• deborahreinhardt

Turn a simple sweet yeast dough into adorable bunny-shaped rolls for your Easter brunch.


Easter Bunny Buns are Two sweet rolls shaped like bunny faces
Easter Bunny Buns

This recipe for Easter Bunny Buns was included in my Three Women in the Kitchen cookbook. The original recipe was clipped by my mom in the 1970s, and it’s been a part of our family’s Easter celebration for many years. I love the decorated ears and face, as well as the sweetness of this yeast roll. As with any yeast bread, these rolls take some time to prepare, but most of that is in the wait for dough to prove. However, the outcome—adorable and delicious Easter Bunny Buns—is worth any effort, and family members can help with decorating.


ingredients for Easter Bunny Buns include flour, white sugar, milk, one egg, salt, dry yeast, cinnamon and dark corn syrup

To make my Easter Bunny Buns, which makes one dozen rolls, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup milk

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • ¼ cup light molasses (or dark corn syrup)

  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast

  • 1¼ cup warm (105-115 degrees) water

  • 1 egg, unbeaten

  • 2 3/4 cups flour

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

  • Decorate finished buns with raisins, jarred cherries, flaked coconut and icing

How To Make Easter Bunny Buns

1. Combine milk, sugar, molasses, shortening, and salt in a medium saucepan and heat until shortening has just melted. Cool to lukewarm.


2. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in milk mixture, unbeaten egg, 2½ cups all-purpose flour, and cinnamon. Beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.


I used Mom’s food processor, aka “The Beast,” with the mixing blade to combine the dough because I don’t have a bread hook attachment for my stand mixer, and this dough would be too much for a hand-held mixer to tackle.


Easter Bunny Bun dough after first knead is shaped in a small ball
After kneading dough for bunny buns, shape into a small ball, place in a greased bowl, lightly brush top with vegetable oil and cover bowl with a towel.

3. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl; turn greased-side up and cover with a towel. Let rise in warm place for 1 to 1½ hours or until doubled. (My dough needed the full 90 minutes.) Punch dough down, knead a few times, and divide into 12 pieces.


A large ball of yeast dough in a white bowl
After 90 minutes, my dough bunny bun dough doubled its size and was ready to be cut into 12 pieces.

4. To shape the bunnies, roll each piece of dough into a rope about 12 inches long. Hold one end of rope in left hand and form loop in center of rope. Bring free end behind and through loop to form loose, single knot. Two ends are the ears; raised loop is face.


I found it a little difficult to get the dough ball started in the rolling process, so I used a pin to begin. After it was shaped into a flat (sort of) rectangle, I folded the dough in half or thirds; it was easier for me to then shape the rope. If you’ve never done this, start rolling the rope from the middle and work your way out to create an even thickness. It’s alright if the ends are a little tapered as it makes for better ears.


5. Place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets; repeat until all 12 are shaped. Cover with towels and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 30–45 minutes.


6. Lightly brush tops of bunnies with beaten egg. Press raisins into buns for eyes and a piece of cherry for nose. Bake at 375 degrees for 20–25 minutes or until golden. Remove and cool on wire racks.


All ovens are different, so I suggest checking the buns at 20 minutes. My bunny buns on the top rack were finished baking at 20 minutes, while I gave the lower baking sheet an extra 3 minutes.


At this point, you can place the cooled bunny buns into a storage bag and either freeze or keep in the refrigerator. I made these almost two weeks before Easter, so I chose to freeze the bunny buns until it’s time to decorate them.


How To Decorate Easter Bunny Buns


You can get as creative as you want! The raisins (or swap for Crasins) bake into the buns for the bunny eyes. Jarred cherries can be used for the mouth and nose. What we usually did was make a pink nose with a spot of colored icing. Then draw or finely pipe a few whiskers using white decorating icing. I like flaked coconut, but my daughter doesn’t, so I just outline a loop around the bunny’s ears using the white icing; fill it in if you’d like or keep just the outline.


My dad preferred the plain Easter Bunny Buns without decoration because he liked to dunk them with his coffee in the morning.


Making Easter Bunny Buns always reminds me of Easter celebrations I had with Mom, Dad and my grandparents. It was a beautiful holiday for my family that always started with me finding Easter eggs in our backyard that had been hidden by “the Bunny.” After a quick breakfast, we dressed up in our best Easter dresses (suits and a spring tie for Dad and Grandpa) and headed to church. Then we drove to my Uncle Fred and Aunt Nonie’s house for another egg hunt. Sometimes we’d visit Mom’s side of the family, and the cousins would scramble for eggs at my Aunt Mary and Uncle Raymond’s home. And there also were years when we hosted the gatherings.


But it was always a great time with extended family with comforting food like baked ham, sides of carrots and asparagus, a Jell-o “salad” of some type, fruit salad, scalloped potatoes, and Easter Bunny Buns (or if Mom didn’t have time, simple baked rolls) and butter. The meal every year Grandma Bubba was alive was finished with her Easter lamb cake. I feel the love and care she put into every one of them when I look at her antique cake mold. We haven’t had one since she passed; I’ll need to summon my courage and find a tutorial (or an experienced baker) to help me turn out the cake.


I say this all the time, but it’s true that food is such a powerful connector to our traditions and to our loved ones who have gone on. I make the Easter Bunny Buns and share the stories with each year with my daughter and whoever else gathers with us around the table that year. I hope you’ll do the same with the Easter (or Passover) foods you remember from childhood, and maybe start a new tradition with these adorable and tasty bunny buns.


Finally, I had to share a couple photos from the family album. My daughter, Emily, when she was 2 years dives into the basket Easter Bunny left for her. The photo of me and my parents on Easter 1960. We may change, but love of tradition doesn't. Wishing all who celebrate a joyous Easter!



 


Looking for other Easter menu ideas? Try another favorite from my family cookbook, Carrot Caper. It seems eggs are always a part of Easter tables, and I think you'll really like my BLT Deviled Eggs. Why not finish your meal with a light and moist Lemon Cake served with a a side of fresh berries?


 


Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.


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  • deborahreinhardt

This easy deviled egg recipe makes a perfect appetizer or side dish for your Easter meal.


BLT bacon-lettuce-tomato deviled eggs on top of romaine lettuce leaves sitting on spring platter
Say hello to spring with BLT Deviled Eggs!

We always had deviled eggs at our Easter dinner (something had to be done with all those colored eggs). But I remember Mom’s deviled eggs looking and tasting the same every year: Hard egg yolks were crumbled and mixed with plenty of mayonnaise and sweet pickle relish with a sprinkle of paprika for garnish. They were fine, although after so many years, it was hard to love that same platter of deviled eggs.


My friend Kelley makes great deviled eggs that include dry ranch dressing mix and bacon. But I’m ready to put these BLT Deviled Eggs up against anybody’s recipe because they’re that good. The sour cream adds a richness to the yolk mixture while the bacon provides the balancing saltiness to the sweet mayonnaise and tomatoes.


Eggs and Easter have gone together for centuries. In pagan traditions, eggs symbolize new life. Christians didn’t have a far leap to make with the egg as a representation of a resurrected Jesus emerging from his tomb. Decorating eggs at Easter goes back to the 13th century; some say it’s because eggs were forbidden to eat during Lent, so Christians painted and decorated eggs in celebration of their Lenten fast to enjoy on Easter.


Our Jewish friends include eggs in their Passover celebration. One egg is placed on the Seder plate each year to represent spring and the circle of life.


No matter what your religious affiliation (or lack thereof), if you’re an American, you eat 279 eggs a year. So, chances are, whether it’s for Passover or Easter or just a picnic this summer, you’re going to make deviled eggs, and when you do, try these tasty BLT Deviled Eggs instead of your old recipe.


To make my BLT Deviled Eggs, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 1 dozen eggs

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 cup diced, seeded tomatoes

  • 6 slices bacon or 3 slices thick-cut bacon

  • 3 to 4 leaves Romaine lettuce

  • Option garnish of dried thyme


You will have leftover egg yolk mixture after stuffing your cooked egg whites, but it’s wonderful the next day spread on toast. However, feel free to cut the quantities to suit your needs (I recommend maybe ¼ cup less of the sour cream and mayo and don’t use all the tomato.)


Easy directions to make BLT Deviled Eggs

Don’t laugh, but for most of my adult life, I had trouble making the perfect hard-boiled egg. The yolks turned green; sometimes I couldn’t peel the egg easily. So, here’s the scoop from a celebrity chef (I think it was Geoffrey Zakarian) on how to make the perfect hard-boiled egg.


Fill your medium to large saucepan with cold water, leaving about 2 inches from the top. No need to add anything to the water but bring it to a gentle boil. Using a spoon, place each egg into the pan. Leave the pan uncovered and set your timer to 12 minutes. When the timer goes off, drain the water. Gently bang the eggs against the sides to slightly crack the shells and refill saucepan with cold water. (This helps the eggs peel easier.) Let the eggs cool for about 5 to 10 minutes and peel.


Now that your eggs have cooked, the fun starts.


  1. Fry the bacon in a large pan over medium-high heat. I used the thick-cut bacon because I wanted more of a chew when biting into the finished deviled egg. Either way, you’ll want the bacon to be crisp so it can be crumbled or diced.

  2. While the bacon is cooking, slice each hard-boiled egg in half lengthwise. Using a teaspoon, carefully scoop yolks out of each half and place into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Take care not to tear the cooked egg white shell because it’s a vessel for the delicious BLT egg mixture. Crumble the cooked yolks.

  3. Using a paring knife, remove seeds from tomato and cut into a fine dice. To do this, I first cut tomato into thin strips then I cut those into small, cubed pieces. Place tomatoes into the bowl with egg yolks.

  4. You can buy shredded cheese, but I like to do it myself using a box grater. Four ounces of cheese will nearly fill a one-cup measure. Add cheese to the bowl with egg and tomatoes.

  5. I recommend mixing the sour cream and mayo separately in a small bowl and then scrape that into the bowl with the rest of your ingredients. I think it helps evenly distribute the “dressing” within the bowl. Fold everything together to combine.

  6. Place cleaned lettuce leaves onto a platter. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of egg mixture to fill the egg white halves and arrange on the leaves. This is how I presented the deviled eggs because I don’t own those special serving dishes with the egg-shaped indentations. The lettuce helps the deviled eggs from sliding around on the platter, but if you have the serving piece for eggs, you could simply garnish each egg with a bit of shredded lettuce. Another swap for lettuce is Belgian endive but my grocer didn’t have it this week. I like the size of endive leaves; placing an egg in each leaf would make a lovely presentation. By the way, did you know endive is not a lettuce but is in the chicory family?

If you want to be fancy, it’s possible to color the cooked white part of your deviled eggs. Here’s one way to do that.


Who invented deviled eggs anyway?

Although recipes really “evolve” rather than appearing out of nowhere, stuffed eggs go all the way back to ancient Rome, but the Americanized version of deviled eggs—what we’re all familiar with—became popular after World War II (although using mayonnaise in deviled eggs first appeared in a cookbook from 1896.)


What’s the story behind a BLT?

According to foodtimeline.org, those wacky Romans had all the ingredients for a bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich except for the mayonnaise, which is an 18th-century French invention (merci). Tomato and bacon sandwiches were around in the 1920s, but the term “BLT” first appeared in print in 1941. Like most of the foods we love, the short answer for “where did that come from” would be “your guess is as good as mine.”


Here’s one thing I can say with all certainty; for the absolute best BLT sandwich you’ve ever had in your life, you must visit Crown Candy Kitchen in north St. Louis. This historic eatery is over 100 years old, and their aptly named “Heart-stopping BLT” has 14 slices of bacon per sandwich! Great ice cream treats also are here, and don’t forget to take home some Easter candy. Their holiday molds are legendary but my favorite Easter treat from Crown Candy is a box of caramel-marshmallow eggs. Mouth is watering right now.


How do I store deviled eggs?

Because these come together so quickly (30 minutes, tops), I’d recommend making these the day of your celebration dinner. Keep the egg mixture and white egg halves covered in the refrigerator and assemble 15 minutes before everybody sits at the table. A deviled egg plate might make storage easier, but cover loosely with foil, not plastic wrap. And if you take deviled eggs on a picnic, these should be stored over ice or in a cooler with ice. For more safety tips regarding eggs, visit the Egg Safety Center.


Enjoy my BLT Deviled Eggs and happy spring!

 


Looking for other dinner or brunch ideas for Easter? My family loves Mom's Carrot Caper Casserole with sweet carrots and a crunchy, buttery cracker topping. My Egg Casserole with Biscuits is a great addition to a Sunday brunch. You can swap the bacon with some of your Easter ham.

 

Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.


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  • deborahreinhardt

Inspired by Louisiana's Cajun Country, tasty shrimp and creamy grits will be on your table in 20 minutes.


spiced shrimp, ham, tomatoes, corn, green onion on top of corn grits
Easy Comforting Shrimp and Grits

Right now, thousands of St. Louis’s best party animals are giving New Orleans a run for its money. We don’t have Bourbon Street, but the historic Soulard neighborhod annually hosts a raging Mardi Gras the Saturday before Fat Tuesday. A huge parade, some ‘Nawlins-inspired food and plenty of booze keeps the party rocking until the wee hours of the morning.


Thank you just the same, but I’d rather be at home listening to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on Spotify while enjoying a plate of these Easy Comforting Shrimp and Grits. If you’re looking for a quick dinner to whip up for Fat Tuesday (or to enjoy any time during Lent), this recipe is precisely what the doctor (Dr. John, that is) ordered. You’ll have this tasty and comforting dish on the table faster than you can say “let the good times roll.”


Cajun-style seasonings spice up the shrimp and the creamy corn grits are so silky and warming—perfect for a February or early March evening. It’s really a great little recipe that serves two people: just add the soundtrack and a cocktail of your choice and you’ve got a private Mardi Gras party at your fingertips.


While this is my take on the classic Southern dish, shrimp and grits was first enjoyed by Low Country laborers along the South Carolina coastal areas. Over several decades, inventive cooks expanded on the simple boiled shrimp with grits lunch; today, there are almost as many versions throughout the South as there are beads hanging from trees along New Orleans parade routes. So, let’s get cooking, chér!

To make my Easy Comforting Shrimp and Grits recipe, which makes two servings, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 12 medium shrimp (about 2 inches long), cleaned and deveined

  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

  • ½ green pepper, finely chopped

  • ½ cup corn salsa (from jar)

  • 2 ounces ham, diced

  • ½ cup yellow grits

  • 1 cup milk

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 green onion

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • salt


Ingredients for Easy Comforting Shrimp and Grits include shrimp, tomato and corn salsa, spices, ham, corn grits, green pepper and green onion
Ingredients for Easy Comforting Shrimp and Grits include shrimp, tomato and corn salsa, spices, ham, corn grits, green pepper and green onion.

Why the corn salsa? A valid question. There’s a wonderful Louisiana Cajun side dish called maque choux (pronounced mock-shoe) that’s chocked full of sweet summer corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and spices. Corn salsa is a nod to this traditional summer side, and it also creates a very quick sauce for the shrimp. Look for this style of salsa at your grocer’s; it’s probably there. If not, simply add a small can of corn to your favorite salsa.


Let’s talk ham. If you can find tasso—a Cajun spiced, smoked ham that’s beloved in southern Louisiana—extra points for you. Another nice swap for ham would be andouille sausage that’s been removed from its casing. Just be sure to brown it well before adding the shrimp. I had neither of these ingredients in the refrigerator, so let it be known plain old ham will work just fine.


Finally, if you don’t have any Cajun seasoning in your pantry, you can make a simple swap by combining ¼ teaspoons each of cayenne, garlic salt, smoked paprika and onion powder.


green pepper, ham and Cajun-spiced shrimp are part of Easy Comforting Shrimp and Grits recipe
Cajun-spiced shrimp cooks in two minutes.

Instructions to make Easy Comforting Shrimp and Grits recipe:

  1. Get a large skillet heated on medium-high heat. Add oil green pepper and ham to skillet and cook until ingredients start to brown. Three minutes in.

  2. Push this to one side of pan. Toss shrimp in spice and add to skillet. Cook shrimp about 1 minute on each side until they just turn pink. Remove from heat. Five minutes in.

  3. Now it’s time for the grits. In a medium saucepan, add milk, water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

  4. Back to the skillet, stir in corn salsa, coating shrimp, ham and pepper well. Set aside until grits are finished.

  5. When liquids come to a gentle boil, turn heat to low, add grits and stir for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, put a lid on the saucepan and let the grits continue to absorb liquid for another 2 minutes.

  6. Chop the green onion for garnish. My grits seized up a little, so I added a splash of water until they were creamy. I also stirred in 2 tablespoons of sour cream for a little extra richness. You could swap cream for grated cheddar cheese.

Told you it was easy! And man, is it ever delicious! I mean, when you take a bite and say to yourself, “damn, this is good,” you know you’ve nailed a recipe. The spice on the shrimp balanced well with the sweetness of the tomato and corn salsa. Adding milk and water to cook the grits gave it a little richness (and the sour cream didn’t hurt, either). Even that little amount of ham gave a nice salty presence to the dish, and the hum of the green onion finished the whole plate beautifully. To observe the abstaining of meat during the Lenten season, just leave out the ham.


Give my Easy Comforting Shrimp and Grits a try. It’s a taste of the Big Easy that will jazz up your Mardi Gras or Lenten supper plans.


 


 

Another Mardi Gras supper could be Louisiana Gumbo and if you want a traditional Lenten fish fry at home, you love this supper that features air-fried fish and a vinegar-style slaw.



 

About the blog

Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.



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