home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes

Warm spring breezes carry the promise of rebirth and new life. Spread the spirit of loving kindness this Easter season by making an extra Easter basket. Give it to someone who's not expecting it, or drop it off at a local shelter, home or school where someone is in need. This simple act of kindness will inspire others to pass along their generosity too.

Spread the spirit of kindness

--Get the kids into the Easter spirit. Encourage them to make baskets for the lunchroom monitors, the janitor or the crossing guard.

--Throw an "Add A Basket" party. Your guests will make treat baskets to give away to local charities.

--Send an Easter e-Basket. Create a beautiful, virtual e-Basket with a message of kindness to friends and family. They just might "spread it forward." Go to www.BrightIdeas.com/addabasket.

--For e-Basket links, special basket tags, themed invitations for "Add A Basket" party and more creative ideas for an eggs-traordinary Easter, visit www.BrightIdeas.com.

Funny Bunny Cookies

Why not create these hilarious Easter bunnies with your little ones -- and make up a story about them, too!

1 bag M&M'S Milk Chocolate Candies for Easter
1 bag Starburst Fun Size Fruit Chews for Easter, unwrapped
1 tube or bag M&M'S Minis (optional for the bunny's basket)
Yellow and orange food coloring
1 18 ounce package refrigerated cookie dough
1 16 ounce container white frosting

Thinly roll cookie dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Press out two sizes of cookies: 3-inch cookies for bunnies' bodies, and 1-inch cookies for bunnies' heads. Arrange cookies on baking sheet, placing smaller cookies next to larger cookies. Press edges of two sets of cookies together. Bake in preheated 350 F oven 12 to 15 minutes, then cool. Divide icing into 3 small bowls. Tint one bowl with a few drops of orange food coloring and one with yellow. Frost 1/3 of cookies orange, 1/3 yellow and 1/3 white. Soften the Fruit Chews for Easter in microwave for 10 seconds. Mold candy into bunny ears and feet, then press into iced cookies to attach. Dot bunnies' faces with Milk Chocolate Candies for Easter for eyes, noses and mouths.

For the bunny's basket: Soften one unwrapped Fruit Chews for Easter piece in your hand (or for 5 seconds in the microwave) and divide into two equal parts. Shape half into 1 1/2 inch handle. Shape other half into semi-circle for basket body. Make diagonal marks across semi-circle with tip of knife. Press rope into two outside edges of semi-circle, making a basket. Place basket on frosted cookie and fill with several M&M'S Minis.

For the bunny's carrot: Soften one unwrapped, orange Fruit Chews for Easter piece in your hand (or for 5 seconds in the microwave) and shape into 1-inch-long cone to resemble a carrot. For carrot top, soften one green Fruit Chews piece for Easter in same way, then flatten and cut into spiky fronds. Press to attach them to carrot and put carrot on cookie. Makes 18 bunnies

Cookie Garden

Fill a beautiful basket with yummy, homemade treats. Take the wonderful centerpiece to a special family gathering.

Assorted Starburst Jellybeans, M&M'S Milk Chocolate Speckled Eggs and Dove Chocolate Eggs
1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 (16 ounce) container white frosting
Assorted food coloring
12 lollipop sticks
Small basket, Styrofoam or green floral oasis and
Easter grass (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll cookie dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using your favorite holiday cookie cutters, press out cookies from each shape. Press lollipop sticks into bottom half of cookies. Bake 10 to 12 minutes; cool completely on wire rack. Color frosting with a variety of food coloring. Frost cookies and press on assorted jellybeans and speckled eggs. For display, press Styrofoam into a basket and cover with Easter grass. Arrange cookie pops by pressing sticks into Styrofoam. Decorate grass with sprinkling of jellybeans and chocolate eggs. Makes 12 cookies.

Spring Bud Cupcakes

Welcome spring with a blossoming batch of cupcakes.

1 bag M&M'S Milk Chocolate Candies for Easter
2 cups chopped 3 Musketeers Minis for Easter
1 (18.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix
2 (12 ounce) cans whipped vanilla frosting
Red, blue, yellow and purple food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, folding in chopped candy. Divide batter evenly between cups; bake until golden (about 17 to 21 minutes). Transfer to wire rack; cool completely. Divide 1 can vanilla frosting into quarters, tinting one red, one blue, one yellow and one purple. With remaining vanilla frosting, cover tops of cupcakes. Fit resealable plastic bags or piping bags with star tips. Spoon one color of tinted frosting into each bag. Pipe yellow frosting centers, and then pipe colored frosting rosettes around edges. Decorate cupcakes with coordinating colors of M&M'S on tops of rosettes. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Envelope Bunnies

Here's a special delivery filled with first-class Easter treats.

Assorted candies like Fun Size Starburst Jellybeans, Dove Milk and Dark Chocolate Eggs, and Fun Size M&M'S Milk Chocolate Candies for Easter

1 10- by 13-inch envelope
1 piece each pink and blue felt, construction paper or foam
1 cotton ball
3 large chenille pipe cleaners
Non-toxic glue
2 google eyes

Using printable template (http://www.brightideas.com/easter/pop_1396.shtml) as a guide, cut envelope into shape of bunny face with ears. Cut pink felt into two ear shapes, and glue them onto bunny ears. Twist two pipe cleaners together in middle, forming an "X" for nose and whiskers. Glue pipe cleaners at twist onto center of bunny face. Glue cotton ball on top of twist. Cut two small hearts from blue felt for eyes. Glue them just above whiskers. Glue a google eye in center of each felt heart. Shape remaining pipe cleaner into a smile, and place it just underneath whiskers. Fill opening at top with Easter grass and an assortment of candy. Makes 1 bunny.

Bright Ideas for Every Season

Don't miss out on creative, fun ideas designed especially for every season. Sign up for seasonal newsletters, special recipes and entertaining party ideas complete with invitations and party favors. Visit www.BrightIdeas.com for tastefully sweet ideas for year-round celebrations.


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