Home-Made Chocolate Treats for Easter

Celebrate this Easter with Home-Made Chocolate Treats!

This year make the most of family time over Easter and gather the kids in the kitchen to give the grown-ups a hand whipping up some sweet treats. Perfect for morning tea on Easter Sunday, the kids are sure to love both making and eating the chocolate cranberry crackles. The cranberry hot cross buns are a new take on a traditional Easter favourite - sure to be popular with all members of the family, young and old.

By adding some cranberry goodness to your Easter goodies, you can feel free to indulge knowing that you are receiving the terrific nutrition qualities of this antioxidant-packed berry.

Check out www.cranberries.com.au for more delicious recipes and information on the amazing health benefits of cranberries.

Chocolate and Cranberry Crackles

An easy recipe to make with children at Easter, these sweet treats are ready to enjoy in less than 90 minutes. Copha no longer contains trans-fats, but if you're looking for a less processed alternative, organic virgin coconut oil can be used and is available from health food stores. It will set to a solid in the fridge.

chocolate crackle
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour (chilling)
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Difficultly rating: Very easy
Makes 24

Ingredients
4 cups Rice puffs
1 & cups Icing sugar
1 cup Desiccated coconut
1 cup Cranberries, dried
250g Copha, chopped
3 tbsp Cocoa
2 tbsp Silver ball cake decorations
24 Paper patty cases

Method:

1. Place rice puffs, icing sugar, coconut, cranberries and cocoa in a large mixing bowl

2. Melt the Copha over a low heat in a saucepan and allow to cool slightly

3. Add to the rice puff mixture, stirring thoroughly until combined

4. Spoon mixture evenly into patty cases and refrigerate for approximately an hour until firm

5. Dot each crackle with 3-4 silver ball cake decorations each to give it an eggs-tra special Easter touch.


Cranberry Hot Cross Buns

These are lovely for morning or afternoon tea over Easter; served cold or toasted. They can bespread with butter or ricotta, which complements the sweetness of the cranberries. Tomake spicier buns, simply double the quantity of ground spices.

Prep time: 55 minutes + 90 minutes proofing
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2hours 55 minutes
Difficultly rating: Medium
Makes 16

Ingredients
1& cups (310ml) Milk
3/4 cup (165g) Caster sugar
2 x 7g sachets Dried yeast
4 1/3 cups (650g) Plain flour (plus extra for flouring your hands and surfaces)
1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, ground
1/4 tsp Ginger, ground
1/4 tsp Cardamom, ground
1 cup (190g) Cranberries, dried
1 Egg, lightly beaten
100g Unsalted butter, melted, cooled
tsp Salt

Method:

1. Gently stir the milk and 1/3 cup of sugar in a saucepan over low heat till it is lukewarm, then turn off heat 2. Stir in yeast, then stand on stovetop for 10 minutes or until mixture is foamy

3. Sift 4 cups of flour, spices and 1/4 tsp salt together into a bowl

4. Stir in cranberries, add the yeast mixture, egg and butter and stir until the mixture forms a dough

5. Flour a clean kitchen surface or chopping board (the surface is usually easier) and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic

6. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place (not an oven!) for 1 hour or until doubled in size. NB - If you have a bread maker, follow the instructions for proofing to save time at this stage

7. Divide dough into 16 pieces and shape into balls and place in a greased 23cm square cake tin

8. Cover with plastic wrap then stand in a warm place (not an oven) for 30 minutes or until it has risen level with the rim of the tin

9. Preheat oven to 200C while you make the icing

10. Stir remaining flour, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water together until smooth

11. Spoon into a piping bag then pipe crosses over buns

12. Bake for 10 minutes at 200C then reduce oven to 180C and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and risen

13. Turn on to a wire rack to cool

14. Stir remaining 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tbsp water in a saucepan over low-medium heat until sugar dissolves then bring to the boil. Brush hot syrup over top of buns. Serve.


* All cranberry products listed above can be found in major supermarkets around Australia.


Health Benefits of Cranberries
Cranberries contain bacteria-blocking compounds that are believed to be helpful in preventing urinary tract infections, and recent research suggests this same function may be useful in blocking the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers and certain oral bacteria that can lead to gum disease.

*The Australia Cranberry Media Bureau is sponsored by the U.S. Cranberry Industry - growers of 80% of the world's best loved fruit.




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