The Passion Story + Hot Cross Buns

Approximately 2000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and died for our sins. Judas Iscariot, for 30 pieces of silver betrayed him into the hands of temple guards. Jesus was then trailed, mocked, beaten and nailed to the cross. As a result today is recognized as Good Friday.

Christians all over the globe commemorate this day in many ways. Some attend church services and plays or dedicate the day to prayer, fasting and meditation. Others, like myself, also enjoy celebrating little traditions like eating hot cross buns for breakfast.

I don’t know the history behind hot cross buns nor will I pretend to. What I do know is that their soft, fluffy, cinnamon body, topped with the perfect consistency of icing and unfortunately filled with raisins, which I religiously pick out, beat any breakfast muffin at a five star hotel. Maybe not any muffin… but you get the point.

Word of advice, if you’re like me and raisins remind you of rat turds and taste like grapes that have been left in the sun far too long – see what I did there? – be sure to half the amount of raisins used in the recipe. Although, half turned out to be more than I cared for. Otherwise, just skip them out altogether or replace them with craisins. Wish I’d thought of that before I made these.

But you’re in for a yummy treat if you like ze hot cross le bun buns. I got this recipe from sophistimom, five kudos for that cool lady. Get it. Make it. Eat it. Enjoy it. However you choose to celebrate this good day, I hope that you take some time to reflect on Jesus’ selfless act on that old rugged cross.

“In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, a wondrous beauty I see, for ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died, to pardon and sanctify me.” 

Lemon Bars

Once upon a time, I avoided lemon flavoured desserts. It seemed wrong to me that dessert would be made with lemons. They’re acidic and too tangy people! They will just ruin the perfect dessert!

Silly Candice. One should not make an opinion about something unless one has tried it thyself. Then one is granted all privilege to make judgements on said thing.

My view changed when I had a slice of Lemon Meringue Pie from a friend. I was in disbelief that something so err …unpleasant… would make my taste buds dance and sing to the heavens! “If lemon be the food of love, eat on!” Sayeth my tongue. 

On Sunday night, I decided to try Lemon Bars. We were expecting my uncle for dinner and I needed a dessert that was little prep and little bake time. On my first attempt I made one blunder. In the original recipe, the baker made her bars in a 9 x 13 pan. I on the other hand, made mine in a rectangular shaped cupcake baking pan. So the dimensions were smaller. Shamefully, I baked my bars in the same amount of time it took the 9 x 13 pans and burnt them all. *hangs head in shame* They were surprisingly good though. My uncle ate and licked his plate to boot. No, that last part did not happen but he said it was good and ate all of it!

Two tablespoons of perfection, a cup of determination and a constant nagging in my head pressed me to revisit the recipe with minor alterations. I baked the crust in half the original time but baked the filling in its original time, which equaled to SCRUMDIDDLYUMPTIOUSNESS!

P.S. I also halved the original recipe.

Here! The recipe [plus pictures] for all, from Bakerella.

Lemon Bars

Crust:
1 cup butter
1 3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar (plus more for dusting)

Topping:
1 1/2 cup plain sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan

To make crust:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and confectioner’s sugar
  • Cut in butter until combined and crumbly.
  • Press mixture into bottom of pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

To make topping:

  • While crust is baking, prepare topping.
  • In a larger bowl, add sugar, flour, and baking powder.
  • Then add slightly beaten eggs and lemon juice.
  • Mix well and pour on top of warm baked crust.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • When cool, dust with confectioner’s sugar and refrigerate.
  • Cut into bars and enjoy them cold!

{Getting my hands dirty. Pressing the crust into the pan}

{They look so ugly when they’re done. Urgh. I will spare you the details of my sister’s description of them}

{Half a cup full of powdered sugar helps the lemons go down -tehe}

{Bon Appetit}

Chunky Monkey Banana Bread

What do you do when you have two week old bananas in your kitchen? Make banana bread of course!

This is our favourite recipe for Banana Bread. We got it from our Newlywed Kitchen Cookbook.

In this recipe, we used a special ingredient, which renders many baked goods incomparably moist!

{Sour Cream – mmm… mmm… good}

{It was quick and easy to prepare}

{Be sure to put a little extra for nibbling after you’ve put into the mixture – hehe}

{I bought this cute mini rectangular muffin pan especially for my banana bread baking. I also made the brown paper holder myself. Will be sure to share, how to, in another post}

Chunky Monkey Banana Bread

What you need:

2 c. flour

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

¾ c. light brown sugar

¾ c. granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ c. (about three large) mashed overripe bananas

1 c. full-fat sour cream

2 large eggs

½ c. chopped walnuts

½ c. semisweet chocolate chips

How to make: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9-by-5 loaf pan with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar for 3 to 4 minutes, until the butter mixture becomes light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, bananas, sour cream and eggs.
  4. Stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, then stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes in the pan before carefully turning it out onto a wire rack, discarding the parchment paper. When baking in muffin tins,  just pour mixture into muffin holders and bake for 30 – 40 mins or until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

{Bon Appétit}

Aunty Lorraine’s Carrot Cake

Today I’m sharing a carrot cake recipe. I got it from my friend, Lorraine. She’s an exceptionally good cook and her carrot cake is the best I have ever had. Its soft, not too sweet and simply perfect.

{Fresh out the oven}

{Cooled and ready for frosting}

{Bon Apitoie}

Aunty Lorraine’s Carrot Cake

Ingredients

1 ½ c. flour

1 c. sugar

3 eggs

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 c. corn oil

2 c. grated carrots

½ tsp salt

½ c. walnut (optional)

Method

  1. Put oil & sugar in mixing bowl and beat for 5 mins.
  2. Add eggs and beat one at a time.
  3. Sift all dry ingredients together and add.
  4. Add carrots & walnuts.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 mins. (20 mins for cupcakes – makes approx. 24)

I got the cream cheese frosting recipe from Cannella Vita. I really like this one because the cream cheese flavour isn’t very pungent like others I’ve had. I think all the ingredients are blended perfectly to create a really sweet but mild flavour. Try it! It’s my favourite! (On a side note, I halved the frosting ingredients and still had a little left over after frosting my cupcakes.)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup of shortening
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter @ room temp
  • 1 8oz bar cream cheese @ room temp
  • 1 Tbs. white vanilla extract
  • 2 lbs ( 8 cups) powder sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Cream together shortening, butter and cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add vanilla into mixture and combine. Sift together sugar and salt, and slowly add to shortening, butter & cheese mixture. Make sure that all sugar is incorporated. Enjoy!