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Desserts Eat Holidays

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

Greek Easter bread is a semisweet dense bread decorated with brilliant red hard boiled eggs rubbed with olive oil. It’s a beloved family tradition that we enjoy each year.

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

This Greek Easter bread is one of the most eagerly anticipated sweet treats of the year at our house. For over 20 plus years, the week before Greek Easter has  been filled with days spent in the kitchen making cookies, dolmades, spanakopita and of course the beloved Easter bread. My Greek mother-in-law takes the traditional Greek food very seriously when it comes to the holidays and for that I am grateful. My girls have grown up watching Yaya create her magic in the kitchen which always includes beautiful stories from days gone past. Aside from learning about Yaya’s cooking and baking techniques, we walk away from our time spent together, hearts wrapped in a warm blanket of memories that was woven from spending time in the kitchen together. That’s what food and family is all about isn’t it?

Tsoureki is the Greek word for Greek Easter bread. I spent a lovely afternoon making and baking this delicious bread with Yaya (my mother-in-law) laughing and telling stories and I just had to share this special tradition with all of you. ThisEaster bread is a semisweet bread that is pleasingly light yet pleasingly dense once it meets your mouth and is the perfect pairing alongside a pipping hot cup of coffee. It is something that we all look forward to sinking our teeth into each and every spring on Easter day.

One of the key ingredients to this semisweet bread is a spice called, Mahlepi. You can find this spice at your local Mediterranean grocery store (sometimes called Mahlab).

This is what it looks like…

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

You’ll want to grind the seeds until it becomes a fine flour-like consistency like this…

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

This unusual spice is a wonderfully warm cinnamony nutmeggy slightly nutty spice that is the undertone flavor in this marvelous bread.

Once you mix all of the lovely ingredients in a large bowl by hand, including the fresh zest of lemons and oranges, you’re kitchen will smell divine.

The dough will look like this…

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

Don’t worry about the melted butter pooling around the sides it will absorb as the bread sits in a warm place to rise.

Meet Yaya…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

she is beyond giddy about how beautifully the bread has come together.

Once mixed, the dough should be covered with plastic wrap that is actually tucked down in and touching the dough. Then wrap towels around the entire bowl and put it in a warm place for a couple of hours.

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

Our dough was ready much faster than usual. After an hour and a half of chatting while drinking coffee and munching on paximathakia our dough had risen.

The bowl of dough should look like this when it’s ready…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

You could hear angels singing and Yaya too. She was like a little school girl swirling around the kitchen while explaining to me that the secret of making “good dough” is the happiness that you have in your heart while making it. I wholeheartedly agree. A happy heart makes happy food.

Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured counter and divide the dough into four equal parts. Then separate each of the four parts into three pieces and roll the dough with your hands into approximately 14 inch long and about finger thickness.

reek Easter Bread With Yaya

Braid the three long cylinder pieces just like you would braid hair. It should look like this…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Then place the braid into a round pan that is lined with wax paper.

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Then let that rise again, covered and placed in a warm spot. This should take about 30-45 minutes.

I would recommend a little dancing and singing to expedite the process. It worked for us!

Once the dough looks nice and plump like this…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Brush the dough with a mixture of beaten egg, vanilla and water. Then place in a preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes until it looks like this…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Once the bread has cooled, cut out the center of the bread and place a red dyed hard boiled egg inside.

And there you have a traditional loaf of Greek Easter bread.

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Help yourself to a slice of the beautiful bread, pour a cup of coffee and exclaim Xristos Anesti (Christ Has Risen)!

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Just like the beautiful bread.

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

I’ve shared some mouthwatering Greek recipes with you in the past. Here are a few fav’s ::

Wishing you a marvelous and blessed Easter.

~Wenderly

Here’s the delicious recipe –

Originally published April 6, 2012

Categories
Desserts Eat

Easter Treats :: Bunny Pops

Delight your guests with these sweet little Easter treats. Bunny pops are as easy as can be and are a great project for kids.

Easter Treats Bunny Pops

I’ve been dreaming up these Easter bunny pops in my mind for over a month now. That’s perfectly normal right? I’m certain that every one of you spend all of your spare time thinking and plotting about the next holiday and all of the fun details and decorations. Don’t you? You know, the colors you’ll use for your table, the menu you’ll cook, how you’ll dress your mantle and foyer and of course what precious desserts you’ll come up with to make your guests smile.

Easter Treats Bunny Pops

Wait.

You don’t? Really?

Well never-mind then.

These bunny pops make the perfect versatile Easter treat that are as darling as they are delicious. All you’ll need are some sandwich cookies, candy melts, fondant and mini marshmallows.

Easter Treats Bunny Pops

They make a clever centerpiece, add a touch of whimsy to your dessert table and make an adorable addition to any Easter basket. I’m so glad that I my pre-holiday manic imagination came up with this idea. They’re even cuter in real life than they were in my mind.

Easter Treats Bunny Pops

More Easter fun coming up soon!

Wishing you and yours a very Hoppy Easter!

Wenderly

Here’s the how to ::

 

Categories
Desserts Eat Snacks

Rainbow Jello Jigglers

These rainbow jello jigglers are sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. They’re a sweet treat that’s fun to eat for kids and adults as well!

Rainbow Jello Jigglers

Jello has always held a fond place in my heart. Growing up, my beloved mother would try and try again to make the mysterious colorful wobbling confection. And much to her chagrin,

Categories
Desserts Eat

Lemon Snow Ice Cream

Lemon snow ice cream is a delicious and easy way to indulge in some wintertime fun. The bright lemon flavor adds a glorious zing to cold winter days.

Lemon Snow Ice Cream

Stepping onto a pure white, untouched, sparkling blanket of freshly fallen snow makes me feel like a kid again. All of my senses seem to come alive. My cheeks tingle as I inhale what seems to be the the freshest air I’ve ever smelled. Both eyes tear instantly, open wide, as they drink in the beautiful

Categories
Desserts Eat

Indoor S’Mores

Indoor s’mores are a fun and easy way to enjoy all of the delicious delights of an outdoor sweet treat right inside the comforts of your cozy home!

Indoor Smores

The days are finally growing longer and I know that Spring is bound to push its way up from underneath the frozen ground eventually. I find myself yearning this time of year for the good old outdoors. Making s’mores and most of all eating s’mores has to be one of my all time favorite summer indulgences. During these frigid snowy winter days I yearn for the warmer sun kissed days and all of the fun and food that comes with them. But then I realized that perhaps I could bring some of the outdoor fun, indoors!

Indoor Smores

And out of my desperate desire to feel the splendor of summertime, these indoor s’mores were born! They were just thing to cure my summertime yearning blues! I started with roasting large campfire size marshmallows. I happen to have a gas stove, so I grabbed a wooden skewer and roasted the marshmallows right over the flame. Obviously a fireplace would be an even better replacement to an outside campfire but I was short on time and the instant flame of my stove did the trick. I decided to use a pizzelle Italian cookie in place of the traditional graham cracker to add a unique touch. And a healthy slathering of a chocolate spread raised the whole chocolate experience to an entirely new level! The hot melty marshmallow married into the already smooth chocolate and made this indoor s’more perfection!

Indoor Smores

These s’mores work wonders as a cure for the winter blues but they also remedy any bad weather situation any time of the year!

Here’s the recipe ::

Enjoy!

Wenderly

Categories
Desserts Eat

Cherry Heart Hand Pies

Cherry heart hand pies are as delicious as they are darling. They’re an easy and impressive, sweet treat for those you love.

Cherry Heart Hand Pies

Why is it that hand pies always seem to steal my heart? I just adore their sweet little individual disposition. Their playful rustic look paired with the idea of an afternoon spent humming in the kitchen whilst making homemade hand pies makes me smile. But guess what? Don’t tell anyone, but these little beauties aren’t made from scratch.

Cherry Heart Hand Pies

They were put together with a readymade pie crust and a canned filling. Special heart felt sentiments don’t always have to take hours to prepare. The minutes I spent assembling the hand pies don’t really matter when I see the glowing faces of my sweethearts as they relish in their confection. And trust me, nobody ever asks me, as they gleefully savor every gooey sweet bite, how many hours I’ve spent slaving in the kitchen.

Cherry Heart Hand Pies

And as for me? Oh I’m happily humming in the kitchen. But rather than cleaning up a big mess, I get to relish in the moments I’ve still got with my beautiful teenage daughters as they sit at my island happily chatting away over their tasty treat.

I guess it’s not really the hand pies that steal my heart. But rather who eats them that does. My heart spilleth over.

Cherry Heart Hand Pies

 

Wishing you and yours the sweetest Valentine’s Day ever!

Wenderly

Here’s the easy recipe ::

 

Categories
Desserts Eat

Devil’s Food Cake Whoopie Pie

Devil’s food cake whoopie pies are a delicious way to show friends and family how much you love them this Valentine’s Day or any day!

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

For as long as I can remember, the week leading up to Valentine’s Day at my house has been filled with shoe boxes, bright colored construction paper, glitter, glue, handmade cards and hours of imagination and creation.

Elementary school is now but a fleeting memory and I must admit that I’m handling it, {sniff} quite, {sob}  well. My girls have blossomed into beautiful young ladies who are now getting ready to move onto high school and (I can’t believe that I’m typing these words) spend weekends visiting colleges. How is that possible? 

So the other day while I was shopping at my beloved Target, hurriedly rushing through the isles, I just may have taken a wrong turn and ended up in the Valentine section. Within moments I was surrounded by hundreds of happily chattering mothers holding the hands of rosy cheeked children who where gleefully picking and choosing the perfect Valentine’s Day cards to fill their beautifully decorated boxes… that they had just finished making at home with bright colored construction paper, glitter and glue. I swear that I could hear the music from Little House on the Prairie in the background, making it all the more traumatic to realize that I had a cart full of toilet paper and cleaning supplies, rather than my sweet little chubby cheeked cherubs eating popcorn and slurping a slushy. It was at that moment, through my tear filled eyes, that I spotted the devil’s food cake mix and I knew what I had to do. I must admit that I felt a bit torn about my initial intentions. For a split second I considered whipping up the batch of devil’s food cake to eat my sorrows away.

But then I remembered my heart shaped whoopie pie pan  and I envisioned my not-so-little-anymore darlings digging into each chocolate whoopie pie with a little girl glee. My mouth turned up into a Grinch-like grin I knew with certainty that, “I have to make heart whoopie pies for my girls!”. I’m still not certain if I said it out loud or in my head, and I don’t really remember driving home come to think of it. But what I do know is, once I stepped into the quite solitude of my kitchen,

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

and began the simple process of making a boxed recipe with some of my favorite kitchen staples,

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

my heavy heart was enlightened.

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

I became calm and relaxed and enveloped in the sweet bliss of baking.

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

Baking something for the people that I love and cherish,

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

even though they have the audacity to blossom and mature into beautiful young ladies.

Beautiful young ladies who relished in the whoopie pies while entertaining me with their wit and humorous stories about their day. This time I had tears of laughter filling my eyes and I was grateful for who my daughters have become.

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

My heart soared and I just wanted to shout “whoooooopppieeeeeeee!” But I didn’t, because that would be weird. Not to mention, my two sweet young ladies would be the first to point that out to me and I just wanted to relish in the moment.

Here’s another decadent chocolatey Valentine’s Day treat ::

Wishing you a delightful Valentine’s Day full of lots of lighthearted whooooooppppieeeee!

~Wenderly

Updated 2/6/15. Originally posted 2/13/13. 

Categories
Desserts Eat

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This buttercream frosting is a heavenly, creamy, richly decadent frosting that will beautifully finish off any cake or cupcake and become your favorite go to recipe.

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Buttercream frosting. What can say? Is there anything more divine than powdered sugar and butter blended together to form gorgeous peaks of deliciousness? I think not. I’ve made many different luscious frostings in my life but this buttercream frosting is now my all time favorite!!!

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

I’ve been baking out of one of my beloved antique cookbooks and just made some delightful gingerbread cupcakes I came across this lovely buttercream cream recipe and I fell in love. I’m telling you that each lick caused an uncontrollable “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!” each and every time.

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This frosting is amazing. It has the perfect sweet, but not too sweet, rich flavor and texture for any cake or cupcake (in my opinion) and it was a match made in heaven with the gingerbread cupcakes that I topped off with a slice of candied ginger cut into a holly leaf shape. Hope this buttercream frosting becomes a family favorite in your house too!

In case you missed it here’s the gingerbread cupcake recipe ::

May all your desserts be delicious and sweet!

Wenderly

Here’s the recipe ::

 

Categories
Desserts Eat

Gingerbread Cupcakes Recipe

This gingerbread cupcake recipe is perfect for holiday baking. A delicious old recipe that is dense, moist, rich in flavor that will melt your heart.

Gingerbread Cupcakes Recipe

This year I decided to delve deeper into my collection of coveted antique cookbooks. If you don’t already know this about me, I adore antiquing and it seems that each time I go out on a venture, I come home with one or two beloved antique cookbooks.

Gingerbread Cupcakes Recipe

I simply adore traveling back into time, with each turn of an aged, stained page, to devour recipes of long ago. Times were simpler. Life was anchored in the kitchen, guests were greeted with old fashioned hospitality, entertained with favorite family recipes and then left with satisfied hearts and bellies. This year I decided to pick a few recipes to experiment with and share them with family and friends. The ginger tea cakes caught my eye and I knew in an instant that they would be just perfect for the holidays.

Gingerbread Cupcakes Recipe

My mom and dad gushed with delight as they sampled the gingerbread cupcakes that tasted spot on to their favorite childhood gingerbread cake from a local grocery store. Nothing could have pleased me more. I knew this gingerbread cupcake recipe was a success.

Gingerbread Cupcakes Recipe

Gingerbread cupcakes. A warm and spicy, slightly sweet dense cake that has stood the test of time. Doesn’t get any more divine than that for the holidays, does it?

Here’s the decadent buttercream frosting recipe that I swirled on top!

Wishing you a Happy Christmas full of old fashioned fun!

Wenderly

Here’s the recipe ::

 

 

Categories
Desserts Eat Holidays

Favorite Snowball Cookies Recipe

This favorite snowball cookies recipe has been a family go to since I was a little girl. They’re a delicious addition to any holiday cookie platter.

Favorite Snowball Cookies Recipe

Have you ever tasted one of these darling snowball cookies? They are to die for! I have been making them since I was old enough to stand on a stool at the counter to help. They take minutes to put together and they’re a cinch to roll into simple round orbs (I now use a melon baller to make a unified size).  They’ve always added the perfect sophisticated touch to any cookie assortment and they always had to make an appearance on Santa’s special cookie plate on Christmas Eve.

Favorite Snowball Cookies Recipe

Snowball cookies have such a simple elegance that matches their unique taste. A dry, crumby, not-to-sweet cookie that seems to melt in your mouth when the cool powdered sugar touches your tongue to create the perfect marriage of taste and texture.

Favorite Snowball Cookies Recipe

And what could be more festive for a white christmas celebration than these sweet little snowball cookies? Do yourself a favor and whip up a batch today! I’m certain that they’ll instantly become a family favorite at your house too! Here’s the recipe…

Wishing you a wondrous white Christmas full of blessings & love,

Wenderly