Easter Bonnets

April 10, 2012

I know this post is a little late, but in my defense, we started these a week ago, and finished them at the weekend, but Alice only obliged to wear hers for a picture today after her nursery Easter Bonnet parade.

I found a pattern online for an old fashionedy bonnet and roughly copied it onto some newspaper a provisional fitting with this looked quite successful so I cut two out of packaging card, laying the patterns so the corrugations would allow the bend in the bonnet. I put the two small tabs in the pattern together to form the lampshade shape and stuck it with gummed paper tape (so it could be easily painted over). We tried them on again and although they were a bit wobbly on their heads they were a pretty good shape so the kids set about painting them – pink of course!

Once they were dry we added the lacy sections of paper doilies to the inside face edge of the bonnets and then we raided my ribbon and fake flower stash for decorations, I tied bows in the ribbons and stuck them on with hot melt glue, including the two thick long ribbons for tying under the chin.

I think they look super cute, however I realised then uploading these pictures that Alice’s face is always covered in food!


Hot Cross Buns

April 20, 2011

We are off to my mum’s for Easter Weekend and to contribute to the festivities I thought we could take along some homemade Hot cross Buns. I have made them before but this year I tried a new receipe, its in Nigella’s Feast book. It starts off with melting 150g butter with 150ml milk (I popped this in the microwave for 1 and half mins) with a clove (I used 4) 2 cardamom pods (I didn’t have any) and zest of one orange (I didn’t have any oranges in either so substituted this for a few dried orange peels – my aunt made these and gave them to me ages ago, I usually use them in paella) When this has cooled to blood temp, I popped it in my breadmaker with 400g bread flour a sachet of dried yeast, a tsp cinnamon, some grated nutmeg (probably another tsp), a pinch of ground ginger, 125g sultanas and an egg and set the whole lot off on a dough mix. Nigella mixes hers by hand and leaves it to rise in the fridge overnight.

When it was done, I knocked back the dough and by halfing the mixture again and again made 16 roughly equal balls and laid them on greasproof paper in baking tins. In retrospect they stuck pretty badly to the paper and when I have done these before I have just greased and floured the tins and they came out fine! ThenĀ  I cut crosses into the tops of the buns and left them to rise again – they didnt do much. But after 45mins I brushed them with egg yolk and made a paste with plain flour, water and sugar and ‘drizzled’ the paste into the cross shape grooves in the buns.

I baked them at 220 degrees C, then took them out – spending some time prizing them off the paper, then brushed them with a 50/50 mix of vanilla sugar and boiling water, Nigella doesn’t specify vanilla sugar but I popped an empty vanilla pod (after you have scraped out the seeds for another receipe) into a jar of golden sugar, a couple of weeks ago.

I have had a taste and they are pretty good, but a bit dense, I think I preferred the recipe I used last year but I’ll wait another year before making them again and will probably forget. Martha did try and help me with these, her job was rolling the little balls, but she remembered that she doesn’t like Hot Cross Buns and disappeared leaving me to do them on my own.

Happy Easter!