Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Recipes: My Reviews

As I have shared, I gave up desserts and alcohol for Lent this year.

This meant that when Easter came, I was SOOO excited to do some baking!  I hadn't realized that when I decided to give up desserts, I would also give up baking.  Its not as much fun to bake when you can't even taste what you've made.

Thanks to Pinterest and other bloggers, I had a LONG list of recipes I wanted to try for Easter.  I told my hubby not to worry, that I was going to try many recipes this year to decide which ones would be worth making every year and which were worth forgetting about.

The seven Easter recipes yielded quite an Easter Sweet plate ... starting at the top and going clock-wise:
Easter Story Meringue cookies (12:00), Salted Caramel Easter Popcorn (2:00), Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies (4:00), Cake Batter Truffles (I called them Easter Cake Balls, 6:00), Rice Krispie Treat Eggs (8:00), Hot Cross Buns (10:00), Resurrection Rolls (Center) 

I will now share my experience with making each of these cookies starting with the Easter treats I am most likely to make again and proceed to the treats I am least likely to make again.

First Place:
Easter Cake Balls
(The recipe calls them Cake Batter Truffles):

These cake balls were easy, really delicious and great size for a little Easter treat.  They make a great item to take to a party, share with teachers in the teacher's lounge, take to church, or send a plate to neighbors.  They are REALLY good -- coated with melted almond bark!

One thing I learned through making these Easter Cake Balls for the first time was how QUICKLY almond bark hardens.  The first tray of cake balls, I dipped all of them in the almond bark and then tried to add the sprinkles at the end -- that didn't work at all!  All of the cake balls had already hardened and the sprinkles didn't stick.  For my second tray, I dipped and I asked Chris to sprinkle so we had an I LOVE LUCY assembly line going as I frantically tried to dip before the bark hardened and tried not to run out of the delicious melted bark.  All in all, I will definitely make these again... and I will definitely call them Easter Cake Balls.

Second Place:
Easter Egg Rice Krispie Treats
Rice Krispie Easter Recipe:

I largely tried this recipe for my hubby because he loves Rice Krispie Treats and the reason this recipe finished so high in my Easter Recipe Review is because of my hubby.  I'm not a big fan of Rice Krispie Treats but these were fun to make and I can definitely see these being really fun to make with kiddos in the future.

I couldn't find any Easter-colored M&Ms in our little town, so I added Sixlet candies, which I learned is my hubby's favorite candy.  I thought they turned out really colorful and they're so adorable with the egg-shape.  The recipe suggested dipping the rice krispie eggs in frosting and adding sprinkles, but I decided they were sweet enough without the frosting

Something I learned through making these was that once you choose to make Rice Krispie Treats in Egg-shapes, you then have Baking Plastic Eggs.  To get the egg-shape, you spray a plastic egg with PAM and press the Rice Krispie Treat into the plastic egg.  It works great, but what I learned is you can't really get the greasy PAM off the plastic egg after you use the egg in this manner.  I washed them in hot soapy water and washed each one individually and they're still pretty greasy.  I now have plastic Easter eggs just for baking.

Third Place:
Resurrection Rolls
Resurrection Rolls Recipe:

Resurrection Rolls are a recipe that helps illustrate the story of Easter to children, because... theoretically you put a marshmallow in the roll, and then when they're baked, the child bites into the Resurrection Roll and the roll is empty, just like the tomb was empty!

It is a great idea, and the cinnamon, sugar, marshmallow and roll all taste delicious.  In my kitchen, however, many of the tombs were so excited to be empty that they burst open before anyone bit into them.  I'm not sure if this was due to the altitude, or maybe the biscuit was too thin around the marshmallow, but either way they were good and I love the story that goes with them.

Fourth Place:
Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns Recipe:

Not only had I never made Hot Crossed Buns, but I had never eaten Hot Crossed Buns or knew that they were Easter affiliated.  Thank you, to the Pioneer Woman for introducing me to this Good Friday/Easter tradition.

Sometimes I am intimidated by Pioneer Woman recipes because she uses her iron skillet -- and ours is still pretty un-seasoned (because we don't use it very often), and she has recipes that involved rolling out dough (and most of our kitchen is tiled, so I end up rolling out dough on our flat, glass-topped stove)... and it is just a little intimidating.  However, I did not shy away from the Hot Cross Buns and I'm glad I didn't.

I think my buns could have risen a little more, and probably looked more golden and delicious, and making frosting at this altitude always seems to cause a headache... but the bottom line is that they tasted really good and I felt proud enough of them to send them to school with my hubby on Good Friday.  They tasted just like cinnamon buns!  YUM!

Fifth Place:
Salted Caramel Easter Popcorn
Salted Caramel Easter Popcorn Recipe:

The Salted Caramel Easter Popcorn was fun to make and really delicious... but it is SOOOO STICKY!  I think if I could figure out how to make popcorn balls out of this recipe, it would be okay.  Or even just figure out how to store it without it sticking to everything would help... but despite the great taste, I might not make this again just due to the stickiness!

I did not send this to school with Chris because I basically had to end up storing it like a cake, and then you had to cut off pieces (or, more accurately, saw off pieces) as you wanted to eat some.  I'm not comfortable sending that sort of thing for adults to eat, but I did take it to my last Middle School Frisbee class yesterday and those kiddos LOVED it... so maybe I'll make it again next year just for the middle schoolers.  They weren't at all phased by the stickiness.

Sixth Place:
Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownie Recipe:

These Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies looked SOOO good... and they were really easy to make.  But all in all, I just think the brownie recipe wasn't all that great and I'm not really a big fan of Cadbury Creme Eggs.

I know... why did I make a recipe with Cadbury Creme Eggs if I don't really like them that much?  Well, I've always wanted to like Cadbury Creme Eggs, and I think Easter is just long enough year to year for me to forget that I really don't like these Easter treats.  I especially thought these Eggs looked SOOO delicious on the beautiful chocolate brownies.

I will say, if I have children who end up LOVING Cadbury Eggs... maybe I'll add the Cadbury Creme Eggs to the top of MY brownie recipe, but I won't need to follow this brownie recipe again.  Don't get me wrong, the brownies weren't bad... they just weren't as good as my mom's brownie recipe.  :-D

Seventh Place:
Easter Story Meringue Cookies
Easter Story Meringue Cookie Recipe:

I think its a great thing that in the seven Easter recipes I made -- not having baked in the past six weeks -- only one recipe was a total fail.  My total fail was the Easter Story Meringue Cookies.

I really like the Easter story that goes along with the baking, but our meringue cookies stuck to the waxed paper, the waxed paper stuck to the cookie sheets, and the resulting cookies were more like crumbled meringue sprinkles than cookies.

This situation could have been that we used waxed paper instead of parchment paper, or it again could be the altitude.  We might try the Easter Story cookies again... but this year, they did not get eaten -- or sent to school with Chris -- or given to middle schoolers.

Our Easter was wonderful, and it was so much fun to add some new Easter Cookies to our newlywed Easter traditions.  In addition to the Easter Cookies, I colored Easter eggs and Chris and Lexie and Lloyd hunted for them Easter morning.  :-D

Lexie with our "baking" plastic eggs (still trying to air them out)

Our Easter baskets

The Easter bunny brought Lloyd an Easter rawhide

What Easter recipes should I try next year?

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  1. Wow, girl! You really baked a lot! It all looks so yummy. Sorry about the fails. I definitely think it must be the altitude.
    At least you had other yummy successes to enjoy.

  2. I tried wax paper instead of parchment paper once and it was a disaster. I didn't realize there was a difference, but there definitely is!

  3. Wow, you made lots of yummy goodies! Loved reading your opinions of each recipe. We've talked about doing the resurrection cookies next year when the kids are a little older - I will keep in mind to be sure not to use wax paper! :)


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