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Easter Basket Filled with Paczki: Serve Traditional Paczki for Easter

The Catholic Easter Basket Blessing takes place before, during, or after the Easter Mass. This basket is generally filled with a variety of items that will be found on the Easter table. This type of Easter basket might include colored eggs, a loaf of homemade bread and a sampling of delicious homemade paczki.

After making your own paczki, by either using the Authentic Polish Paczki Recipe or the Traditional Mashed Potato Paczki Recipe, follow the easy directions below to make a beautiful Easter basket filled with paczki. This Easter basket makes a wonderful centerpiece that pulls double duty as the perfect dessert. To make an Easter basket more appealing, mark a cross in the top of a few paczki.

Making Frosting

If you prefer frosting to glaze, simply frost the entire top of the paczki with colored frosting and add edible decorations as you go. Frosting should be thick enough to remain in place and also be of a consistency that will slightly harden so that the paczki do not stick together in the basket. The trick is to frost the paczki the night before and then place them on a tray overnight to set. By morning the frosting should be set but not hard. Creme cheese frosting works well and tastes wonderful on these gourmet treats.

Creme Cheese Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup cold water or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 ounce package cream cheese

Put all ingredients, except the last two, into a double boiler. Use an electric mixer to blend well. Place the pan over hot water and heat until the water is boiling. Continue cooking, stirring often, for about 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the consistency you desire. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and the softened cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese has melted into the frosting. Cool the cream cheese frosting and spread it on the paczki.

While any type of frosting will work, cream cheese works best. Any type of frosting must be thinned down considerable in order to be used as a glaze or drizzle for paczki. When in doubt, use the following glaze recipe. It never fails.

Glaze Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons hot water or scalded milk

Mix all ingredients. The glaze should be thin, but thick enough that it will stick to the paczki. You also want the frosting or glaze to harden so the paczki “eggs” don’t stick together in the basket. There are several methods of glazing a paczki.

  1. Place the paczki on a wire rack and drizzle the glaze over the top, making sure the entire paczki is coated.
  2. Insert one paczek on each end of a wooden skewer and then carefully dip one into the glaze at a time. When the first one is dipped and decorated, carefully dip the second and decorate.

Immediately sprinkle colored sugar or tiny candies onto each glazed paczki, rolling the skewer so that you can decorate the paczki “eggs” all the way around. Centering or balancing the skewer over a bread pan or cereal bowl gives the glaze the opportunity to dry. When the glaze dries, carefully push the paczki “eggs” off the skewer and place them in a basket lined with Easter grass. For colored glaze, add one to two drops of food coloring to the glaze mixture.

To make the paczki look like colored eggs, dip the opposite ends into different colors of frosting. When the frosting dries on one end, dip the other end. Suspend the paczki on a wooden skewer while you work, and hang it over a small bowl until it dries. Then use glitter to create a colored glitzy band around the middle. It takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a lot of fun. Kids of all ages will enjoy frosting paczki in this manner.

Decorate the Basket

Tie a wide, wire reinforced, ribbon to the basket and place the paczki eggs in the Easter basket or create an Easter basket trimmed with pussy willow twigs and a few fake birds and wild bird eggs. If you don’t mind sharing the spotlight, add a large chocolate rabbit to the Easter basket. Both ideas are a delightful way to decorate a basket of Easter eggs and at the same time creating a centerpiece that will quickly become a family tradition.

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