So suddenly the winter’s gone and the salt-stained boots lying in the mudroom are the only indication it ever stopped by at all. Without invitation, Spring trespassed on the cold mornings, stretched her arms and I kept my windows open to greet her. A lot has happened in six months and this persephonic heat wave doesn’t remember any of it. And I thank her for that.
I’m drinking my coffee on the porch these days, a blanket and a dog on my lap. I take my time. I don’t wear cologne these days, all my clothes smell like the breeze. A finch sat on the porch swing last night and didn’t seem to notice me. I’m enjoying the times I get to be invisible. A truck broke down a mile from my house; but I just kept driving.
This week is almost Easter and that, too, crept up on me. I haven’t celebrated in a few years—I let life get the best of me and was too busy trying to forget about others. We’re celebrating early, my parents are driving to their house in North Carolina and my sister works the weekend shift now. We’re meeting at a truck stop and eating at a diner. My dad says I can order anything I want on the menu, he’s just happy to have me home now. My mom apologizes for the last-minute choice, but the candy store’s busy and she’s too tired to cook when she gets home. I say it’s all fine because it really is. As long as I’m with them, I’m happy.
But I kept one tradition going this year, to keep the memories of cellophane grass and hollow chocolate bunnies alive. I made hot cross buns for tomorrow, for Good Friday. I made these for every tradition I thought I forgot, for every year I thought I could leave them all behind. I’ll give a few to my sister and her husband and pack the rest in a basket for my mom and dad. It may not be much, but it’s all I can give. It’s been a long six months of winter for me.
Coconut-Roasted Carrot Hot Cross Buns with Pineapple Ginger Icing
Yields 12-18 buns
Ingredients for the Roasted Carrot Puree:
- 5-8 carrots, cleaned
- 3 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions for the Roasted Carrot Puree
- Preheat oven to 425*F and prepare a pan with aluminum foil
- Lay carrots on foiled pan, spread out
- In a small measuring cup, whisk coconut oil, sugar, olive oil, pepper, and salt
- Pour mixture over carrots and stir with a wooden spoon to coat
- Roast for 25-35 minutes or until browned, tender, and a little caramelized
- Let cool and puree in a food processor
Ingredients for Coconut-Roasted Carrot Hot Cross Buns:
- 2 cups water, warm to the touch
- 5 teaspoons Red Star Active Dry Yeast
- 1/2 cup white sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup roasted carrot puree (above)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons softened butter
- ½ tablespoon of orange zest
- 4 1/2-6 cup AP flour
Directions for Coconut-Roasted Carrot Hot Cross Buns:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, add water, sugar, salt, and yeast. Let sit for five minutes until foamy
- Add egg, puree, orange zest, and butter. Turn mixer on low to mix all ingredients together
- Keeping the mixer on, begin adding flour, one cup at a time. Keep adding flour until dough begins to stick away from sides of bowl (if you add too much flour and dough becomes "sandy", add a small amount of water or milk to reconstitute)
- Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for 3-5 minutes until springy
- Place in a well-oiled bowl, turning once. Cover with a towel and let sit for an hour in a warm, dry place until doubled in size.
- Turn back out onto floured surface and punch down slightly. Cut into 12 or 18 equal pieces and place well-oiled pan
- Cover with a towel and allow to rise for 20 minutes
- While rising, preheat oven to 350*F
- Bake for 25-32 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Allow to cool slightly before icing tops of crosses
Ingredients for Pineapple Ginger Icing:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoon pineapple juice
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Directions for Pineapple Ginger Icing:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, mix cream cheese, ginger, and pineapple juice on medium-high until well incorporated
- With mixer reduced to a medium-low speed, begin adding confectioner’s sugar, a half-cup at a time until icing is a desired viscosity with no lumps
- Spoon icing into a piping bag and pipe crosses onto buns
- Allow to sit for two minutes
Thank you to Red Star Yeast for sponsoring this post. I believe in using quality products when it comes to baking and I am always confident my dough will rise beautifully with Red Star! Check out the active dry yeast I used for this recipe and others on their website, follow them on instagram and like their Facebook!