Quick and Easy Easter

Chocolate Truffle Bunny, from Truffle!

I know, I’m late to the Easter planning party!  Most of you have probably already made all your plans, picked your menus, and dyed your eggs.  I’m always a little behind with holidays like Easter, since the chocolate biz is crazy for a couple weeks before the big day – I never seem to have time to do any of my own stuff in advance!  But, if you are behind the eight ball, like I am, the least I can do is share some links and ideas with you.  Most of these things are right up my alley – as in, not a ton of ingredients, simple to make/do, not a lot of time or prep involved.  That’s how I roll.  Otherwise, I’d never get anything done!  Wait, actually . . . I don’t get much done.  Never mind.

Ideas for eating:

Easter definitely means pastries, don’t you think?  From the Chocolate & Toast archives, I’m eye-ing these babies:

Caramel Cheesecake Pastries – made with frozen puff pastry and just a few other ingredients, you can throw these together either tonight (to bake in the morning) or at the last minute tomorrow, and have a delicious and decadent pastry perfect for a holiday breakfast or brunch.

Brown Sugar Yogurt Cake with Blueberries – a simple and sweet yogurt cake is the perfect dessert to go with a holiday brunch, especially if your having the usual ham, potatoes, bread (i.e. heavy!) fare.

Butter Crumb Cakes – based on a New York style coffee cake, these babies are portable and another perfect option for filling out your holiday brunch table.

Sour Cream Blueberry Scones – scones are my go-to favorite for breakfast or brunch parties of any kind.  They come together quickly, are buttery rich and crumbly, and none of your guests will pass them up.  For a brunch buffet, make them mini-sized and watch them disappear!

Wonton Fruit Cups – this may require an extra trip to the store for wonton wrappers, but if you need something simple to prepare but eyecatching and unusual, this is it!  Wontons make a great holder for a simple fruit filling, and everybody will ooh and ahh over the presentation.  I’m not kidding.

Fresh Fruit Galette – probably the easiest dessert you’ll find, hands down, this galette is simply pie crust (homemade or store bought) with the edges rolled up around a filling of your choice of fresh fruit.  You can even leave off the cream cheese layer if you don’t have any on hand!

But let’s not forget the main dish – here are a few more faves from the archives:

Ham and Gruyere Bread Pudding – super easy to throw together and again perfect for a brunch crowd, you can also switch it up and use whatever meat (or veggie!) and cheese combo you happen to have on hand.

Leek and Mushroom Tart – another super easy, go-to recipe.  Prep the crust and veggies in advance, then just pour in the custard and bake when you are ready.

Bacon Kale Mushroom Quiche – Bacon.  That’s all you need to know.

Ideas for making (which may also involve eating!):

Paper Mache Eggs – if you have the time, you really must make these cuties, from Not Martha.  Small water balloons get you the egg shape, and then you can fill them with all kinds of candy or treats – and have fun watching the kiddos break them open to discover the insides!

Bread Sculptures – my big plan for this year was to do some fun bread sculptures of sheep and bunnies, and if/when I do manage to do it, I’ll be sure to post about it!  But since I have no pictures, I have no post for you.  Nor could I find a good one to link to – just  this picture on the Not Martha site, which she found on Flikr, again with no recipe or instructions.  Basically, you need bread dough (fresh or frozen, thawed).  After the first rise, punch it down, let it rest 10 minutes, and then shape it into any type of animal you like.  Use raisins, currants, chocolate chips, nuts, etc. for decoration and details.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, until doubled in size (keep this in mind when making your shapes), then brush with beaten egg yolk and bake as directed for rolls.  So fun!

I’m a huge fan of using natural dyes for Easter eggs – those chemical tablets creep me out!  Check out this post at Love and Homemade Recipes for some great tips on natural dyes.

And lastly, what to do with all that candy after your Easter egg hunt?  How about bake up some fun cupcakes!  Check out My Baking Addiction’s post for Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes.  Or, yum, some Jelly Bean Cookies from In Katrina’s Kitchen.  Seems almost better than just eating the candy plain . . .

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