Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Honey Spice Christmas cookies

Christmas cookies 200861

The Good Ol' Days
This is a recipe my mom used to make when I was little and I've always new that whenever Christmas was near, my favorite cookies' smell would fill the air.
It was times, when there weren't that many cookies in the store, 2-3 kinds and people used to rely on their cooking skill and recipes to satisfy their sweet tooth. Recipes were furiously kept secret and cookies had more than deliciously tasteful value. They were like currency! People used them to "bribe" other people in doing them favors :-)

It was customary to bring something sweet whenever you go to the doctors for example, and the better the cookies, the better care you get.
It was expensive and time consuming way of making things, but perhaps people appreciated them more.

I've never made the cookies myself before,but I wanted my kids to remember them as something their grandmother makes, something that is warming you up your soul as well as your mouth.

Рецептата и на български, с благодарности към Мария, че е положила толкова труд да обясни стъпка по стъпка как правя тези бисквитки и на български, и освен това е предложила много нови идеи за украса!  

The( original) Bears:
Christmas cookies 200868

The journey of a recipe's remaking
So I started.
Now, here is a time to mention that although my father has always been fit, he ate a lot! And I mean A LOT! So, I remember my mom telling me, she used to make cookies with 4 lbs of honey and I decided, since I am going to give away some for Christmas, to do the same- knead dough with 4 lbs honey.

Boy...was I in for a surprise.
My mom, as much as I love her, was never "the scientific " type of cook. For her flour was always" on demand" or " as much as the dough should be soft".
My whole being is rioting against this unfairness in her cooking notebook! So, every time I try a recipe she wrote down, I measure...and measure...then sift...then measure some more, then try...and try again and at some point I have the called amount and I write it down victoriously in her notebook :-).

Well, this recipe was indeed like the others- flour on demand. So, I started and finally I got the correct amount- 5 cups. But...what she missed to mention is that 4 times the original dose is like 8 lbs of dough!
I started mixing and no surprise, I ended up with so much dough, I had to make couple of different kinds of cookies with it and I still have a quarter left in the freezer ( how the latter would turn out I'll let you know in a couple of weeks).

The coconut porcupines:
Christmas cookies 200858

The RECIPE
So, here is the recipe for one dose:
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey( liquid texture, so warm it up a little bit)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp nutmeg
2 tbsp cocoa
5 cups of flour ( have at least 1 more for the rolling out to sift on your working surface)

#If you are going to make the bear kind you are going to need a bag of M&M's.
# If you are going to make the chocolate hearts kind you are going to need a jar of strawberry jam and 2 cups of melted chocolate with 2 tbsp vegetable oil in it.
# If you are going to make the porcupines, you'll need 1/2 cup chocolate and some grated coconut.
# If you are going to make the icing type cookies, you'll need some colored sugar sprinkles and a bag of royal icing.

Directions:
Preheat the oven at 350F.
Mix the sugar and eggs ( room temperature) until they are fluffy, then add the honey and vegetable oil. In a separate bowl sift together the flour ( except the one cup you've set aside for the rolling out), baking soda, cocoa and spices.

Combine both mixtures together and knead the dough until it is very soft but it doesn't stick to your hands. Have in mind that all these types of cookies are a little bit sticky anyway, so if you are able to roll out the dough with flour on the surface, then you definitely can start cutting them, you don't need more flour.

Cut the desired shape then place in a pan on a piece of parchment/baking paper. Have in mind that the cut shapes have to have at least an inch around them, because they rise while baking.

Bake on 350F until golden brown ( about 20 min). Take them out and let them rest for 2 min in the pan, then place them with a spatula on a baking rack to cool down. When completely cool you can decorate.

*Very important note*: Immediately after baking these cookies are soft, then they become very, very hard! You have to decorate them, place them in a box or just cover them with foil and let them rest for a couple of days to become soft again! The longer you leave them to rest, the softer they become and the better the taste.
Enjoy!

If you want to check out the recipe in Bulgarian, click here.



The Royal icing honey spice cookies:
Christmas icing cookies 20088

The chocolate hearts with strawberry jam:
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Christmas icing cookies 20083

Sticky Lemon Turkey a la Gordon Ramsey

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Did you ever have trouble figuring out what to do with the turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving? Well, this year we had lot left so I had to figure out what to do with it and then I remembered that I can make Gordon Ramsey's sticky lemon chicken that I've seen on Youtube, but with turkey :-)
You can see the video here.

What I did is, I've cut the turkey in small pieces, then followed Gordon's recipe and voila!
Christmas cookies 200822


One more thing I did differently is that I used mint instead of thyme, both in chicken and mashed potatoes.
It was delicious!

Enjoy!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Strawberry pie

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As I promised in my previous post, here is the recipe for the strawberry pie I've made for Thanksgiving.
After I've read a lot on pies ( crusts and fillings separately) I've used the Culinary Cafe recipe for crust. I am pasting it as it is there, you can check the full explanation and wonderful article they have here:

* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
* 1/4 to 1/2 cup water

1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in food processor. Add butter; process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 8 to 10 seconds. For hand method, place dry ingredients in large bowl. Add butter; blend with pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal.

2. Add ice water in a slow steady stream through feed tube of food processor with machine running, until the dough holds together for no longer than 30 seconds. For hand method, mix dough with a wooden spoon, adding water until dough just holds together.

3. Turn dough onto piece of plastic wrap. Press into flat circle, or rectangle depending on what shape you intend to roll out pastry to. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. May be frozen, double wrapped in plastic, for several months.

Now the filling is another story. My son wanted strawberry pie and I've never made one, so I did quite a research on how to do it. Most of the pies were "cold" in the sense they weren't baked with the strawberries, but my son wanted one that would be baked with the strawberries, so I had to think of something.
I combined couple of recipes in one and here is my filing:
-1 can of strawberry filling
-2 cups of fresh strawberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
4 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg white for brushing on top

Basically mix the can of filling, the fresh strawberries, the sugar( brown and white)and the vanilla extract well. In a separate cup mix the corn starch and the water and then add to the mixture. Pour in the filling over the bottom crust,cut whatever shapes you want on the the top crust and cover the pie with it.

Strawberry pie

Bake for 40-50 min on 350 F or until golden brown in color. Don't forget to cover the edge of the pie with aluminum foil so it wouldn't burn.
Take it out of the oven and let it sit for at lest 30 min. You can garnish it with whipped cream and nuts.

Strawberry pie

I have to admit I wanted to "improve" this recipe even more, but I didn't there since it was my first time making it. Anyway, my initial idea was to melt chocolate, and brush it over the bottom crust, let it cool and set and then to fill with the filling. I had also idea to put some pecans inside, but I guess I'll do that next time. If any of you tries it in the mean time with the extras, let me know how it did turn out.

We were never ones for pies, but this was out of this world delicious.I was afraid to bake a pie before because I thought it would be this runny mushy thing, but as you can see from the picture, it wasn't runny at all!!! It was grate and I'll definitely keep the recipe.
Enjoy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

As with Bulgarian tradition, we celebrate The day of the christian family a week earlier, but since Thanksgiving is an oficial holiday and my husband is not working, we celebrate it on Thanksgiving.
I like the idea of this holiday, to give thanks about things that happend and some that don't.
I am thankful about a lot of things, but the most important one is that we are healthy, we are together ( I still can't forget all these years of waiting...) and we are happy!
I am tankful that even the kids keep me busy I have the time ( mostly because of my husband) to do things I love, to imagine, to create, to feel me.
I am tankful for the bread on our table and as we Bulgarians say, "Pray to have as much[as today], when you have nothing"!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!
I'm posting the pictures from our Thanksgiving dinner, I'll probably post the recipes in the next couple of days.
This is my first ever strawberry pie. Until now, we didn't like as much pies. I mean we ate them, but didn't enjoy them, so I didn't bother to bake. My son was talking me into baking a strawberry pie for quite some time and I thought Thanksgiving is a good occasion.
Strawberry pie
Here it is after it was baked. I still can't believe it tasted amazingly delicious!!! The crust was just right, the consistency of the filling was just right, not runny at all as many people complain their pies turn out. I've made it with filling as well as with fresh strawberries. I'll be posting this recipe for sure!

Strawberry pie
And here is a piece of course:
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We also had Thanksgiving bread:
Thanksgiving bread
And our tomato-mozzarella salad:
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And some saute green beans, as well as some mashed potatoes:
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And our pear-jam glazed turkey ( it was delicious, but I prefer the look of the one I've made last year).
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And last but not least, the cranberry-pomegranate freshly brewed drink, that we like to mix with fresh tangerines and lemons, as well with some red wine:
Thanksgiving0811
I just love that last one, of course the kids get only the juice :-)
Have a nice weekend!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spinach Phyllo Triangles or Spanakopita



This is unbelievably easy recipe that I haven't made in a long time!
Today I had some fresh spinach and I decided to make "banitsa" for dinner but I wanted it to be different than the usual one I make. So I chose the triangular shape and made a filling from eggs, feta cheese, spinach and butter. I hope you like the pictures, I am trying to learn how to do it properly, not much of a success but a lot better than it was :-)

Ingredients:
1 package phyllo dough
6 eggs
2 cups grated feta cheese( you can also mash it with a fork if you want)
8 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 package of baby spinach

Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven at 350 F degrees.Rinse really well the spinach, then cut it in small pieces. In a preheated pan saute the baby spinach with the vegetable oil.

2. Add the eggs and feta cheese and stir for a couple of minutes ( until all the water is gone and the eggs are getting stiff enough to serve with a spoon).

3. Cut each phyllo sheets into two long pieces. Brush the long pieces with butter, then at one end  of each piece add a 1 tablespoon full of spinach mixture. Start folding in triangular shape ( every time you have to have a right triangle that helps keep the mixture inside)

4. Place the triangles on a greased cookie sheet or pan and bake on 350F until golden in color( around 15-20 minutes).

5. Serve warm with a piece of cheese, yogurt or milk.
Enjoy!

P.S By the way I am starting to prepare the cake for the October cake challenge, wish me luck!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

The fringe benefits of yogurt


You all know that I am originally from Bulgaria.
Well, the one thing you probably don't know or haven't payed attention to is that one of the bacterias used for making yogurt is named Lactobacillus Bulgaricus.
First identified in 1905 by the Bulgarian doctor Stamen Grigorov, it is named after Bulgaria. This bacterium is also regarded as aciduric or acidophilic, due to the fact that it requires a relatively low pH (around 5.4-4.6) in order to grow effectively.
The bacterium feeds on milk and produces lactic acid which also helps to preserve the milk. It breaks down lactose and is often helpful to sufferers of lactose intolerance, whose digestive systems lack the enzymes to break down lactose to simpler sugars. While fermenting milk, Lactobacillus bulgaricus produces acetaldehyde, which perfumes yogurt.

Not until I came to the US I started making my own yogurt. I was intimidated by the legends how difficult it is to make nutritious ( and delicious) yogurt at home.
Would you get the right temperature, would you have the right milk, the right starter...it all seemed too much and too time consuming.
Well, believe me, this is indeed an urban legend!
First I started looking for a yogurt maker but this wasn't easy task to accomplish since we consume 8 to 10 gallons a month and the yogurt makers they sell can contain no more than 1.5 quarts at a time, which meant I have to make EVERY SINGLE DAY yogurt in order to have it on the table. Thanks, but no thanks I said, if it's going to be like that I'll better buy it! But then, thanks to a friend of mine I found the right yogurt maker for our needs! It has a bigger lid which makes it easy to fit 1 gallon jar , similar to this one ( I bought it from Walmart for $8) and can make 1 gallon of milk at a time!
What a treat!!!
So I started making yogurt all right, but it didn't turn out as I expected, it wasn't the right consistency.
And I started looking for the reason.
After a lot of reading and deliberation and not without the help of this wonderful lady's blog
( check out the recipe, she has a lot of amazing stuff on making cheese etc.) I found out that nothing was wrong with the way I was making the yogurt, but rather the milk I am using.
It turns out that companies that are selling milk are diluting it with water( or something), so no matter how you make your yogurt...if the milk is not good, there is no way in hell you are going to have a nice thick yogurt at the end!
My grandmother used to say, that whenever you make yogurt you have to check if it turned out OK by turning over the open jar- if the yogurt is so thick it doesn't fall, you've made it right!
I've tried no less than 12 different kinds of yogurt until I found the right one, produced by a local farm. So now, my yogurt is exactly that way-thick and rich, with the specific sour flavour that we adore!
If you haven't ever considered making yogurt, you don't know what you are missing! The one in the store is nothing compared to the one made at home and I mean it!
If nothing else, it is a lot cheaper when you prepare it yourself! The one at the store I buy for $2.75 per quart, and when I make it costs me around 1.25-1.50 per quart. This is no less than $50 per month cheaper, it is healthier and the taste is incomparably better( check the picture of my yogurt!)!
How to resist it? :-)



Divine Chocolate Espersso pudding with Raw chocolate chips


I know, I know! I haven't posted anything in a while, but it really has been crazy around here!
We are getting a dog ( on top of everything), so beware :-) I'll post a lot of pictures of the little rascal when we bring him home on Nov, 8th :-)
I am desperate to start working on my project for the October Cake Challenge, because it is a very demanding and difficult structure ( why would I do something easy, right :-( ) and it will take a lot of time, but I still haven't received the tools I ordered, so I have no idea when I am going to be ready with it! People started already sending pictures, and I have just a drawing on a napkin and a fair idea what it would look like.
Now, in order for you to forgive me, here is a recipe I am in love with! :-)

Now, I am not " Bon Appetit"( the magazine) kind of person, but I've won a subscription for it a while ago. So here is a recipe that I took from the magazine. I've made a couple of changes that make it different enough( and better) from the original.
First of all I didn't have enough chocolate (shame on me) at home, something that almost never happens to me, second of all I've been experimenting with raw chocolate chips for some time, and in my opinion, this one just hit the jackpot!

Ingredients:
1/2 cups +4 tbsp white sugar
4 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
4 cups whole milk
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips( you can use semi-sweet chocolate, just cut on the sugar!)
1 cup raw chocolate chips
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tsp vanilla extract

Strawberries, nuts, whatever you would like to add as a garnish. You can use whipping cream as well, I just didn't have any at the time.
Makes 8-10 ramekins

Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, espresso powder and cocoa in a heavy saucepan to blend. Add gradually the milk and stir well until the espresso is dissolved. Add the bittersweet chocolate chips and stir over medium heat until the chocolate chips melts.

In a cup place the raw chocolate chips and water then heat in a microwave for 1-2 minutes or until the water changes color to dark brown.
Add to the cornstarch mixture and stir well. Have in mind, that raw chips will stay in whole pieces, although it will soften. It develops quite pleasant texture in my opinion.

Add the butter and vanilla extract and stir until the blend thickens.

Divide mixture in serving glasses or ramekins, cover up and chill until cold ( about 2-3 hours).
Garnish to taste, serve cold.

I would add it goes amazingly with a glass of brandy ;-)
Enjoy


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dobruzhanki - Baking soda bread rolls


This is one recipe that my family likes a lot but personally I have a reason to like it even better- they are the most easy bread rolls you can make and on top of that they are without yeast. Dobrudzhanki are very popular in Bulgaria, especially as breakfast rolls. They are named after a Northern-East part of Bulgaria - Dobrudzha. They are also popular as Marzelivki ( which means "lazy ones").

The ingredients are:
- 2 cups yogurt ( I make yogurt at home, that is more sour than the one in store which gives it a specific flavor, but you can very well use the store bought as well)
- 2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt ( if you are using feta cheese do not use any salt!)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
-5 cups flour ( sifted)
- 1/2 stick butter ( hard, not melted!)
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese ( you can use feta, it's even better)
Toppings and fillings as you like- sesame, poppy seed, dry onion, bacon etc.
It makes 20 rolls

Preheat the over at 375 or 390 F ( depends on the oven). In a mixer bowl mix the yogurt and baking soda. It will make a reaction, because the yogurt is sour, so it is perfectly normal to notice the bubbles that are going to come out on top of the mixture. Add the salt, vegetable oil and slowly add flour while stirring.
Add the Parmesan and/or the other fillings and stir by hand.
Pour a little bit oil in a cup and get your hands oily as much as possible, then take a handful of dough and shape it as a roll. Place the roll on a greased pan, place the toppings you like and a small piece of butter on top of each roll ( you can push it a little bit down). Bake for 20 min or until golden on top. Serve warm!
Enjoy!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Broccoli and chedar soup ( Panera Bread version?)


A while ago, a friend of mine had posted a "Panera bread" recipe for broccoli and cheddar soup, but unfortunately I've lost the link, so when I decided to actually try the recipe, I had to look it up myself.
It is a pretty basic "cream" soup, so I Googled it and the first link that popped up seemed OK, so I gave it the try. I have made couple of "adjustments" to my liking and knowledge, if you want to check out the original recipe, click here.
It is a really nice soup, but we are soup lovers :-) Here it is:

Ingredients:
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2/3 cup melted butter
1 cup flour
4 cups half-and-half
1/2 pound fresh broccoli ( you can use frozen ones as well)
2/3 cup carrots, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
16 ounces grated sharp cheddar( better orange than white)

Preparation.
In a large pan heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on a medium heat, then gently melt the 2 tablespoons butter in it. Lower the heat if you have to, you don't have to burn the butter! It would give unpleasant flavor to the soup later. Add chopped onion and saute for 1-1.5 min, until golden in color. Add the carrots and stir well, let it stand on the stove for another minute, then place the lid on the pan and set it aside.
In a separate pan on a medium heat "bake" the flour while constantly stirring. It has to change its color until it becomes slightly brownish pink color- NOT DARK brown though! Be very careful not to burn it! Add the melted butter and cook for couple of seconds then stirring constantly slowly add the half-and-half (you can very well use whole or regular milk as well). Simmer for 5 min on very low heat while stirring from time to time.

* If you are using frozen broccoli, add 1 cup water to the onions and carrots mix, then boil and add the frozen broccoli. Stir and when the broccoli change color, with immersion blender( or a regular blender) puree until creamy.

* If using fresh broccoli, add them to the onion and carrot mix and steam over low heat until they change color and become softer. Puree with an immersion blender until creamy

To the onion, carrot and broccoli add the butter, flour and half-and-a-half mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir well. Cook over low heat ( do not let it boil!!) until the veggies are tender ( aprox. 20 min).Add the grated cheddar cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.
I personally added a tablespoon of sour cream and a dill leaf. It was a really nice touch.
Enjoy!

Monday, April 28, 2008

" Zelnik" - Potato and leek phyllo dough pastry

I have made this pastry almost 3 months ago, but I didn't get the chance to post it earlier, so I am posting it now.
The prehistory of this pastry is unfamiliar to me- who "invented" it, who "advertised" it so others can start baking it, I really don't know.
In my family though my Grandmother used to bake it for New year's Eve. She said it is called " zelnik" in Bulgarian, which literally means "made from cabbage", but there is no cabbage in the recipe. For a long time I've tried to find out why is it called that way.
In different places in Bulgaria this is prepared differently. Some say they call it "zelnik" because they prepare it with spinach and leek and they are green in color ("zelen" in Bulgarian is the color green, so the word is closer to "zelnik").
I cannot say that mine recipe is " the right way" to prepare "Zelnik", but this is the way it has stayed in the family for generations and we love to eat it, no matter how is called.

You can use store bought phyllo dough (you can find it in the freezer section even in Walmart, the most popular is Athens Food). If you do that skip the phyllo dough preparation explanation.

If you want homemade phyllo dough- the preparation is basically as the Turkish borek one. You can see it step-by-step here.

This time I used store bought phyllo dough.

For the filling-
1/2 lbs mashed potatoes
2 ans 1/2 cups cleaned and cut leek
2 eggs
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup grated mixed cheese

For the topping-
2 eggs
4 tbsp yogurt
4 tbsp water
1/8 tsp baking soda

Boil the potatoes, peel and mash them.Let them cool for at least 20 min.


Add the paprika, salt, black pepper, nutmeg and eggs!


In a pan sautee the Leeks with a tbsp of vegetable oil until they change their color to bright green. . Remember, this will take no more than 3 min! The leeks are very delicate, you don't want them to "melt".

In a big bowl combine the potatoes and leeks. Open the phyllo dough and place a couple of sheet on the bottom of a greased pan.

Now you can preheat the oven at 350F.
Spread couple of spoons of the potato-leek mixture over the phyllo dough and sprinkle the cheese on top.


Roll 3-4 sheets of phyllo dough together ( as shown in the picture). You can add as much sheets as you like, I like to roll 3 at first and then "close" it with 2 more on top of the opening of the roll.


Over the sheets in the greased baking pan place the rolls in a spiral as show in the picture, until you have finished all the sheets and potato-leek mixture.

If you have some cheese left, add it to the topping and spread evenly over the pastry.

Bake at 350 F for 40 min or until golden brown on top. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sweet Easter Breads- the recipe

Now, this recipe is NOT mine, but a nice lady from a Bulgarian forum( Scarlet, THANK YOU!). You can see the original recipe in Bulgarian here.

For the dough
7 and 1/2 cups( to 8 cups, depends how big are the eggs) sifted flour
1/8 tsp salt

6 large eggs
1 and 2/3 cup white sugar

4 tsp dry yeast
1 and 1/4 cup room temperature milk
1 tsp sugar

2/3 cup melted butter
2/3 cup vegetable oil


First preheat the oven at 350F( I use it to warm up the room at first).
Mix on high speed the eggs and sugar until creamy.
Sift the flour and add the salt.
In a bowl combine the milk, yeast and 1 tsp of sugar. Stir until the yeast dissolves completely, then cover with plastic wrap, cover with blanket or something similar, so it can stay warm and wait 15 min to rise.

If using bread machine, place first the wet ingredients, then the dry ingredients on top. Add the flour spoon by spoon, and start the Dough program on your machine. Use the cycle 2 times in a row, as you gradually add the oil and butter.

If kneading by hand, place the dry ingredients in the container where your are going to knead, then on top of them add the wet ingredients. Knead at least 40 minutes. The longer, the better! Gradually add the butter and oil while kneading. When the dough is ready, leave it in warm place ( today it was 95F at my kitchen) to rise.

After the dough is ready, shape it in a desired form, place in a greased pan, brush with egg white on top, sprinkle some sugar and/or some nuts and bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, depending on the shape you chose and the size of the pan you are using.
Enjoy!
You can see the breads I did make for the past 3 years here.



Easter, my Easter bread story

I am just sitting down for the first time today to enjoy a cup of mint and chamomile tea ( thanks honey!).
Yeah, you guessed right! Sunday is the orthodox Easter, and today I've baked for 8 hours ( yes, you've read correctly!)!!!
The first time I've baked kozunaci ( Bulgarian sweet Easter breads) I was 5 months pregnant with a HUGE BELLY, and when I say huge belly I don't mean the " I-ate-one-too-many-cherries" type of bellies. No, I mean " I-can't-see-my-feet" one.
Thanks to one wonderful woman, that had posted her recipe 3 years ago(you can see the original recipe here), my family has been able to have real Easters abroad ever since!
These are my very first Easter breads ever:

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I was so worried that this was beginner's luck, that I had trouble convincing myself to bake it again :-)
Well, next year( 2007) repeated the success with this:

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We liked them so much, that I started baking Easter breads on other occasions as well:

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But now, I want to show you the ones I've done this year:

I even decided to bake some for my son's school, and since I love the way they look as a whole pastry, not cut, I decided to bake them for the kids in muffin pans, so each one of them can have a smaller version of the big bread :-)
I hope they like them:

From the same dough I made some crescents with jam and poppy seed:

Overall, I made 6 medium breads, 16 crescents with jam and 22 mini breads:

And now that you are all anxious to try them, I will post the recipe in the next post :-)
Happy Easter!

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