By Angelika Hanna
In Germany, where I grew up, Easter used to be a big deal. Stores were decorated with edible and non-edible Easter bunnies and Easter eggs and Easter chicks. We always picked birch tree branches with buds, just before they brought forward their new spring leaves, in a vase indoors, and we decorated those tree branches with colorful wooden eggs as well as with blown out and painted real chicken eggs. Outdoors, people hung their shrubs with big multi-colored plastic eggs.
Easter in Europe was a joyful celebration of renewal and re-birth not just in terms of Christianity, but also in terms of nature and the Spring Season.
I always loved this time of the year and I carried some of the German traditions over to Canada.
This year I tried something new on culinary levels. I
modified an almond Christmas recipe. For my Easter treats, I cut out bunnies using a bunny cookie cutter and brushed my bunnies with melted semi-sweet chocolate.
I can claim this recipe as my own “invention” to put in my Easter treats collection.
Prep Time: 2 hrs
Bake Time: 25-30 min
Total Time: 2 hrs 30 min
Yield: 24 bunnies plus a few egg shaped cookies from the remaining dough.
Author: Angelika Hanna / Zest4Food
- 12 tbsp butter, unsalted, room temperature, cut into chunks
- 2 cups pastry, all purpose flour or gluten free flour
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 large egg yolks
For the Icing:
4 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, melted
- Combine the butter and flour preferably in the food processor or with your mixer in a bowl. The mixture should result in coarse and flaky crumbs.
- In a separate bowl, combine vanilla sugar or extract, salt, egg yolks and powdered sugar using a mixer.
- Add the ground almonds to the egg yolk/icing sugar mix and knead the ingredients through with your hands until you have moist and sticky dough.
- Add the butter/flour crumbs to the sticky dough and knead with your hands until all ingredients are well combined into a firm dough.
- Roll dough out – approx. 1/3 inch thick on a clean and greased working space. Then, I used a bunny shaped cookie cutter to cut out Easter bunnies.
- Transfer the bunnies carefully to a baking sheet, cover with plastic foil and place in the fridge for at least an hour to develop the flavor. (When the dough has the right texture, it won’t stick on your baking sheet, so no parchment paper nor extra grease on the sheet is required.)
- When well cooled, take baking sheets out of the fridge and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake the bunnies, one baking sheet at a time for 12 min.
- Let the baked bunnies sit on the baking sheet for approx. an hour to cool; then, brush them with the melted chocolate.
- Leave the bunnies out overnight to let cool off completely and harden. Then, store them in an air-tight container or in a tin.