10 Cheerful Recipes for Spring and Easter

%22Eggs+in+a+Nest%22+Cupcakes+

Julie Clark

“Eggs in a Nest” Cupcakes

Whether you’re celebrating Easter this weekend or not, spring has sprung, and it’s time to get into the spirit. This season is bringing fresh berries, bright flavors, and plenty of colors. We have recipes to match. Here are 10 recipes to celebrate the season! 

Stuffed Tomato Tulips:  

Ingredients: 

  • 16 large cherry tomatoes
  • 16 stalks of chives 
  • 8 oz. of cream cheese
  • 1 cucumber 
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil 
  • Salt and pepper 

Directions: 

  1. Cut a ¾ deep cross in the top of each cherry tomato, use a spoon to scoop out the tomato seeds from the interior
  2. Use a toothpick to make a hole where the stem of the tomato is 
  3. Next, in a bowl, mix cream cheese, basil, grated cucumber, salt, and pepper
  4. Once the filling is done, use a teaspoon to scoop it into each tomato tulip 
  5. Insert a chive where you previously made the hole with your toothpick 
  6. Enjoy! 

Chocolate Covered “Carrot” Strawberries:  

Ingredients: 

  • Fresh strawberries
  • 1 bag of Orange Candy Melts 

Directions:

  1. Rinse the strawberries (make sure they fully dry before proceeding)
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Pour the bag of Candy Melts into a microwave-safe bowl 
  4. Heat the Candy Melts for 15-20 second increments and carefully stir them with a rubber spatula in between each increment until they are completely melted
  5. Hold the bowl of chocolate at an angle and dip each strawberry individually
  6. Lay them on the counter (or in your freezer) until each strawberry has a hard shell 
  7. Take a sandwich bag and cut the tip of it for a chocolate drizzle 
  8. Once the chocolate has hardened on each strawberry, Enjoy! 

 

Bunny Cake  / Bunny Berry Cake 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 packages of cake mix 
  • 2 cups water
  • ⅔ cup softened butter
  • 6 eggs
  • Vanilla frosting (or cream cheese frosting)
  • Candies (or berries, and coconut shavings)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉ 
  2. Mix cake batter, water, butter, and eggs until a thick but smooth batter is formed
  3. Pour batter into two separate 9’ round pans 
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes  
  5. Once the two cakes are ready, cut the cake as directed in the photo 
  6. Assemble bunny shape 

*At this point, decorate the cake with frosting, your candy of choice. For a healthier alternative, use berries, cream cheese frosting, and coconut shavings* 

“Eggs in a Nest” Cupcakes 

Ingredients: 

  • Generic cupcake mix 
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup softened butter
  • Cadbury Eggs
  • Chocolate Frosting 
  • Chocolate Sprinkles 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350℉
  2. Mix cupcake batter with the water, butter, and eggs until smooth 
  3. Place cupcake liners in the pan and pour cupcake batter into each liner
  4. Bake for 14-19 minutes 
  5. Once the cupcakes are done baking and cooled, use a piping bag frost each cupcake in a swirling motion 
  6. Pour chocolate sprinkles into a large bowl
  7. Gently press each cupcake upside down into the bowl of chocolate sprinkles to pick up the sprinkles on the frosting 
  8. Place a few Cadbury eggs in the center of each cupcake 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 pie crusts
  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb 
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice + 1 tsp zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter, chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Roll out both pie crusts to a diameter of about 16”
  2. In a large bowl, mix rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, zest, and salt. Place one crust into a pie dish and pour in the fruit mixture. Dot with pieces of butter.
  3. With the other sheet of pie dough, make a lattice top. To do this, first cut the dough into ¾” strips. Then, weave strips over and under each other in a criss-cross formation. Using kitchen shears, trim the top and bottom crust, so there’s a 1” overhang, then fold under and crimp edges together. Brush crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. This should take about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes. If the crust is browning too fast, cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Let cool slightly, then serve with vanilla ice cream!

Lemon Bars

Ingredients

Crust: 

  • 8 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ⅛ tsp salt

Filling:

  • 6 eggs (room temp)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Zest of 4-6 lemons
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. For the crust, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the salt, then add the flour, mixing slowly until “just” combined. 
  3. Gather the dough into a ball, then press into a 9-by-13 inch baking pan. Build up a ½-inch crust on all sides.  
  4. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. 
  5. Whisk together all filling ingredients. Pour into the crust and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until filling is set. 
  6. Let cool to room temp, then dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Easter Egg Bread 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 to 6 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 tbsp butter, cubed
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature 
  • 3 to 6 hard-boiled large eggs, unpeeled
  • Assorted dye for eggs
  • Canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix sugar, yeast, cardamom, salt, and 2 cups of flour. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°F. Add to dry ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add 3 of the eggs; beat on high for 2 minutes. Stir in 4 cups of the remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  2. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Add more flour (up to ½ cup) if needed. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, dye hard-boiled eggs. Let stand until completely dry.
  4. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide into thirds. Roll each portion into a 24” rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid. Bring ends together to form a ring, and pinch the ends to seal it. Lightly coat dyed eggs with oil; arrange on braid, tucking them carefully between ropes.
  5. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°.
  6. In a bowl, whisk remaining egg and water; gently brush over dough, avoiding eggs. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool, and enjoy!

Shortbread Cookies (adapted from Alison Roman’s Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies)

 

Ingredients (for 24 cookies)

– 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 ¼ sticks) salted butter, room temperature

– ½ cup granulated sugar

– ¼ cup light brown sugar

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

– 1 large egg, beaten

– Demerara sugar, for rolling

– Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

– (Optional)

 

Directions

1) Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

2) Use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or electric hand mixer to beat the butter, granulated and light brown sugars, and vanilla on medium-high till super light and fluffy.

3) With the mixer on low, slowly add flour, and mix until just blended. Make sure all of the flour is completely incorporated.

4) Divide the dough and half and roll each half into a log shape. Each should be roughly 6-inches long and 2-2 ¼ inches in diameter.

5) Chill logs until firm, approximately 2 hours.

6) Heat oven to 350 degrees.

7) Brush the outside of logs with the beaten egg and roll them in demerara sugar (for crisp edges).

8) Use a knife to slice each log into ½-inch-thick rounds.

9) Place rounds onto prepared baking sheets.

10) Sprinkle with flaky salt.

11) Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to brown.

12) Cool slightly before eating.

 

Soft Egg-Shaped Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with Icing (adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies)

 

Ingredients (for 24 egg-shaped cookies)

Cookies

– 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

– ½ teaspoon baking powder

– ¼ teaspoon salt

– ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

– ¾ granulated sugar

– 1 large egg, room temperature

– 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

– ¼ or ½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)

– Egg-shaped or circle-shaped cookie cutter

Easy Glaze Icing

– 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

– ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

– 1 teaspoon light corn syrup (optional, makes icing shiny and glossy)

– 2-2 ½ tablespoons water, room temperature

– Pinch of salt (to taste)

 

Directions

1) Whisk flour, baking powder, salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2) Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.

3) Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat on high speed until combined.

4) Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix on low until combined. Add 1 more tablespoon of flour if the dough seems too soft and sticky for rolling.

5) Divide dough into two equal parts. Roll out each portion onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper or silicone baking mat (about ¼ inch thickness, ½ inch if you only have a circle-shaped cookie cutter).

6) Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours.

7) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

8) Remove dough from the refrigerator. Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into shapes. If you only have a circle-shaped cookie cutter, cut out circle-shaped cookies and then use a rolling pin to roll them out into an egg shape.

9) Arrange cookies on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart.

10) Bake for 11-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.

11) Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

12) To make the icing, whisk confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, and water in a medium bowl (if too thick, add ½ tablespoon more water; if too thin, add 2 more tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar).

13) Drizzle a little of the icing with the whisk. If the ribbon of icing holds for a few seconds before melting back into the icing, then it’s the right consistency.

14) add liquid or gel food coloring if desired.

15) Decorate cookies as desired. Add sprinkles if desired.

 

Homemade Cheese Crackers (from Tasty’s Homemade Cheese Crackers by Claire Nolan)

 

Ingredients

– 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)

– 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 1 cup flour

– 2 tablespoons ice water

 

Directions

1) Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to combine cheese, butter, and salt in a large bowl.

2) Once combined, mix in flour.

3) Add ice water once tablespoon at a time. The dough should hold together but crumble apart if you break it up in your hand. Add more ice water if it seems too dry.

4) Separate dough into two halves. Pack each half into disks. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5) Roll out dough to 1/8 of an inch. Pinch the cracks on the ends.

6) Cut into 1-inch by 1-inch squares and poke a hole through the middle of each square.

7) Place separated crackers on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

8) Bake for 13 minutes, or until golden brown.

9) Cool slightly. Enjoy!