Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter treats

I decided to go ahead & make marshmallow eggs I'm not a huge fan normally but have wanted to try out making marshmallows for awhile. Very easy & not messy at all. Plenty of people try to say it is!

I used this recipe:

Next time, I'd use a lot more vanilla, but other that, I liked it fine. I dipped in dark chocolate too. Fluffy & tasty!

I also made peanut butter eggs (soooo good). I like this recipe but they are very soft so you have to keep them in the fridge. I'd probably try another one next time to see if it ended up stiffer. The graham cracker crumbs are a nice addition, maybe I just need more.

I printed some free printables & bagged them up.

I also made my Great Aunt Rose's famous pepperoni bread. I have memories of only getting this on Easter growing up. It's rich with pepperoni and fluffy ricotta with a slight sweetness in the dough - that sweetness is my strongest memory of this. This always tastes better if it sits a day, so I made it Friday night. And when I went to bed the whole house smelled of pepperoni!

My Italian friend Marsha tells me this is called Pizza Rustica and is the star of Easter lunch in Italy. I googled some recipes and it is quite similar, but the other recipes use a lot of meats. I might try one of those next time, because who doesn't love cured meats?

Check out her recipe, handwritten, longform. I love it but I did rewrite for myself in short form. You can see my Mom's notes on the side. These kinds of family things mean the world to me!

For history's sake, I'm still calling it Pepperoni Bread since that what she always called it.

Slight changes, I used shortening instead of lard. Tasty still but lard does give it a special extra punch of porky flavor. Also, I barely used any milk in the dough.

Great Aunt Rose's Pepperoni Bread

3 cups all pupose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
1/4 lb + 2 level tablespoons lard
5 large eggs mixed with a fork
milk - enough to make an easy dough (it will be lighter if not worked too long)

Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in lard and and eggs. This can be done in a food processor easily but I use my handheld pastry cutter. Add milk as needed, work until smooth. This dough will be sticky. Cut dough in half and on a floured surface, roll out into 2 12" rounds or make 2 rectangles to fit a long cookie sheet. Place one piece on a well greased cookie sheet, stretching carefully to edge.  Preheat oven to 350, make filling.

1 1/4 lb. pepperoni - sliced or chopped small (use good pepperoni, you will appreciate it!)
2 strips of bacon - cut into small pieces
1 1/4 lb. ricotta
5 large eggs mixed with a fork
1 egg mixed with water

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (by hand). Put mix evenly on dough, do not get too close to edge, leave about 1". It will be about 1" tall. Moisten the dough edge with the eggwash mixture. Place top crust over the mix and turn bottom edge up over the top & pinching together, seal well. Brush eggwash over the top. Sprinkle a little sugar & black pepper over the crust. Poke holes in the crust with a toothpick before baking.

After 15-20 minutes in the oven, pinch top again to prevent crust from cracking. (I did not have to do this). Bake another 30 minutes at 350, then 30 minutes at 325 or until it is well done & browned. If the top is getting too brown, place a piece of tin foil over it. Your house will smell like pepperoni by the end of this & you will be very hungry!

Cool the pan on a wire rack. When cool, remove from pan. Keep in a cool, dry place until the next day when it can be wrapped in foil. If weather is warm, it should be kept in the fridge.

We've always served this cold, on Easter day or as a nice afternoon snack.

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