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Easter Sweets

FLOWERPOT CHEESE
Saldus sūris, “Paska”

6 hard-boiled egg yolks
¼ lb. butter
1 cup sugar
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese,
softened
1 (16-ounce) package firm cottage cheese
2 tsps. vanilla extract
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
½ cup almonds, sliced
½ cup light raisins or currants
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, one at a time, until thoroughly mixed. Then add remaining ingredients, mixing slowly until well-blended. Prepare a clean, new 8-inch clay flowerpot by lining the inside with aluminum foil. Pour cheese mixture into prepared flowerpot. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight. Turn pot over onto a serving plate; remove clay pot and aluminum foil. Decorate base of cheese with fresh flowers.

LITHUANIAN BABA
Lietuviška “Boba”

5 egg yolks (plus 1 egg)
½ lb. butter, melted
2 packages dry yeast
1 cup sugar
4 cups flour
1 cup milk
Zest of 2 oranges
1 ounce rum
Dash of salt
Dissolve 1 tsp. sugar in warm water, sprinkle yeast over the water and let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat together milk, butter and orange peel. Let cool to lukewarm. Cream yolks plus 1 egg, with the sugar and rum until light. Add the flour, melted butter, dissolved yeast; set aside to rise. Beat well and pour into 2 baking pans Easter Sweets (Bundt or angel food pans). Fill the pans only 1/3 full. When the dough has risen to ¾ of the pan, carefully place in the oven, preheated to 310° and bake for one hour without opening the oven door. To test for doneness, insert a long toothpick or skewer, which will come out clean if the cake is done. Remove from pans and glaze with syrup.
Rum syrup
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon or orange
2 tsps. rum
Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir well; drizzle over the warm bread.

Note:
Some prefer a less sweet “babka,” as it is also called. The amount of sugar can be reduced accordingly. For a slightly different flavor, add almond extract instead of rum.

HOLIDAY DONUTS
Spurgos

2 lbs. flour
2 cups milk
3 oz. fresh yeast
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 oz. rum
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. vanilla extract
2 Tbsps. sugar
Powdered sugar Oil for deep frying Make dough with warm milk and one third of flour; add yeast blended with sugar, mix well. Cover and let rise for ½ hour. Beat egg yolks with salt, add to risen dough, mix well. Add melted butter, rum, vanilla, and remaining flour. Mix well. Knead dough until it looses shine. Cover dough and let rise for 1 hour. Take walnut size pieces of dough and form round donuts; let them rise. Heat oil, drop donuts into oil and fry on both sides until golden brown, about 8 minutes for each side. Drain donuts on paper towels, dust with powdered sugar while still warm.

HONEY MUSHROOMS
Meduoliai grybukai

1 lb. flour
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
3 Tbsps. butter
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsps. sour cream
2 tsps. seasonings (ginger, nutmeg) Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp. cocoa powder
Heat sugar in skillet until dark brown. Make dough using all ingredients. Dough should be quite hard. Let dough rest in cool spot. Divide dough in half. From one half make mush- room caps, walnut size rounds with an indentation on one side; place hole down on baking sheet. Make stems from other half of dough. Roll finger- thick pieces, about 2-inches long. Place next to caps and bake in preheat- ed oven at 325 ° , for about 25-30 minutes. To make icing, beat egg white with powdered sugar and lemon juice. When caps and stems are done, glue stems into caps with white icing, and ice stems with the icing. Add cocoa powder to remaining icing, mix well, and ice mushroom caps. Place iced mushrooms in warm oven to dryicing.