Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

All posts in Baking

As we look forward to celebrating Easter this Sunday, Penny and I decided to make some hot cross buns to enjoy with my family when they gather on that special day. I enjoy the flavor of these rolls with the sweet bits of fruit inside. I found my recipe on the Taste of Home website: Traditional Hot Cross Buns. Lets gather the ingredients, Penny.

Let’s take time to write out the recipe to be handy as we work here at the counter.

Penny is the reigning Kitchen Queen with her giant wooden spoon!

She watches over me as I mix the yeast into the warm milk and let it rise. I love the frothy stage of growing yeast.

Penny prepares the eggs, two large homegrown eggs from our hen house, to be exact.

Next, I got a bright idea, for the quarter cup of sugar called for in the recipe, I used pure Merle’s maple sugar from where my brother works tapping trees for springtime syrup making.

We add all these ingredients to the bowl of starter, including the soft butter, and the cinnamon and allspice.

Today we are using the KitchenAid mixer and I tell Penny to step back as it whirls around energetically. Be careful there, little girl!

I add one extra rising in here, to make a nice dough. I let it rise in the mixer bowl before I knead it on the counter.

Once it reaches this high, I dump it on the counter and begin the kneading process.

Keep your hands well floured, Penny, so you don’t get sticky!!

Now we cut them into divisions and roll them smooth, with hints of the dried fruit peeking out. I made two pans of a larger and small size, and let them rise before baking.

I let them rise a bit too much before cutting the “X” on top, so its not quite so distinct. Oh well.

Come celebrate with me as we sample our finished Hot Cross Buns with the frosting added, accompanied by spring flowers picked fresh from my garden.

Let’s celebrate the Easter season together.

Its wonderful to have fresh daffodils, so cheery and bright.

I have been enjoying this very special song, An Easter Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen and lyrics by Kelley Mooney. It is such a hauntingly beautiful song of praise sung here by Cassandra and Callahan Armstrong.

The lyrics begin with:

“A crown of thorns placed on His head
He knew that He would soon be dead
He said, “Did you forget me, Father did you?”
They nailed Him to a wooden cross
Soon all the world would feel the loss
Of Christ the King before His Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!”

And they follow the story all the way to the empty tomb, and the risen Lord, Hallelujah!

Have a Blessed Easter, my friends. ♥ Christ is risen indeed!!


Happy Easter, friends! Penny and I have been enjoying the New York spring coming on and doing a little happy crafting by making some quick newspaper daffodils for decorating with this Easter.

I found this video on YouTube, Easy Newspaper Flowers DIY .
We decided to try it out by making some bright yellow newspaper daffodils. Time to get out the paints and brushes, Penny!

We painted several yellow three petaled flower sets in various shades of yellow and orange. I cut them out, then layered four of these papers with a small circle in front for the center trumpet. A button in the center is held with a small wire folded back to poke through the layers holding them all together. The instructor said to crumple the paper roughly in your fist, then spread them out, and fluff out the layers. Hey, that doesn’t look too bad! What a fun project.

I recently colored this page with colored pencils to celebrate an Easter style bouquet. This is from one of my favorite adult coloring books , Its Simply Tuesday, by Emily P. Freeman. Several friends and I color a page weekly then send each other photos of our work. It has been a fun way to share some coloring time together, even from a distance.

The facing page has a quote from Scripture.

Thinking of the wonder of Easter, and how God so loved the world that He sent His Son – John 1:14 fits so well: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Then I added Psalm 8:4 “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visited him?” What a wonder. He came among us. His death, and the glory of His resurrection. Death could not hold Him down. And that same resurrection power is available for all who love and trust Him. Romans 8:11. Who can fathom it?

This week, I decided to experiment and make the traditional Easter Hot Cross Buns for my first time. These soft rolls have dried fruit and spices inside, with a frosting cross on top. These were a fun treat for our family. Its a keeper! I’ll be making them again in the future.

I’ll leave you with a little sunshine, some forsythia blossoms from out by the barn that I cut early and brought inside to brighten our table.

May you have the joy inside you of new life.

A gift from the Giver of Life this spring.


 

The colorful autumn days have come and gone so quickly this year.  We are now coated in heavy white snow, but here is a collection of autumn pictures from Penny’s adventures in the last month or so.  It is so fun to be reviewing these now.  Happy, thankful days.

 

 

Today, I’ll take you on one of my walks with Gracie out behind the farm.  We walked down this path, along with a little mud and a lot of sunshine.  We like to go exploring in the woods.  Anyone down inside this hollow log?  Hello??

 

 

A mossy log is so enchanting.  This is a good spot to sit, be quiet awhile, and think.

 

 

What a perfect shape and color of beauty.

 

 

Our dog, Gracie, loves to go for walks or fetch a ball.  Outdoors is her favorite place to be and her tail wags the entire time we are out walking.  So many things to explore and discover!

 

 

My brother grows lots of pumpkins, so we enjoy their cheery presence around the farm.

 

 

Here is one of the pallets where they sit for sale out by the road.

 

 

Rainy autumn days are delightful too, I like the character of the trunk of this maple tree contrasting with its golden leaves.

 

 

What is so fascinating about autumn puddles?  There is a restful stillness of leaves lying here.

 

 

Gentle rain patters on these red leaves.  Its almost like music to hear the rain fall.

 

 

Chilly days call for baking time; and so we’ll set about making pies.  Grab an apron, Penny!  Roll the dough!

 

 

This one is a cherry pie.  Dusty Penny stands back to survey her labors.  It is now ready for the oven.

 

 

The pumpkin pies will get an extra fancy touch of decoration this time, so we cut out leaves from the left over pie dough.  I must say, Penny, you are making quite a mess!

 

 

Oh, but isn’t it worth it?  Look at that beauty.

 

 

When all is finished and cleaned up, Penny gets to sample her very own mini piece of pumpkin pie.  Made from our very own pumpkins, I might add.  So yummy! (I ate some too.)

 

 

We celebrated Thanksgiving with so many things to be grateful for.  Our God is good.  I have enjoyed reviewing Ann Voskamp’s popular book, One Thousand Gifts, during this season.  Don’t we often get stuck on our disappointments and stresses and forget to take time to focus on God’s goodness?   When we accept whatever He sends with open arms, it transforms our thinking.  May His love shine in your heart and bring joy and freedom today.