Yield: 10 small bunnies or 4 large ones
Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens
Note: This recipe states to use cardamom. Cardamom can be rather costly and I didn’t have any on hand so I used allspice but you can certainly use cinnamon or nutmeg as well.
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 tsp ground cardamom or allspice
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, margarine, or shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tblsp finely shredded orange peel or 1 tblsp finely shredded lime peel
1/4 cup orange juice or 2 tblsp lime juice and 2 tblsp water
Orange or Lime Icing
1 1/2 cups sifted powder sugar
1 tsp finely shredded orange peel
2 – 3 tblsp orange juice
1 tsp finely shredded lime peel
2 – 3 tblsp milk
In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour, the yeast, and cardamom. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, the butter, the 1/3 cup sugar, and salt just until warm (120 degree F to 130 degree F) and butter almost melts.
Add milk mixture to dry mixture along with eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in orange or lime peel, orange or lime juice, and as much of remaining flour as you can.
Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
Lightly grease two cookie sheets. (Large bunnies will go on one sheet, the small bunnies will go on the other.) For large bunnies, roll one portion of dough into a 14×10-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half crosswise. Divide one portion of this dough in half and roll each half into a rope about 16 inches long. On one of the lightly greased cookie sheets, overlap one end of strip over the other to form a loop; bring the end that’s underneath up over the top end, letting one end extend on each side to make ears. Pat tips of ears to shape in point. Make a second large bunny with remaining rope.
Cut remaining half of rectangle into 6 strips, 10 inches long. Roll 5 strips of the dough into ropes about 12 inches long. Shape 5 small bunnies as above on the second baking sheet.
With remaining strip of dough, shape 2 large balls and 5 small balls of dough for the tails. Moisten ball and place atop dough at bottom of loop. Press tails onto dough.
Repeat with remaining dough making 2 more large bunnies and 5 more small bunnies. After shaping, cover and let rise until nearly double (30 to 45 minutes). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degree F. Bake small bunnies 11 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Bake large bunnies for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets; cool on wire racks. Frost while warm with Orange or Lime Icing, if desired. Makes 4 large bunnies and 10 small bunnies.
In a small bowl combine 1-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange or lime peel.
For Orange Icing, stir in enough orange juice (2 to 3 tablespoons) to make of drizzling consistency.
For Lime Icing, stir in enough milk (2 to 3 tablespoons) to make of drizzling consistency.