I love holiday-themed foods. Being inspired by things I find online, in magazines and in my beloved cookbooks always encourages me to push my own creative boundaries and try my hand at seasonal goodies to be shared with friends and family.
A staple of my gift-giving (and my entrepeneurial pursuits!) for as long as I can remember has been decorated gingerbread cookies - rarely does a holiday or special occasion go by that I don't produce at least a couple of batches of these spicy cookies, sometimes decorated with rolled fondant, but most often iced with a royal icing which allows me to change the texture according to whether I want 'floodwork' pieces (such as the ones above) or delicately piped scrolls, swirls, letters or patterns. I also adore the lemony tang of this icing against the warmth of the deep spiciness in the cookies.
Given that my new freelance career has, for the moment, left me with a little more time than in previous years, this year I'll be selling some of these gorgeous gingerbread treats to supplement my income and stimulate the creative juices. And as I'll be offering them for sale to the family and friends I also give gifts to, I think it's only fair that I find something different to make as gifts for those people, don't you? So below are a few little inspirations I'm hoping to try my hand at in the next couple of weeks before Easter rolls around:
- Sugar-sanded marshmallow bunnies over at the Martha Stewart site.
- Hot cross buns - there are heaps of recipes online, mostly the basic dough is the same, just vary the dried fruits according to your taste. I'll be leaving out the citrus peel but including some dried apricots and maybe some figs, too.
- The very naughty but very nice-looking Chocolate Caramel Tart from a back issue of my Delicious magazine collection.
- Another Delicious recipe, the aptly but perhaps strangely-named Easter Salad, which I'll probably serve as a side dish to some kind of barbecued fish. Not so much a gift, unless you count it a gift to be invited to someone's house for dinner (I certainly do!).
- And while we're on the fish idea, perhaps this Fish with Caper Butter Sauce might be nice too...
What will you be making or serving this Easter?