Easter Hot Cross Bun Alternative

Today I was poking through my pantry looking for something sweet to eat because let’s face it, I would need more than a 12 step program to even consider backing away from refined sugar. My sweet tooth is legend. Donuts should be a food group! But I digress…
Easter is around the corner. I am already working on Easter baskets for the girls. Last year we were in Denver and my Mother in law made Hot Cross Buns. In all of my years I can’t remember ever eating one. Sure I have heard about them but my family never made them. I really liked them so I was thinking I could make them this year. Or something like them. I had raisin but my Mother in Law used currants. I created my own concoction.

Iced Fruitcake Buns

Candied fruit bun

Iced Fruit Cake Bun


or maybe Candied Fruit Rolls?

Before you gag, hear me out. Candied fruit is pretty good and it lasts for up to 2 years in the pantry but how often do we actually use it? Exactly! Either I am in the dark about more recipes made with candied fruit or it’s all cookies and cake. I looked around the net and found a hot cross buns recipe on the Pioneer Woman’s site-does she make anything that tastes bad?! That woman is talented and responsible for a bit of the extra baggage on my hips. But yum! Anyway, she has a dough recipe for hot cross buns and cinnamon rolls. You can find it here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/04/hot-cross-buns/
As always I took liberties with it to suit my purposes. Here is my version of the recipe. I checked around the net and did not see this recipe anywhere. I even used different name combinations.

Iced Fruitcake Buns

2 cups Skim Milk
2 tbsp real butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 oil
-Scald milk, oil, sugar, and butter. Do not boil. Remove from heat and rest it for 30 minutes.
4 cups all purpose flour
1 package of active dry yeast
-Pour milk mixture into a mixing bowl and add yeast first then flour. Mix well. The dough will be sticky. Cover bowl of dough for 1 hour to rise.
1/2 tsp of baking soda (leveled)
1/2 tsp of baking powder plus 1/8 tsp
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
-Add soda, powder, salt, and flour to dough and mix well.
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of cloves
1/4 cup sugar
– mix in a separate bowl
1 cup candied fruit
1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped
-On a floured surface flatten out dough. It will be sticky so add flour as needed. Sprinkle a couple of spoon fulls of the cinnamon mixture over the dough. Then 1/3 of the nuts and candied fruit. Just eyeball it. Fold the dough over itself and repeat this step until everything is gone. Knead the dough to combine.
-Spray some cooking spray on two cookie sheets. Ball the dough into golf ball sized pieces and place on the cookie sheets until gone. It makes approximately 32.
-Cover with towels and rest for 30 minutes.
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
1 egg white
Splash of skim milk
-Whisk together and brush on top of buns.
-Bake on middle rack one cookie sheet at a time. (My oven wouldn’t fit both.)
-Check buns at 10 minutes. Mine took about 15 minutes to achieve a nice golden brown but they could have come out before then. So check at 10 and leave them in longer if needed. All oven temps vary a bit.
-Cool on a wire rack.
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp water
powdered sugar to thicken
-Melt the butter completely and add the vanilla and water. Mix well. Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency. Thick enough to drizzle and glaze a la cinnamon roll.

Done! I thought they turned out pretty well. Next time I am thickening my icing more but other than that I am happy with the outcome. Oh, and I am freezing half of the buns because the recipe made so many. We shall see how that turns out too! Now I’m all set for Easter just because I wanted something sweet.