In my Brooklyn neighborhood, I’ve noticed the windows of Italian bakeries steadily filling with Easter cakes and breads during the past few weeks. While the marzipan lambs and braided loaves stuffed with dyed eggs are lovely eye candy, they only reminded me how badly I wanted to make my own Argentinian rosca de pascua this year. The brioche-like bread that is shaped into a ring, covered in pastry cream and topped with candied cherries or almonds is traditionally sold in Argentinian bakeries in the week leading up to Easter. Like the Italian version, hard-boiled eggs are sometimes baked into the bread, but chocolate eggs have become a popular substitute.
I decided to keep this recipe simple by brushing the loaf with a light glaze and then covering it with toasted almonds. Instead of dyed eggs, I added a few Jordan almonds for their shape and color. To ensure an even layer of rich cream throughout, I used pastry cream as the bread’s filling. If the Latin American rosca de reyes marks the end of the winter holiday season and its cousin the Mardi Gras Louisiana king cake signals the beginning of Lent, then the Argentinian rosca de pascua lets you pick up right where the others left off.
Rosca de Pascua (Argentinian Easter Cake)
Continue Reading Rosca de Pascua: Argentinian Easter Cake with Jordan Almonds
These may seem a little upside down. We usually think of meringue piled high above the lemon pie filling, not the other way around. In this simpler twist on the classic, there is no crust to deal with. So they are lighter and faster to make, but contain all the same tangy-sweet allure. The meringue shell is whipped until it is light as air, then spooned into little clouds that are baked until they are set but still slightly soft in the middle. Once cooled, the meringues are topped with lavender-scented lemon curd. The tartness of the curd is a perfect match for the sweet meringue, and a bit of lavender creates a gentle floral touch, without going overboard. It tastes just like spring.
Continue Reading Lemon-Lavender Meringues
Photo by Kankana Saxena
Armenians bake a sweet chorag
, a braided bread, for Easter. As with any family recipe, particularly one with such a rich history, there are many variations in technique and in tradition. The bread could be a single braided loaf or small individual rolls. Home cook and blogger Robyn Kalajian says that her recipe for chorag
, one that she has been making all her life, came from a family friend. The recipe has a delightful combination of spices: anise, fennel, ginger and mahlab
(ground cherry pits, found in Middle Eastern stores). “Whenever I make chorag
, I think of past family Easter gatherings when it was customary to have relatives from both sides of the family crammed around the dining room table, talking and laughing. Colorful Easter eggs, Armenian string cheese, cured olives, dried Armenian meats — basterma
and chor mees
— fresh fruit and Armenian coffee rounded out the menu. Many of the elders are gone now, but this memory will never fade. I continue to serve this Easter menu every year even if it’s just for my husband and me,” she says.
Continue Reading A Lucky Armenian Chorag Recipe for Easter
What are you making with the dozens of eggs you decorated?
Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?
Be honest: how many dozens of eggs did you decorate for Easter? I always color at least 3 dozen. There are two many fun color combinations and decorating techniques to decorate any less. But after the Easter egg hunt is over, what do you do with all of those eggs? You can peel one or two, sprinkle with salt and eat them plain, but with the remaining 30-something eggs, you’re going to have to get a little more creative.
Deviled eggs are quite an expected use for hard-boiled eggs, but that doesn’t mean the preparation has to be. Go traditional and make Paula’s Southern version, or try adding 4 kinds of peppercorns like Alton does.
Continue Reading What to Make With Leftover Easter Eggs
When brainstorming Peeps ideas this year, I came up with some pretty good ones that were shot down: Peeps Sweet Potato Casserole. Peeps-Jello Salad. Twice-Baked Peep-Topped Sweet Potatoes. Peeps Ambrosia. The idea that did make the cut: Peep-Za.
Peeps on a pizza, well that’s just gross. But Peeps on a pizza-like dessert — that is amazing. To make a Peep-Za, you just need a cookie crust, some frosting and the contents of your Easter basket: Peeps and M&Ms or whatever candy you like best.
For the crust, I like Cookie Monster’s sugar cookie recipe because he’s the most credible source for cookies I know, but you can take a shortcut and use store-bought sugar cookie dough. Same goes for the frosting; use store-bought if you don’t have time to make homemade frosting.
I still stand by the Peeps Sweet Potato Casserole idea. Look for that one next year.
Continue Reading Easter Peep-Za
It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.
Bright blue, wonderfully sweet and yet, magically, still potent enough to counter long, grueling week days and weekend boredom alike, Alie and Georgia‘s Peep-inspired cocktail is a sip to behold. Think of it as a warm, sugary trip down memory-lane, except absinthe-kissed and shamelessly lit on fire (yes, actually). While kids scamper around in search of candy-filled eggs this Easter weekend, bring the peeps out to party with a tasty treat, cleverly dubbed the Peepin’ It Real Cocktail.
Bottoms up, folks.
Continue Reading Thirsty Thursday: Peepin’ It Real Cocktail
"A Peep of Thrones" by The Epi-Log
5 Hot Links We’re Loving:
- Peeps take on a comical dark side in the “A Peep of Thrones.” No offense to the HBO original Game of Thrones, but we prefer The Epi-Log’s peeptacular rendition.
- Inside the Marshmallow-Chick Factory: It only takes 6 minutes to create the beady-eyed Easter icons, start to finish. “But for such an innocent, marshmallow-and-sugar pastel candy, the Peep is surprisingly polarizing.” — NYT Magazine
- Peeps and crushed Easter candy turns white chocolate into a no-fuss Easter bark recipe. We love the pretty pastels.
- Not a fan of the sugary mallows? These recipes for rocky road blondies and lemon meringue tarts might change your mind.
- It doesn’t get much easier (or as tasty) than Easter fondue. Peeps pair perfectly.
Still peepin’ out? Take a peek at all our Peeps Dessert Recipes, including Alie & Georgia’s Peepin’ It Real Cocktail!
I grew up in a Catholic household with an Irish-American father and a Polish-American mother — Easter at my house was no minor affair. I have fond memories of Easter brunch filled with Polish pierogies, Irish potato dishes and the usual holiday suspects. But the centerpiece of the table was always my mom’s carrot cake. Sweet, rich, and decadent, carrot cake is the perfect way to break your Lenten fasting.
When it comes to carrot cake, my mom doesn’t mess around (and like mother, like son). Delightfully devoid of dried fruit (a fierce controversy in its own right), my mom’s recipe boasts toasted pecans, hints of cinnamon and clove, and loads of shredded carrots, and the final cake is topped off with sweet and tangy, perfectly balanced cream cheese frosting. Oh, and did I mention the coconut-pecan filling?
Are you craving carrot cake now? We’ve got you covered (in cream cheese frosting).
Continue Reading Carrot Cake Recipes for Easter