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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
Crafts Make

How To Make Bath Bombs For Easter

Let me show you how to make bath bombs to pamper your loved ones this Easter! Fill baskets with egg shaped capsules that will turn their bath into a luxurious soak.

How To Make Bath Bombs For Easter

Spring is the perfect time to pamper someone special with some precious bath bombs. Why not give them (or yourself) a reason

Categories
Decorate Seasonal

Easter Table Setting Ideas

Make your Easter table setting sweet and endearing with white wicker baskets, eggs and flowers. You won’t believe how simple it is to set a swoon-worthy table.

Easter Table Setting Ideas

Easter is such a glorious time of year! The weary world wakes up and rejoices into full bloom and color. This Easter I’ve decided to make my table setting ethereal with

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
Decorate Seasonal

Easter Basket Place Settings

These darling Easter basket place settings made out of white chocolate dipped ice cream cones and filled with goodies will make your guests grin ear to ear!

Easter Basket Place Settings

Easter baskets make my heart jump for joy! I’ve always adored the idea of hunting a for a beautiful basket filled with sweet Spring treasures. Why not treat your guests as they sit at the table with their very own miniature edible Easter basket?

Easter Basket Place Settings

Mini ice cream cones dipped in white chocolate, filled with cotton candy (or jelly beans maybe?) and topped with mini pink eggs tucked into shredded coconut make a precious place setting indeed. The only non-edible item is the silk ribbon handle that’s affixed with a dab of the melted white chocolate.

Whose heart wouldn’t swoon over one of these demure sweet treats?

Easter Basket Place Settings

You can make these mini baskets in any color combination you desire. Coat them in a rainbow of different chocolate melts, fill them with your favorite sweet treats, and even color the shredded coconut for a unique twist. Stay tuned for my complete Easter table and centerpiece.

Wishing you an adorable Easter!

Wenderly

Here’s the how to ::

Categories
Crafts Make

Sprinkle Easter Eggs

Adorn your Easter eggs with colorful sprinkles this year. This sweet touch of whimsy will take hard boiled eggs to a whole new level of darling!

Sprinkle Easter Eggs

I’m always searching for new and exciting ways to decorate my Easter eggs. This year I decided

Categories
Crafts Decorate Make Seasonal

Sequined Easter Eggs Tutorial

This sequined Easter eggs tutorial will show you how to make exquisite decorative eggs that you can use to adorn your home for years to come.

Sequined Easter Eggs Tutorial

I’ve been making these beautiful sequined eggs with my elementary students at school for years now. Every Spring I pull out the foam shaped eggs, sequins and straight pins and we go to town chatting and sharing stories whilst we create a magnificent specimen out of layered colorful circles held together with pins. I cherish this special time with my students. We sit together working quietly as our imaginations slowly unfold in a relaxed repetition of jewel-like splendor.

Sequined Easter Eggs Tutorial

Some students choose to make their egg into patterns of color, some choose a solid palette, while others cover the surface with a myriad of sizes, shapes and colors of sequins. There is no wrong or right way. Each egg comes to life at the hands of unique individuals who take the time to sit and create them. And each egg is as beautiful as the individual who creates them. And I tell them so.

Sequined Easter Eggs Tutorial

I love watching their faces glow in self discovery and awe of what their each capable of.  Most of the children can’t sit still for more than five minutes, but this project can capture them and entice them into a creative trance. And the end result of their hard work and dedication is truly priceless…

Sequined Easter Eggs Tutorial

just like each one of the beautiful children I am so fortunate to know and teach.

Items you’ll need to make sequined Easter eggs ::

  • Foam shaped eggs found at any craft store
  • Multicolored sequins, I like to get various sizes for layering
  • Flathead push pins

Take time to sit down with those you love and create something together. You’ll be surprised by the beauty that unfolds.

Happy creating,

Wenderly

 

Categories
Make

Easter Eggs Covered In Sugar And Fondant

Dress up your Easter eggs this year with some sweet fondant shapes encrusted with sparkling sugar. They’re edible but almost to pretty to eat!

three-sugared-eggs-in-egg-holder-butterfly-front

This year we decided to gussy up our Easter eggs. Add a little glitz and glam if you will. I mean why do cookies and cakes get to have all the fun?

three-sugared-easter-eggs-with-fondant-inegg-holders

Oh sure, we still went through the traditional steps of dying our boiled eggs with little tablets of dye dropped into vinegar and water.

jadite-bowl-full-of-easter-eggs-to-sugar

It’s what we did with them after their colorful bath that made it so fun!

three-sugared-easter-eggs-butterfly-in-front

This year I wanted to do something a little different and I thought “why not use sweet confections to dress up our eggs”?!  I went to my local craft store and bought some white sanding sugar,

white-egg-sugared

as well as some pre-made pastel colored fondant that I cut it into little Eastery shapes with teeny tiny cookie cutters.

fondant-shapes-for-sugared-eggs

I dyed the hard boiled eggs, let them dry, brushed them with egg whites (just to keep it all green and non-toxic) and then carefully rolled them in sugar.

pink-egg-sugared

I experimented with some already colored sanding sugar but I noticed the dye from the sugar started to melt onto the egg and it just looked messy to me. So I stuck to the pre-colored egg rolled in white sugar and got the effect that I was going for. I thought that the fondant shapes looked sweet dressed in sugar as well.

green-sugared-egg-with-yellow-bunny

We used the egg whites for sugaring the fondant shapes as well as adhering them to the eggs. Just make sure that everything dries before moving on to the next step.

three-sugared-easter-eggs-pink-bunny-in-frontfive-sugared-eggs-with-fondant

Let your imagination go! We even made a few polka dotted eggs. Don’t you just love polka dots!?

polka-dotted-fondant-egg-2

I used a straw to make the fondant circles.

Note: If by chance the fondant sticks inside the straw, don’t worry, just blow it out. My daughter relished in pointing that handy tip out to me when I became perplexed that my fondant circle stuck inside the straw. I shall never live that one down. 

Look how sweet the plain colored egg looks with just the sugared the fondant shape.

pink-egg-with-yellow-sugared-fondant-chickie

Isn’t that dear?

I’m planning to use these adorable eggs to decorate each place setting at the Easter table.

Easter-setting-green-sugared-egg-landscape

You could even use blown out eggs and save these little dearies to use again and again. As a matter of fact, these sweet little eggs remind me of my beloved sugar eggs that I used to relish in when I was a little girl. Do you remember those? The entire egg was made of hardened sugar, hollowed out and pipped with colorful icing. The end was open and inside sat a delightful surprise! Sweet little scenes of bunnies and spring flowers that were made of icing too! I used to gaze into those magical eggs for hours on end. Those precious memories guided me as I created these precious little dearies.

Easter-setting-yellow-sugared-egg-portrait

Simple, sweet, sugared eggs. How fun is that?

Wishing you an Easter that’s as sweet as can be!

~Wenderly

 

Categories
Crafts Decorate Make Seasonal

Adorable Edible Easter Egg Tree

Adorable edible Easter egg tree. Say that three times fast.

Or not…

Easter is less than a week away…are you ready?

Me either.

I’m still hopping around tying up loose ends and trying to get all of my eggs in one basket. HA! Couldn’t resist. This year in preparation of the holiday, I’ve made an edible Easter egg tree adorned with delicious white chocolate eggs! It was so fun and easy and can be used as a festive decoration in or as a center piece for your Easter table.

Here’s the scoop on what to do…

Just gather some pretty pastel candy melts.

An egg shaped plastic candy making tray.

And some thin ribbon that matches the pastel color candy melts. All of these items are very affordable and can be found in your local craft store.

Melt the candy melts in the microwave.

Grab a small spoon for each color and give a good stir to make sure that the chocolate is lump free and smooth.

Next use the little spoons to fill the plastic tray with the melted chocolate. Try as best you can to fill the egg shapes evenly and don’t fill too much.

Once the tray is full, give it a good, tap, tap, tap, by picking up a corner a dropping it on the counter. This will get rid of all air bubbles that may be lurking about.

We don’t want air bubbles…we want smooth Easter-eggish-eggs.

Once your tray is filled and tap, tap, tapped, pop it in the freezer (laying flat) for five minutes. The freezer sets the melted chocolate beautifully and gives the finished product a nice shine.

After five minutes, take the tray out of the freezer and turn it up-side-down.

The eggs should pop out easily, if they don’t just put them back in freezer for a few more minutes and try again.

Next, cut your ribbon into two inch strips. These will become the loops from which the darling little eggs will hang.

Now the fun begins. Warm up your candy melts (I’m guessing that by now they’ve gotten cold and hard like mine did) and grab some paint brushes.

Paint the flat sides of the egg with an even layer of chocolate and put the satin ribbon, shaped as a loop, at the top of the egg. I failed to get a photo of the ribbon so use your imagination.

Press the whole thing together and gently hold for a few seconds until the chocolate dries. Don’t hold too long or you will melt the chocolate with your finger tips.

Note: I found it easier to make the ribbons into loops and glue ends together with chocolate before I put them in the eggs.

Isn’t that sweet?

In my minds eye, I saw a cute little tree with solid eggs but then I started playing around with easy little embellishments.

Like polka dots. I LOVE polka dots!

And then some stripes. So cute dontcha think? You can make the little eggs as fancy or simple as you wish.

I made a few extra eggs that could be used as place cards by painting the initial of each guest on the egg. Just tuck them in a little nest. How cute would that be?

Wishing you a Hippity Hoppity Easter filled with love & laughter and some sweet little treats!

Wenderly