Since Easter is just around the corner, I figured I'd share a recipe that my mom used to make each Easter when my sisters and I were little kids. It's from the "Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Cook Book". I managed to get a copy of it on eBay and look forward to making some of the other breads and treats that my mom used to make each year!
These bunny buns are so yummy and my kids love them! I've only ever made the twist bunnies, but perhaps I'll make the curlicue bunnies this year as well so I can get a picture!
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
¼ c. warm water (110 – 115 degrees (F))
5 ½ c flour
1 c milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 c. sugar
¼ c. orange juice
½ c. shortening
2 tbsp orange peel, grated
In a small bowl, soften the yeast in the warm water. Heat together the milk, sugar, salt, and shortening until the shortening melts. Cool to lukewarm (110 to 115 degrees (F)), then stir in 2 cups of the flour. Beat well. Add the eggs; mix well. Stir in the yeast mixture. Add the orange juice, peel, and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Rest 10 minutes.
Knead dough 5 to 10 minutes. cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2 hours). Punch down. Cover. Let rest for 10 more minutes.
Shape into bunnies. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Let bunnies rise in a warm place until almost doubled before baking. Bake at 375 degrees (F) for 12 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with a mixture of confectioners’ sugar and milk. Makes about 20 bunnies.
TWISTED BUNNIES: For each, you’ll need a 14-inch strip of dough. Wrap one end of the strip over the other to form a loop; now bring the end that’s underneath up over the top end, letting the tips extend to the side for ears. Plat the tips of the eats to shape a point. Roll a small ball of dough and place in the middle of the loop at the bottom of the bunny for the tail.
CURLICUE BUNNIES: For each, you’ll need a 10-inch strip of dough for the body and a 5-inch strip for the head. Make a loose swirl of the body strip. Swirl the strip for the head and place close to the body (they’ll “grow” together as the dough rises). For the ears, pinch off 1 ½ inch strips and roll between hands until smooth and cigar-shaped. Let the point make the tip of the ear; snip off the opposite end and place the ear next to the head. Pinch off a bit of dough and roll into a ball. Place the ball next to the back-end of the bunny for the tail.