Easter is meant to be a religious time but in my experience it has generally been linked to particular moments around the table: There is the roasted lamb of Easter Sunday, the torrijas for breakfast, the chocolate eggs you give and receive and , of course, the Mona de Pascua my gran insisted in buying.
This year my nieces are old enough for me to have a go at making a version of a mona, but thinking about it , I realised that they are not old enough to the ones I remember which had a rich buttery sweet topping. This is why I have decided to invent a new Easter cake.
I like Easter bunnies but have never understood the idea behind the bunny bringing eggs. It feels wrong and illogical, but for once I will play ball, stop trying to understand and simply combine the two on this experiment.
This recipe is based on the very British shortbread which is buttery, lovely and crumbly.
Cooking time: 20 to 30 minutes prep, depending on the mold + 20 minutes baking per batch
Quantity: this mix makes around 30 bunnies
1. Choose a good shape for you biscuits. I honestly suffered with the ears of these bunnies, as they break very easily, so please learn from my naivety or make the paste a bit thicker.
2. You are meant to use plain flour but self rising brings air on to them and i rather like the resulting texture.
The Scottish version would require adding 100 gr of corn flour to the mix to give them body.
3. Space the biscuits at least 5mm from each other as they will increase size and might stick to each other.
If they do, as when you take them from the oven they will still be soft, pass the knife through the gap and let them cool.
4. Do not despair when you take them from the oven and feel soft. Leave them to cool as they will harden. Be patient.
5. There is a good reason why people use flat baking trays when making biscuits, if you use one with tall sides, the heat will build up and you will burn them in 20 minutes. Use baking paper on them and do be careful.
350 gr of flour
230 gr of softened butter
80 gr of sugar
1 tea spoon of vanilla essence
2 spoon full of cocoa powder
You could add lemon or orange rind, or a tea spoon of grind ginger instead ,for a little something or even deep the ears in melted coverture chocolate
Clear film. In my humble opinion and purely based on experience, Japanese one is the best. It is thicker and does not stick to itself. You can buy it at Muji , the Japan centre (in London) but I am sure that you will find it in more places. It is often one of my purchases at the 100 yen shop in Japan.
Preheat the oven at 190 degree Celsius or gas mark 5
Mix the sugar and the flour in a bowl.
Add the butter and mix with your hands until the mix turns into a smooth dough/ ball.
Separate the mix in two and add the vanilla to one half and the cocoa to the other and work it further.
Lay a long sheet of clear film on the worktop parallel to the edge of the worktop.
Make a sausage shape with half of one of the mixes. Place it on the clear film , parallel to the edge of the worktop.
Place another sheet of film on it and roll the rolling pin over the dough until you have a surface of 3mm thick.
Then, separate the top sheet and cut the shapes. Repeat the process using the whole mix.
Lay them on the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes per batch.
Refer back to the tips to ensure success
Photograph by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
Recipe by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
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