Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter Tidings

Easter Sunday we were off to see our brother-in-law and his family. Life moves at a different pace out here where your party is threatened by cows, where Mass is said with grass under your feet, a dog in your arms and the view is spectacular! 
I whipped up some impromptu (and rather un-traditional) Eccles Cakes for the gathering. I figure if you're going to be late, at least bring something tasty! Not the cheapest of recipes, but this family couldn't get enough of them! Every time I turned around someone was chowing down, encouraging others. What an ego-boost.
Eccles Cakes
2 boxes of puff pastry
1 bag of assorted dried fruit (we used an antioxidant mix for fun)
1 beaten egg white (forgot to separate, so it was actual just all egg)
1 tsp of mixed spice (mixed is a fun word for baking: we used varying amounts of fresh nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and allspice)
2 tbsp butter
1 cup of sugar, divided

Oven 425F. Thaw the puff pastry: we didn't and then had to alternately roll it out and warm it up. Made for some wonky sizes.
Melt the butter, add 3/4c sugar, dried fruit and spices until evenly coated. Technically, Eccles cakes use candied fruit peel, but when you're under a time-constraint, ain't nobody got time for that. So technically, this may have been a little scone-like.
Cut the dough into rounds, like biscuits, and spoon the filling into the middle. Add another dough biscuit on top, wet and crease the edges with a fork to make sure they stick together. 
Baste the top with egg white (or a beaten egg because you NEVER remember to separate for breads) and sprinkle sugar on top.
Tradition says to cut three lines on top. I say cut SOMETHING because puff pastry...puffs. And then you get giant biscuit monsters.
Cook for 15 minutes, or until the top and bottom are golden. 
Unfortunately, no pictures of the end result- they were eaten too fast! But it looked like a puff pastry from a store with the sprinkled sugar on top!

Enjoy on a mountaintop, with friends or covet every crumb and wish for more. They were seriously that tasty.

Of course, it wouldn't be Easter without some egg-dying. We may have grown up and out of the hunt of the holiday, but my mom wanted to try a new dye-method. Shaving cream, anyone?

Take Jurassic Park shaving cream- you know, the Newman used to transport dino embryos- because it's all white. Drop on food coloring and swirl. 
 Realize you don't have red. And your teenagers will remind you that you now have green, yellow and blue. Which really gives you green...and green.
 Place egg and roll. You'll need plastic gloves for this one. Or suffer dyed hands.
 Leave the eggs coated for at least four minutes.
 We re-coated a few after the first egg was not nearly "swirly" enough. 
Wipe the shaving cream off- keep the gloves on. 
Enjoy radical looking eggs! They were pretty light in color, but it didn't smear! Perfect for making colored egg-salad. 

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