Easter is almost upon us! Growing up, my mom always assembled the BEST Easter baskets for me and my brother. His would be filled with chocolates and mine would contain all of my favorite fruit-flavored items, plus a stuffed animal or two. My mom used to pull together similar packages for us for Valentine’s Day, too. I miss those, but from time to time, we still get surprise packs by mail. :)
The little spring chickies above make adorable cupcakes. I used Pillsbury’s Orangesicle cake mix for my base and yellow sugar, candy orange slices, white chocolate chips, black icing and lemon icing to craft these creatures. The roomie plans to take some to her family’s holiday get together tomorrow.
- Cake mix – 1 Box
- Eggs – 3
- Canola oil
- Yellow sugar
- Lemon icing
- Black icing
- White chocolate chips
- Candy orange slices
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake mix as directed on the package.
2. Pour cake mix into lined cupcake molds and bake for approximately 18-22 minutes. Allow cupcakes time to cool.
3. Frost cupcakes with lemon icing. Then roll frosted cupcakes in yellow sugar.
4. Divide each candy orange slice into 3 sections – 1 to make the beak and 2 for the feet. Make 2 small cuts into each of the feet pieces to give a “zig zag” effect. Use a dab of icing to secure feet and beak pieces to base.
5. Place chocolate chips upside down to create eyeballs and a black tube of icing to create pupils. Plop two dollops of lemon icing on sides of cupcakes to make mini wings. (To do this, I used my Cuisinart cookie press and an icing tip.) And that’s it! You’ve now created some super sugary chicken feed. :-P
Take the throne and seize the realm! To celebrate the return of HBO’s magical series, Game of Thrones, I was invited to attend a watch party for its Season 4 premiere. Delicacies included “Tyrion’s Totchos” (think: Tater Tot nachos), Fire and Blood beer from Brewery Ommegang and TRAYS. OF. MEAT. There will be FEAST!
I also made Fiery “Dragon’s” Deviled Eggs, pilfered straight from the nest of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons. ;) These dyed eggs would also be a fun to make for Easter, or any dino-themed party. To get the crackled color effect on the eggs, I simply chipped the eggshells after hard cooking the eggs – a technique similar to hard boiling – and let them sit in colored water for a few hours.
For the Game of Thrones fans, there won’t be any major spoiler alerts here about the new episode, but I did enjoy seeing the return of some of my favorite seasoned cast members (Arya! The Hound!), as well as a few new ones, including a prince who boldly tells Tyrion that the Lannisters are not the only ones who pay their debts…
Anyway, onto ye mighty recipe!
Fiery Dragon's Colored Deviled Eggs
Optional “Fiery” Deviled Eggs filling:
- Mayonnaise – 1/3 cup
- Dijon Mustard – 1 teaspoon
- Sriracha sauce – 2 teaspoons
- Paprika – 1 pinch for the filling; some to dust the tops of the eggs
1. Place eggs in pot of water and bring to a simmer. Once water is simmering, keep eggs in pot covered by a lid for 17 minutes. (This method is called hard cooking your eggs, which is different from hard boiling because you maintain a simmer vs. a boil. Simmering is a cooking method used often for stews; it involves bringing the water to a temperature just under boiling point. You may see small bubbles slowly float to the surface, but you shouldn’t allow your water to come to a rolling boil.)
2. Remove eggs from pot, allow them to cool and then lightly chip eggshells by tapping and rolling them on a hard surface, so they’re lightly cracked all over.
3. Use hot water from pot and pour into glasses or mugs. Stir in a few drops of food coloring. (I used 3-4 drops per glass.) Carefully drop in your cracked eggs, and make sure the water fully engulfs eggs. Place glasses or mugs into refrigerator and let them sit for a few hours. (I let my eggs sit for approximately 4 hours.)
4. Remove eggs from colored water. Your shells should be a pretty, dyed color now, too. :) And now for the slightly painful effort — shell removal. (Warning: This process takes some time and patience! I popped on the Game of Thrones Season 3 recap and watched the episode while removing my shells. The dragon sightings were very appropriate here. :)
5. Slice eggs in half, remove yolks and mix together your preferred deviled eggs filling (optional filling recipe above). Pipe filling back into eggs. (I used my new cookie press and an icing tip to pipe my filling. It worked like a charm!) Dust tops with paprika for an extra fiery effect.
Pop in a tray, bring to your party, and if appropriate, make many references to majestic winged creatures in flight! :)
This recipe was adapted from Doughmesstic.
Just in time for Easter weekend, one of my best friends (who doubles as a pastry chef by day) dropped off a surprise package of goodies. Check out the buttercream bunny cupcake above complete with “carrots” and shredded coconut grass. :)
The delivery also included four Spring pastel macarons. The pink one is a strawberry, candied rhubarb macaron with strawberry gelee and the green (my fave!) is a chocolate mint ganache macaron with blood orange filling. Can we say MAJOR NOMS?
It felt like I’d received my very own custom adult Easter basket (or in this case, to be literal, an “Easter bag”) filled with the best gourmet treats. :) And as if that wasn’t enough sweetness on Sunday, my alma mater took home a big W in basketball, sending us to the NCAA Final Four.
I’ve certainly been spoiled these days with deelish desserts. It paid off big time to be an early bird in the office this morning. I was one of the first to get dibs on these Glazed & Infused donuts! (And yes, that is indeed a maple bacon donut with maple frosting. I’ve been privileged enough to try it in the past, but today’s pick was the Apple Fritter.)
What made it into your Easter bag or basket this year?