Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

From noodles to fondant, Easter tastes great

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Today's column features Easter recipes that were requested by readers.

Donna Feniuk-Penner was looking for a dish she remembered from her Ukrainian heritage that was traditionally made at Easter with noodles, raisins and cinnamon. Thanks to Sophie Rieu, Lavona Susinski, Eva Goy, Gail Beyak, Stella Scherbatiuk, Maria Marcinowski, Wilma Bobyn's daughter, Helene Pitura, Nancy Kostiuk, Elaine Rohoway, Eleanor Brunette, Angie Kent, Frances Minishka, Josephine Smerchanski, Oksana Bodie, Emily Lucko, Pat Sobotkiewicz, Marian Ferens, Jean Botchar of Cooks Creek, Grace Bauch of Moosehorn, Aster Hansen of St. Adolphe, Shirley Bugara of Morden, Carol Froese of Pinawa, and Donna Einarsson of Cowichan Bay, B.C. The most common version appears today. Elaine Rohoway sends a cheese variation. Some readers noted that homemade egg noodles are best in the recipe, and Carol Beyak sent in that recipe as well.

Susan Noblet had lost a recipe that appeared in the Free Press years ago for fondant-filled chocolate-covered Easter eggs. Thanks to Mary Fuller of Portage la Prairie who sent me the original page from 1992,

New requests: Ken Sochasky is looking for a good recipe for blondies, and Diane Baran would like to duplicate the Brandy Alexander torte that was originally baked by How Sweet It Is, and was served at the Velvet Glove.

If you can help with a recipe request or have your own request send an e-mail to recipeswap@freepress.mb.ca, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Darlene Henderson, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB., R2X 3B6. Include your first and last name, address and telephone number.

Easter macaroni casserole

625 ml (2 1/2 cups) egg noodles

125 ml (1/2 cup) butter, melted

125 ml (1/2 cup) raisins, washed well

60 ml (1/4 cup) sugar

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

1 ml (1/4 tsp) cinnamon

3 eggs, beaten

250 ml (1 cup) scalded milk, cooled

Cook noodles in salted water until almost done. Drain well. Add melted butter and mix well. Add raisins and mixture of sugar, salt, cinnamon, beaten eggs and the cooled milk to noodles. Place in a well buttered casserole dish, 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 baking dish, and bake at 350 F about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Good hot or cold.

Cheese variation

625 ml (2 1/2 cups) egg noodles

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

3 eggs, beaten

60 ml (1/4 cup) butter, melted

250 ml (1 cup) dry cottage cheese

250 ml (1 cup) grated cheddar cheese

250 ml (1 cup) scalded milk, cooled

Bake as above. Serve warm.

Taste Tester Notes: Both of these versions taste great, and are even better when made with homemade egg noodles. (A couple of recipes called for elbow macaroni instead of egg noodles). Some recipes called for 60 ml (1/4 cup) butter, and some for 2 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon; either amount works and is to taste. Some readers cover the casserole with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, and then uncover and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown, to help keep the noodles from drying out. If you don't cover it, there may be a few noodle ends on top that dry out a bit (I actually like having a few crunchy bits of noodle), and when baked covered I found it needed an extra few minutes of baking time. For the cheese variation, I added 125 ml (1/2 cup) of sautéed chopped onions in with the mixture.

Homemade egg noodles

2 eggs

15 ml (1 tbsp) water (or a bit more as needed)

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) flour

0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) salt

Mix the ingredients into a smooth stiff dough. Let rest for 10 minutes, then on a floured board roll out as thin as possible. Let dry for a few minutes. Dust with flour. Cut in strips 1 1/2 inches wide, place on top of each other and cut into fine shreds. Note: Flour each strip when placing on top of each other or they will stick together. Use for above recipe. Can also be dried on towel or cookie sheet for future use for chicken soup, etc.

Taste Tester Notes: There is such a lovely texture and flavour to homemade egg noodles. Whisk the eggs, water and salt together, and then stir in flour and knead. Add more water, a few drops at a time, if needed until it comes together in a smooth, stiff ball. I used the pasta roller and cutter attachment for my stand mixer to make these very quickly. This makes the perfect amount for the above recipe. I also made a batch with whole wheat flour, that turned out great as well.

Chocolate cream-filled Easter eggs

1 - 300 ml can sweetened condensed milk

250 ml (1 cup) butter, softened

15 ml (1 tbsp) corn syrup

10 ml (2 tsp) salt

10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla

2.75 - 3 litres (11-12 cups) icing sugar

Food colour

Dipping chocolate

Ornamental icing

In a large bowl combine sweetened condensed milk, butter, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Add icing sugar in 3 or 4 batches, stirring well after each addition. Knead with hands until mixture holds its shape and is smooth and pliable. Divide mixture into thirds. Wrap two thirds in plastic wrap; set aside (do not refrigerate). Tint remaining one third with yellow food colour and roll into 20 balls to form yolks. Place on tray and chill 30 minutes or until firm. Divide reserved white mixture into 20 pieces. Flatten each slightly and wrap around yellow yolks to form egg shapes. Place eggs on tray; cover with plastic wrap. Chill 4 hours or until firm.

Prepare dipping chocolate. Use a fondue fork to dip eggs into chocolate. Gently tap fork to remove excess. Place eggs on wax paper-lined tray. Set in cool place for a few minutes until chocolate is firm. Decorate as desired with ornamental icing, being sure to cover marks made by fondue mark. Wrap eggs in plastic or place in plastic bags and tie with coloured ribbons. Store in cool, dry place. Makes 20 Easter eggs.

Dipping chocolate: Place 4 squares of semi-sweet chocolate and 160 ml (2/3 cup) vegetable shortening in a bowl. Place bowl in pan of hot water that reaches half-way up side of bowl. Stir constantly, scraping down so chocolate melts evenly. Do not let even one drop of water mix with chocolate. Remove bowl from hot water when melted chocolate reaches 108 F, then stir a few minutes longer. If temperature drops too low, rewarm chocolate by setting bowl in pan of hot water to maintain 86 F dipping temperature.

Ornamental icing: Combine 3 egg whites, 1 package icing sugar, 2 ml (1/2 tsp) cream of tartar, 2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla in mixer bowl. Tint as desired with food colour. Place icing in pastry bag filled with decorative nozzle and decorate eggs as desired. Makes about 2 cups.

Taste Tester Notes: These sweet Easter treats turn out very pretty and will likely delight some of the younger set, but I did find them a bit finicky to make (and far too sweet for my taste). I used a double boiler for the dipping chocolate. Once the chocolate and shortening melted, it seemed thin, so I added an extra square of semi-sweet chocolate, as well as a square of unsweetened chocolate to darken it. Use a candy thermometer if you have one to keep at the correct temperature (if it is too hot, the chocolate will not coat the eggs properly). I actually ran out of dipping chocolate, as I coated the eggs thickly, and had to make another half recipe. For the icing, I only used 2 egg whites and about 750 ml (3 cups) of icing sugar (the icing can't be too soft - it has to be able to hold its shape). Portion the icing off into small bowls to colour as desired, and keep covered with plastic wrap while working to prevent it drying out. The icing on the eggs will dry to a smooth, hard finish.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 19, 2008

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