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Easter Bunnies, Hot Cross Buns, Strawberry Shortcake

When my three youngest children were little, they attended a wonderful preschool.  Their teacher's name was Mrs. Erickson and the parents were expected to take turns helping in the classroom.  When Mrs. Erickson found out that I made homemade bread, she asked if there was a baking project that I could do with the kids at school.  I had been making these bunnies for my own kids at Easter time (the original ones were made with jazzed up dinner roll dough), and they loved helping to make them, so I decided to try it at preschool.  Luckily the class size was small and Mrs. Erickson helped with crowd control, so we were able to help the kids each make a bunny to take home.  It was such a hit after the first time we tried it that it became a yearly tradition, even the years I didn't have a child in the class!  Because Easter is coming, I have been thinking about the bunnies and wondering how I could make some wheat free ones, since any kind of bread/roll dough in wheat free land is actually a batter which you can't handle.  I decided to try modifying my biscuit recipe, which can be handled, and they turned out pretty cute, although the biscuit texture vs. dinner roll texture is completely different, of course.  If you make them with the GF mix using Rice Powder, the texture will be tender and almost cake-like.  So here's the recipe with the modifications and instructions on how to assemble them:

Easter Bunny Biscuits

2 Cups GF flour mix (2-1/4 Cups if using the Rice Powder Gluten Free mix)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
grated zest of one small orange or one lemon, depending on which flavor you like best
6 Tbsp butter
1 Cup buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients and citrus zest together.  Cut in butter.  Stir in buttermilk.  Knead lightly on floured surface.  Pat out 1/2" to 3/4" thick.  Using two different sizes of cutters, cut out bunny bodies and heads.  Cut out ears by using the edge of one of the cutters on the edge of one of the smaller circles (see picture).  Roll little leftover pieces between hands for bunny tail.  Use raisins for eyes.

Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.  Glaze while still slightly warm.


1 Tbsp soft butter
1 Tbsp citrus juice
1/2 Cup powdered sugar

Whisk together until smooth. 

Isn't this a dish anyone would love to see on Easter morning?  Bet they eat the ears first!

Did you have a tradition of Hot Cross Buns for Easter when you were a child?  You can use this same recipe to make them -- just cut out rounds and with a sharp knife make a cross on the top.  Bake, glaze and eat!

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberries are back!  I saw some in my supermarket this week for a not-too-terrible price and had to have them!  They are about my favorite fruit--right up there with fresh peaches.  Strawberry Shortcake has always seemed like the perfect dessert for Easter dinner, and you can use this same recipe again for the shortcakes!  If you use the GF flour mix with the rice powder, they will be more cake-like; with the GF flour mix with the rice flour, they will be more biscuit-like -- you choose your favorite.  Either way, the citrus is a nice addition to the flavor of the strawberries.  Be sure to prepare your strawberries several hours in advance -- cut them up, sprinkle with sugar and stir, then let them macerate in your refrigerator until they're shiny and juicy.  When making the shortcakes, you can go two ways -- either patted out a little thicker (3/4") and then cut with a 3" round or if you like a more rustic look, the batter can be spooned right from the bowl onto the cookie sheet into a 3" wide mound.

Sprinkle with sugar, bake and cool.  Split horizontally carefully.

Put bottom piece on plate,  spoon on strawberries, then whipped cream, place top on and repeat with strawberries and cream.  I used the cut out shortcake for this dessert.  Isn't this delectable looking?

Happy Easter!

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