How do you spend your Good Friday? This day means different things to many people and I’m sure we all spend it in a way that is personal and true to ourselves. There is no denying though that when Easter starts to approach, our shops and bakeries are filled with the delicious aroma of spices emanating from sticky sweet hot cross buns. While we can’t seem to escape the fact that these delightful treats start to pop up just after Christmas, traditionally they are only enjoyed on Good Friday. How they are enjoyed is also a personal choice, toasted or untoasted, butter or nutella or just fresh and warm straight from the bag as you leave the shop.
When I was younger, hot cross buns only came in the traditional variety, with fruit, spices and orange peel (much to the disgust of my childhood self). Now you can walk into any bakery or grocery store and be presented with more than 5 different varieties ranging from choc chip to white chocolate and cranberry.
Alex and I decided to spend our Good Friday the way any day of rest should be spent. Eating, drinking coffee, baking and hanging in the park in the sun. When deciding what to bake today, something to do with Easter and hot cross buns was a no brainer. We thought of adding our own twist to hot cross buns but thanks to Coles and Woolworths, pretty much every variety of bun involving some sort of variation to the traditional bun been tried (fruitless anyone?) So, we thought we would make a cross (no pun intended) between a bun and a cookie and so we produced these yummy hot cross cookies. The recipe is courtesy of Donna Hay and we added our touch by omitting the mix spice and the lemon rind (you’re welcome kids) adding more sultanas and piping the crosses on with a sauce bottle(Yes, this is what you have to resort to when your other half throws out the piping bag and the nozzles!)
The result was well worth the burns to the hand and the mess on the kitchen floor. We ended up with beautiful round cookies that rose to a dome like shape which resembled a cute bun. They were definitely a hybrid of a cookie and a bread as they had a had a soft cakey texture and were light and fluffy without crumbling to pieces. They also had that signature hot cross bun taste of cinnamon and fruit and, having been for a run this morning, I even enjoyed one split in half with some butter ( how all good hot cross buns should be eaten!)
We hope you enjoy the Easter long weekend, however way you intend to spend it.
- 125g butter softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups self-raising flour, sifted
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ⅓ cup milk
- ½ cup sultanas
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon boiling water
- Pre heat oven to 160 degrees celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Place the butter and brown sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 8-10 minutes until pale and creamy
- Gradually add the eggs and vanilla, beating well after each addition
- Add the flour, cinnamon, milk and sultanas and beat until a smooth dough forms
- Roll tablespoon of the dough into balls and place on lightly greased baking trays lined with on stick baking paper
- Bake for 14-15 minutes or until golden
- Allow to cool on trays and the transfer to a wire rack
- Place the icing sugar and water in a bowl and mix until a paste forms
- Spoon into a piping bad fitted with a 3mm nozzle and pipe a cross over each cookie
- Allow to set