s really a science. There are atrocities passed off as hard-boiled eggs on every buffet table in America. No more I say! No chalky yolks. No ugly gray rim where the yellow meets the white. No dry rubbery texture. And most importantly of all, no pockmarks where you’ve spent 30 minutes picking off miniscule pieces of shell that stubbornly cling to the egg despite your best efforts. I believe in a better egg! Ok, climbing off my soapbox now to tell you exactly how to do it! [Read more…]

No Hoo-Ha Carrot Cake

At various times in my life I have turned up my nose in disgust at carrot cakes. Seriously. Carrots? Those are a vegetable and I love them – they do not belong in cake. I compartmentalize my food. If I’m being “bad” and eating cake, I don’t want to mix up that emotion with the “good” of eating a vegetable. I’m not adept at sorting out that many contrasting feelings. However, I realized this week that I used to feel the same way about zucchini cakes – until I discovered that my mother’s chocolate zucchini cake (I’ll have to make that soon and post the recipe) is one of the most delicious things on the planet. So I decided to give carrot cake a sporting chance. It’s Easter week after all – what better cake to make? [Read more…]

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

Happy Easter! These little candies are perfect for giving to some-bunny you love. They also make egg-ceptional Easter basket items! Hop some over to your neighbors, they’ll love you forever! Oh, I crack myself up…ok, enough with the egg jokes. The peanut butter mixture is very crumbly, add the milk until you can pick up a handful, squeeze it and have it hold its shape.  I would suggest making them no larger than about an inch and a half long – they are VERY sweet! [Read more…]

Peeps

It’s Peeps season! Spring is here, the sun is partially out, Easter is just around the corner & the cherry trees are blooming. Which, incidentally means my poor hubby’s allergies have kicked in. Poor guy. Every grocery store has boxes and boxes of Peeps lining their featured shelves. Yellow! Pink! Purple! Bunnies & chicks…there they are with their little mournful brown eyes. Begging, seeming to plead with me “eat me, eat me!”. I found out in a recent meeting that my pastor at church LOVES Peeps. Who knew!? Somehow I figured he was too intellectually and spiritually deep a person to enjoy what is essentially puffed up sugar. Topped with more sugar. But what am I saying? Peeps are one of my favorite treats on the planet, and I’m practically a genius and I totally dig Jesus. So maybe Peeps are just the sweet of choice for those who are truly mentally gifted. Or maybe Bible reading stimulates the sugar receptors in our brains? Yeah. That must be it. 🙂 [Read more…]

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

* 3/4 C buttermilk, warm (110 degrees)
* 6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
* 3 large eggs
* 4 1/4 C all purpose flour
* 1/4 C sugar
* 1 envelope instant or rapid-rise yeast
* 1 1/4 t salt
* 1 t ground cinnamon
* 1 C  raisins soaked in orange juice, then drained well
* 1 large egg
* 1 T water
Glaze:
* 3/4 C powdered sugar
* 1 t orange juice
* 2 t milk
* 1/2 t vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

1. For the buns: Whisk the buttermilk, melted butter and eggs together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 4 C of the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and cinnamon in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
2. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If after 5 minutes, more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/4 C flour, 1 T at a time until the dough clears the side of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.
3. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter, add the raisins and knead by hand to form a smooth round ball with evenly distributed raisins. Place the dgh in a lightly oiled bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place (turn oven on to 400 degrees for 1 minute, then turn off and place dough inside with door closed) until doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
4. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, divide it into 12 even pieces. round the pieces of dough into small taut rolls. Arrange the rolls in the prepared baking pan and wrap tightly with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until the rolls have nearly doubled in size and are pressed against on another, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the egg and water together and brush over the buns. Then, using a sharp knife, cut an X through the top 1/4 inch of each bun. Bake until golden and puffed, 25-30 minutes.
6. For the glaze: Let the rolls cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Whisk the powdered sugar, milk, orange juice and vanilla together then drizzle in an X into the cut groves of the buns. Serve warm.

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