Ration Recipe: Easter Nests

I found the recipe for Easter Nests in my April 1943 Westinghouse Health-for-Victory cookbook. I've been saving this one until Easter came around (of course!). I was so excited to finally get to try it. What interested me, besides the cute name, was the glazed Hot Cross Buns with jelly beans on top. It just sounded so fun to eat, and I knew my kids would love it too.

I've never made Hot Cross Buns before. I've always heard about them - isn't there a nursery rhyme somewhere? In my typical glazing over of the recipe, I didn't see the addition of cinnamon and allspice until it was time to make it. So, I was especially pleased and surprised that instead of plain bread rolls, they were going to have some spice. They're lightly sweet too with 1/3 cup sugar and a 1/2 cup of raisins. I've had a bunch of dried currants sitting around crystallizing, and didn't want honkin' huge raisins in my sweet buns/ So, I covered the currants with a bit of water, microwaved them until the water was simmering on the edges, drained the currants and added those. They were the perfect size!

Just mixing up the dough was heavenly with the fragrance of the spices and the currants. Mmm! I was confused at first that it didn't say to knead the dough. I did knead it some to get the dough to come together, but I think the less handling the better so the buns are nice and light and not chewy like a bread roll.

Using the Hot Cross Buns recipe for the Easter Nests, you cut the dough out using a donut cutter, though the recipe wasn't clear on whether you were cutting out the middle hole too. It would make the "nest" part make more sense. Thinking back, I'm realizing that after rising, the hole wouldn't have been that big and my little jelly beans wouldn't have fallen through. Geez. Silly me! In the end, I left the centers in and the "nest" wasn't very apparent, but the taste was still there. :-)

Then you let the buns rise, bake them, and glaze them with a vanilla icing. Finally, the jelly beans grace the top!

These really are divine little buns! So, so delicious! They taste spicy and sweet. The glaze is just the perfect touch without making them over-sweet. The jelly beans add a nice fruity punch. I felt like I was eating the cross between a cinnamon bun and a donut - a really odd sensation, but still extremely delicious. I think these may become an Easter tradition as the dessert right along our Shepherd's Pie made with ground lamb. Love it!

Now, even if it's not Easter, you need to go and make these.

I mean it.


Recipes from the April 1943 Westinghouse Health-for-Victory magazine.

Go. Go and make them.

It's calling you... MAKE ME!


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