Hot Cross Buns (typically consumed on Good Friday) are synonymous with Easter and little plastic eggs (I have a first class inability to assemble those silly eggs, I'm seriously remedial). These carbohydrate loaded cuties are rich with history, dating as far back as the ancient Greeks. (I wonder if they had the same level of carb aversion as we do?)
Did you know if you hang a baked Hot Cross Bun in your kitchen for a full year, it will never spoil? The holy bun will also watch over all future yeast recipes, ensuring they're baked to perfection. Now, I'm not sure I believe hanging flour from a string blesses anything but I have a few recipes I can use all the help I can get! Oh, holy bun!
The symbolism of lifelong friendship is why I love Hot Cross Buns. It is said if you share one with a friend, you'll be connected for life. The ancient pastry version of "blood brothers", I suppose. I choose to believe it's the preparation and thoughtfulness that establishes an unbreakable bond, not the magical powers of a lump of dough.
Either way, no matter what you choose to believe, there's something sweet about these buns. Preparing them transports you to another place, a time when Queen Elizabeth I decreed Hot Cross Buns were too sacred to be available all year. That automatically makes this a recipe worth treasuring!
"Half for you, half for me. Between us two, good luck shall be." Quote of the Irish
(Here's my busy life disclaimer: You can absolutely make these from scratch, I'm sure Queen Elizabeth I would appreciate it. However, here's a much simpler version for the busy Mom with NO time to scratch her own buns. Sorry about the visual!)
Hot Cross Buns
1 can of crescent rolls
I/3 cup raisins (chopping is optional, I prefer it)
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel (optional but adds a nice citrus flavor)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Icing (for the crosses on top)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons of milk
Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Unroll crescents on flat surface (flour surface to prevent sticking).
Bake for 11-14 minutes, remove and cool on rack for 10-15 minutes.
Prepare icing by adding milk to powdered sugar and whisking until mixed. Pour in piping bag and make crosses on each bun. (You can also use Ziploc bag with corner cut.)
Lastly, quality control is crucial. Go ahead, taste one!
Keep half for you and share the other half! Happy Good Friday (tomorrow), dear friends!