A lemon drop is a cocktail that is made with vodka, lemon juice and sugar – rather like a grown up version of lemonade. It’s a mix of sweet and sour (with some vodka, of course) and it’s pretty refreshing as cocktails go. It also has a lovely yellow color to it that is part of what made me think that a lemon drop would be a great vehicle for my Peep-Infused Vodka.
The Peep vodka doesn’t have a strong Peep flavor, but what it does have is a subtle sweetness and a cheerful yellow hue – both of which are welcome additions to any lemon drop. I simply substituted my Peep vodka for plain vodka in a basic lemon drop recipe and enjoyed the results. The cocktail does benefit from that extra sweetness from the Peeps – and, of course, looks perfectly festive with a yellow Peep as garnish.
I like to add a little bit of limoncello – a lemon-infused liqueur – to my lemon drops, both for a little extra lemon flavor and to amp up the color. I already had plenty of color in this drink, but the limoncello is still a nice addition for the extra lemon flavor if you have some on hand. In the end, this drink is delicious whether you make it with Peep-infused vodka or with regular vodka, but both the Peep vodka and the yellow Peep garnish make it a fun choice for Easter brunch.
Coloring Easter eggs is a holiday tradition for people of all ages, not just for kids, but dying a bunch of hard boiled eggs isn’t the only way to have an egg-cellent easter. The following are five egg-centric recipes that are all fun and tasty ways to celebrate Easter with a little flair:
- Instead of buying all your Easter candy, you can make your own Peanut Butter-Stuffed Easter Eggs. You can find egg-shaped molds online, but you can also actually use plastic Easter eggs as inexpensive and easy-to-find chocolate molds to make these delicious and addictive treats.
- If you want to test your culinary skills, these White Chocolate Panna Cotta Eggs are an elegant dessert choice for Easter. Delicate white chocolate panna cottas are served inside hollowed out eggshells. It isn’t a difficult process, but topping and cleaning the eggs is delicate work. Fortunately, the results are well worth it.
- With a little bit of food coloring, you can use your egg decorating skills to make a batch of Easter Egg Pancakes. These pancakes have stripes and swirls of color – just like regular Easter eggs. This probably isn’t a great choice if you’re going to be hosting a big brunch and need to serve a crowd, but it is a wonderful option if you are going to be making breakfast for a few Easter-loving kids.
- Cadbury Creme Egg Muffins have a miniature Cadbury Creme Egg baked inside. The eggs end up as a sweet surprise right in the center of the muffin, and the creamy fondant centers seem to caramelize slightly as the muffins bake to become even more flavorful than they start out.
- One of the most dramatic things you can serve at an Easter brunch is this Easter Egg Braided Bread. The bread is a rich, challah-like loaf that is studded with brightly colored Easter eggs. The eggs are added to the bread when they are uncooked and they actually bake in the oven, so they are just as edible as the bread is by the time you serve your dish.
Flavored vodkas are growing in popularity, with dozens of flavors popping up where there were once only a few. Instead of basic lemon and lime-infusions, you can now find much more creative flavors like cake, whipped cream and marshmallow. After a pre-Easter Peep-buying spree, I set out to make my own marshmallow-infused spirit using the popular marshmallow chicks.
I filled up a large jar with Peeps, poured in a bottle of relatively inexpensive vodka (don’t get something terrible, but don’t sacrifice something very expensive for this kind of project) and let it steep in the refrigerator for a few days. I decided to use a lot of Peeps – not just two or three – to get in as much Peep flavor as possible. All of the exterior sugar of the marshmallows came right off, and the Peeps partly dissolved, infusing the vodka with a subtle sweetness. So when you taste the vodka, you will get a hint of sugar up front, followed by the flavor of whatever vodka you chose to use. It’s pretty good – and while it doesn’t have a distinct Peep flavor (do Peeps have a distinct flavor?),that doesn’t make the project any less fun.
You can use this vodka in just about any cocktail, and it actually makes a fun centerpiece for an Easter party. Peeps come in a variety of colors, but they all taste just about the same. The classic Yellow peeps are my personal favorite and I chose them to infuse my vodka. Feel free to work with blue, purple or pink Peeps, but I don’t recommend mixing and matching the colors because it will result in a less-than-pleasant-looking finished product as the colors mix. The yellow turn out a vodka with an almost limoncello color to it, which is easy to incorporate into drinks.
Once you’ve made a batch, try making some Peep Vodka Lemon Drops with it to celebrate!
I’ve always loved dying eggs in the springtime for Easter and have done it just about every year since I was a kid. Whether I’m doing a simple design or a more complex one, the colorful eggs are always fun to make. There are all kinds of kits out there that you can use to dye your eggs, and the Williams Sonoma Eco Eggs Egg Coloring Kit caught my eye this year. The kit includes all natural vegetable dyes that allow you to color your eggs in an eco-friendly way.
The kit is packed in a small egg carton and includes three packets of dye – purple, red and yellow – made of red cabbage, purple sweet potatoes, annattoo seeds and turmeric. Also included are two metal egg dipping tools and a carrot-shaped wax crayon that allows you to easily draw designs on your eggs before coloring them. It is not a big kit, nor does it include a wide range of colors, but the colors it has are good basics and you can use the included color chart to turn those three colors into a total of six colors for your finished eggs.
A large cake can make an impressive centerpiece at any party, and a shaped cake can even be more attention-getting. Scuplting a cake into a centerpiece is not a project that most of us want to take on at home, since it is a messy project that requires quite a lot of cake. Fortunately, there are easier ways and Wilton makes some cake pans that produce 3-dimensional cakes without much work on your part. Wilton’s Stand Up Lamb Pan bakes a 3-dimensional cake in the shape of a little lamb that would be a fantastic dessert for Easter or other spring occasions. The finished cake stands about 7 inches high and is 10-inches long. You can make the cake using a cake mix if you want to keep things simple (it should hold about as much batter as a standard cake mix), but any cake recipe can be used and you can customize the lamb to any flavor you like.
I’ve worked with some of Wilton’s 3D pans in the past – such as their 3D Bunny Pan, which is also a good choice for Easter – and they’re easy to use. The pan set includes two pans, one for each half of the cake. Simply fill the pans with cake batter, bake and then use a little frosting to sandwich the halves together when the cake is cooled and you will have an impressive cake to decorate. You will get a good amount of detail in the cake just from baking, but cakes like this come alive after they are fully decorated.