IT’S only a few weeks until Easter.
Chocolate eggs and cards are already in the shops, along with seasonal cakes and hot cross buns.
But rather than add to your Easter expense, why not make your own treats?
I’ve got three recipes you can rustle up in no time.
Quick & easy hot cross buns
(Makes ten, 24p per bun)
You can also make the hot cross buns using a brown bread mix[/caption]
Prep time: 10 mins.
Cooking: 15 mins Proving: 1 hour
For the buns:
- 500g Morrisons crusty white bread mix
- 2 heaped tsp mixed spice
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 50g butter, chopped
- 50g mixed peel
- 85g currants
- 100ml milk
- 1 large egg
For the crosses and the glazes:
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- Golden syrup, for brushing
METHOD: Tip the bread mix into a bowl and stir in the spice and sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingertips then stir in the peel and currants.
Pour 100ml water on to the milk, then beat in the egg and pour into the dried ingredients.
Mix to a very moist dough (the wetter, the better).
Leave for five minutes then cut into ten equal pieces and roughly shape into buns with oiled hands (this helps to stop the mixture sticking too much).
Even though the mixture is very moist, try not to use extra flour, as it will toughen the dough. Space the buns apart on two greased baking sheets, cover loosely with cling film then leave in a warm room until about half again in size.
This will take about one hour, depending on how warm and moist the environment is.
When the buns have risen, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 while you make the crosses and glazes.
Mix the flour with 2½ tbsp water to make a paste.
Pour into a plastic food bag and make a tiny nick in one of the corners. Pipe crosses on each bun.
Bake for 12-15 mins until risen and golden. Trim the excess cross mixture and brush with golden syrup.
(Serves 12, 93p per portion)
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking: 30 mins
- 250g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 400g caster sugar
- 350ml vegetable oil
- 4 medium eggs
- 350g grated carrots
- 120g chopped walnuts
For cream-cheese icing:
- 225g cream cheese
- 110g margarine (softened)
- 450g icing sugar
- 120g chopped walnuts
- 1 1 tsp vanilla extract
METHOD: Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease two 23cm round cake tins. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon and sugar.
Add the oil and eggs, mix until blended, then stir in the carrots and nuts. Divide the cake mixture evenly between the two prepared tins.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. When done, a skewer inserted into the cake should come out clean.
Cool cakes on wire racks before removing from tins.
To make the icing, place the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. Add the sugar and cream. Stir in the nuts and vanilla.
Use the mixture to fill and ice the cooled cake layers.
(Makes 15, 32p per biscuit)
Prep time: 20 mins.
Cooking: 10 mins. Cooling: 30 mins
- 200g butter, at room temperature
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 400g plain flour
For the icing:
- 400g icing sugar
- 3-4 tbsp water
- 2-3 drops of food colourings
MOST READ IN MONEY
METHOD: Place butter in a mixing bowl with caster sugar. Using a wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg then gradually add flour.
Use hands to bring mixture together to a stiff dough. Gather into a ball and chill for 30 mins. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
Roll out dough on a work surface, lightly dusted with flour until it is the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut biscuits into any shape.
If you want them to look like eggs, use an oval cutter or a cardboard egg-shaped template.
Cut out biscuits, using rolled- out trimmings to make more.
Place on baking trays and bake for 6-10 mins, depending on size, until just golden brown.
Allow to cool for 5 mins before removing from baking tray to cool completely.
For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir in enough water to create a smooth mixture.
Stir in food colouring. Carefully spread the icing on to the biscuits and set aside until the icing hardens.