1. EASTER BUNNY CREAM CHEESE DANISH
makes 7 bunnies
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, separated
14 miniature semisweet chocolate chips, if desired
7 pink heart-shaped candy or another another favorite candy for the nose
Heat oven to 375°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper.
Unroll 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls onto work surface, leaving 1 square with 2 triangles rolled up tight. Set roll aside for later.
In medium bowl, beat 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 egg yolk until smooth and creamy. Place egg white in separate small bowl; beat with whisk until slightly frothy.
To make 1 bunny, separate 1 square of dough into 2 triangles. On cookie sheet, arrange triangles on top of each other with short sides together and long points at top opposite each other.
Fold top points over slightly to make bunny ears. Gently pinch middle sides of dough inward to make neck of bunny.
Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons cream cheese mixture just below neck in small circle to look like bunny’s fluffy tummy.
Pull bottom corners of dough triangles up over cream cheese mixture to resemble feet.
Cut roll of dough into 7 slices. Gently pinch and press 1 slice into side of bunny’s tummy to resemble a fluffy tail.
Lightly brush dough with beaten egg white. Arrange 2 miniature semisweet chocolate chips for eyes and 1 pink heart-shaped candy sprinkle for nose. Repeat to make 6 more bunnies.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
2. HATCHING DEVILED EGG CHICKS
6 boiled eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 pinch kosher salt
1 carrot, julienned
12 black peppercorns
Lay an egg on its side, and cut a small slice off the bottom (flatter) end. This is the base of the chick. Then cut about 1/2 – 3/4 inch off the top (pointy) end. This end piece is going to be the top of your chick.
Scoop all the yolks out of the eggs (don't forget the tops too), and mix them with the mayonnaise, mustard and salt. Put this filling into a plastic bag with a corner end snipped off, and pipe it into your eggs. Make sure the filling is about an inch taller than the top of the egg white so you will have plenty of room to make a face.
Place a top slice of egg white on each chick.
Use a knife to slice your julienned carrot into pieces 1/2 inch long. Place 2 peppercorns and a piece of carrot into the yolk of each egg to make the face. You may find it easier to use tweezers for these tiny pieces.
Arrange the eggs on your serving tray, then add feet by slipping the remaining slices of carrot under their bodies. Again, tweezers can help with this step. Place 3 pieces together on each side to make the feet.
Serve cold. Best served within 2 hours.
3. HASH BROWN EGG NESTS WITH AVOCADO
15 oz. frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 medium eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 tablespoon Cheddar cheese, shredded
½ tablespoon parsley, chopped
2 avocados, sliced and chilled
Mix hash browns, salt, pepper, olive oil and 1 cup Cheddar cheese in a mixing bowl
Grease the muffin pan and divide hash brown mixture. Use your fingers to pack them tightly and shape them into nests
Bake at 425 degrees F or until the edges have browned and the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes
Crack a medium egg into each nest and season with salt and pepper to taste
Top with crumbled bacon, 1 tablespoon cheddar cheese and parsley
Bake at 350 degrees F until the egg whites set, about 13 to 16 minutes
Let it cool, gently slide a knife along the edges and use a fork to lift it out of the pan
Dish and serve with chilled avocado slices
4. ITALIAN EASTER BREAD
For the bread:
1 cup whole milk
1 package rapid rise instant yeast
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
5-6 cups flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon anise extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
7 uncooked eggs, room temperature, dyed in preferred colors
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons whole milk
Warm the milk in the microwave for 45-60 seconds until just warm, not hot. Add in the package of rapid rise instant yeast and stir. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the softened butter and 2 cups of the flour on medium-speed until the mixture resembles a sandy texture. Then one at a time, beat in the 3 eggs. Slowly add in the milk/yeast mixture and sugar until combined. Add in the anise extract, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
Add in the rest (3-4 cups) of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is stiff, and not longer sticky (however, it will be slightly tacky). Knead dough in mixer until smooth.
Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a warm towel, and let rise in a warm place until at least doubled in sized (about 1-1 1/2 hours).
Once fully risen, punch down the dough with your fist. Divide the dough into 14 even portions. On a well-floured surface, roll each portion into a 12” long strips.
Take two strips, pinch one of the ends together, twist to form a braid, pinch the other end together, and loop into a circle. This will be the “nest” for the egg, so make sure the circle a good size to fit the egg. Repeat with the rest of the strips, making 7 nests altogether.
Place the nests on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the dough with the melted butter. Cover with a warm towel to rise again for another hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F about 15 minutes before the nests are done rising.
Once done rising again, place a dyed Easter egg into the middle of each nest, pushing down slightly to make an indentation.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let them sit on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then remove and place on a cooling rack until cooled completely.
Once completely cooled, make the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth and creamy. Add in more milk if consistency is too thick. Use a pastry brush, brush the glaze onto the top and sides of the bread, and sprinkle on the rainbow nonpareils.
Don’t worry, you can be very generous with the glaze! Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Enjoy!