Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hot Cross Buns as Easter gifts

I know this is a little late for you to use this year, but I wanted to share this little project and couldn't do it before Easter since I finished it at the last minute.

At our church, each of the Sunday school teachers gets their own class a little something for Easter. Since I teach the teen class, I didn't want to give anything too juvenile. I was making Hot Cross Buns anyway, so I got the idea to give one to each of my students. The only problem was presentation ... until I remembered seeing this free cupcake box pattern. It was perfect!

Since I didn't have any paper muffin liners, I used small doilies I had bought at the dollar store. They worked perfectly! (I should note that I made a slightly wider circle in the insert to fit these buns.)

I got these $1 stamps at AC Moore a few weeks ago, and I wanted to use them on something this Easter. This was the perfect project, since it highlights the cross on the buns. Everyone loved the project and couldn't believe I had made it - box and all.

Here is one kind of box ...

And here is a different one. (The only difference: the stamp and the paper.)

Here are my boxes all lined up and ready to go. I thought they made for some pretty gift boxes!

Now for the recipe. These are yummy!!

Hot Cross Buns
4 to 5 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast
1-1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup margarine
2 eggs
3/4 cup raisins
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp cold water

1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tsp cold water

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and salt. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120-130 degrees. Add to dry ingredients; beat, just until moistened. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Stir in raisins and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with nonstick cooking spray, turning once to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly flour surface. Divide into 16 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place in two 9" round baking pans coated with nonstick cooking spray. Using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, cut a cross on top of each roll. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Beat egg yolk and water; brush over buns. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Combine icing ingredients; drizzle over top of rolls.

Yield: 16 rolls

To make it easier, I dump everything but the egg yolk and cold water (and icing ingredients) into my bread machine on the "Dough" cycle and let it do the work. Also, if you want to make these more decorative, you can take the time to pipe the icing on top in the shape of a cross. I did that on the ones I gave away, but usually I just coat the tops of the buns with the icing. They're yummy either way!