Hot cross buns

Nothing says Easter like hot cross buns, especially when they’re home made. This recipe comes from Jennifer L.’s book, in North Branch , MN, although I’ve made a few tiny tweaks.

Hot cross buns

Ingredients

4-4 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
2 eggs plus 1 yolk
3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. butter
1/3 c. granulated sugar

3/4 cup currents
(1/4 cup candied orange zest and 1/4 cup candied ginger, cut into small cubes)
1 egg white
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp milk (or more if needed)

Preparation instructions

1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 c. flour, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In a pan heat and stir milk, butter, sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt until warm (120°-130°) and butter almost melts.
Add milk mixture to dry mixture. Add eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed 20 sec. scraping bowl. Beat on high 3 minutes. Stir in currants and orange peel and ginger (if desired), and as much remaining flour as you can.
2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double (about 1-1 1/2 hrs).
3. Punch dough down. Turn onto floured surface. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough into 20 portions. Shape portiions into smooth balls. Place balls 1-1/2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise till nearly double. (45-60 minutes)
4. Using a sharp knife, make a crisscross slash across top of each bun. In small bowl combine beaten egg white and 1 tbsp water. Brush mixture of egg white and water over rolls. Bake in a 375° oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly. For icing, in a mixing bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk or juice. Stir in additional milk or juice, 1 tsp at a time, until icing is of drizzling consistecy. Drizzle icing into slashes atop each bun. Serve warm.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Date filled cookies

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. shortening
2/3 c. sour cream
1 tsp soda
2 1/2 c. oatmeal
3 c. flour
1 tsp vanilla

Preparation instructions

Cream together sugars, shortening, sour cream, and vanilla. Then mix in soda, oatmeal and 2 cups flour.
The other cup of flour will be used for rolling out and cutting.
Roll out dough on pastry cloth or “tupperware” sheet. Use cookie cutters of your choice.
Bake @ 350° for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Date filling:
Microwave ingredients on high for 3 minutes, stir , then microwave on high for 3 more minutes. Allow to cool a bit, then spread on cookies and sandwich.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Carol’s brownies

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
4 eggs
4 rounded tbsp cocoa
6 tbsp hot water
1 c. flour

Preparation instructions

Cream together sugar and butter. Add egg yolks and mix. Beat egg whites and set aside.
Mix rounded tbsp cocoa with hot water (make a thick “gravy”), add this to the above butter/sugar mixture and mix.
Blend in 1 c. flour.
Stir in beaten egg whites.
Bake in greased 9X12 pan for 30 minutes at 350°.

Frosting:
Cook (on stove top) sugar, whipping cream, milk and chocolate square. Cook to a “firm ball” stage, add butter.
Cool in ice cold water, stir until cooled and remove from water. Continue to stir until frosting holds peaks.
Frost brownies.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Spritz cookies

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

1 lb butter
2 c. sifted powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp cream
4 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp almond extract

Preparation instructions

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time, creaming well after each addition. Add cream and flavoring. Lastly add flour and mix well. Put through a cookie press on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in 350° oven until done.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Peanut brittle

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. water

Preparation instructions

In a 4-qt saucepan, mix sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover pan for 1 minute to wash down sides of the pan. Remove lid and cook rapidly to soft-crack stage~270° F. Add peanuts and continue cooking, stirring constantly to the hard-crack stage~310° F.-about 5 min. or until candy is golden brown. Add butter, vanilla, and soda. As you stir, candy will foam up. Pour into buttered pan and rub spatula across the top to break bubbles. When cold, break into pieces. Store tightly covered.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Easy vanilla ice cream

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

2c. light cream
1c. sugar
4 tsp vanilla
2c. Whipping cream

Preparation instructions

In a large mixing bowl stir together light cream, sugar, vanilla, and 1/8 tsp salt till sugar dissolves. Stir in whipping cream. Turn into a 8x8x2 inch pan. Cover; freeze till partially frozen. Break mixture into chunks. Place in a chilled large mixer bowl. Beat with electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or till smooth. Return mixture to cold pan. Freeze till firm.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Cranberry-orange relish

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

2 medium oranges
4 c. fresh cranberries (1 lb)
2 c. sugar
1/4 c. finely chopped walnuts

Preparation instructions

With a vegetable peeler, remove the orange portion of the peel of one orange; set aside.
Completely peel and section both oranges. Using a food grinder with a coarse blade or a food processor, grind reserved orange peel, orange sections and cranberries. Stir in sugar and nuts. Chill for several hours. Serve with poultry or ham.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Strawberry shortcake

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

6 c. fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 c. sugar
2 c. flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preparation instructions

Stir together stawberries and 1/4 c. sugar; set aside. For shortcake, thoroughly stir together flour, 2 tbsp sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the 1/2 c. butter or margarine till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine beaten egg and milk; add all at once to dry ingredients and stir just to moisten. Spread dough in a greased 8×1 1/2 -inch round baking pan, building up edges slightly. Bake in a 450° oven for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan. Split into 2 layers; lift top off carefully. If desired, spread bottom layer with the softened butter or margarine. Whip cream with 2 tbsp sugar just to soft peaks. Spoon berries and whipped cream between layers and over top. Serve warm.

Blueberry Shortcake:
Prepare strawberry shortcake as above, except omit the strawberries and 1/4 c. sugar. Mash 2 c. whole blueberries; stir in 1/4 c. sugar. Stir in 2 c. whole blueberries; set aside. Spoon berry mixture and whipped cream between layers and on top.

Peach Shortcake:
Prepare strawberry shortcake as above, except omit the strawberries and 1/4 c. sugar. Stir together 4 c. peeled sliced peaches and 1/3 c. sugar; set aside. Spoon peach mixture and whipped cream between layers and over top.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Skillet-fried chicken

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

1 (2 1/2-3 lb) broiler-fryer chicken; cut up
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp cooking oil or shortenting

Preparation instructions

Rinse chicken pieces; pat dry with paper toweling. In a plastic or paper bag combine flour, salt, paprika, and pepper. Add a few chicken pieces at a time; shake to coat.
In a 12 inch skillet heat oil or shortening. Add chicken, with meaty pieces toward center of skillet. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Reduce heat; cover tightly. Cook 30 min. Uncover; cook 10-15 minutes more. Chicken is done when it is easily pierced with a fork. Drain chicken pieces on paper toweling.

Crisp fried chicken:
Prepare skillet-fried chicken as above, except after the browning step, continue to cook chicken, uncovered, till chicken is tender. Turn occasionally. Drain on paper toweling before serving.

Pan-and oven fried chicken:
Prepare skillet fried chicken as above, except brown chicken pieces in a 12 inch oven-going skillet. Transfer skillet to a 375° oven for 35-45 min. or until chicken is tender. Do not turn chicken pieces during baking time. Drain.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

Seven minute frosting

from Jennifer L.’s book, North Branch , MN

Ingredients

2 egg whites, unbeaten
1 1/2 c. sugar
5 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Preparation instructions

Combine egg whites, sugar, water, and corn syrup in top of double boiler, beating with rotary egg beater until thoroughly mixed. Place over rapidly boiling water, beat constantly with rotary egg beater and cook 7 minutes, or until frosting will stand in peaks. Remove from boiling water; add vanilla and beat until thick enough to spread.

Variation: fold in chopped nuts, coconut or pieces of fried or candied fruit, or by tinting delicately with colorings.

Submitted by: Jennifer L

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