Bunny Buns

From the Recipe Shoebox.

The ingredients:

BUNNY BUNS:
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup orange juice  (I just used the juice from the oranges that I zested for the peel)
2 Tbs. grated orange peel  (it took about 2 small/medium oranges)
5-1/2 cups flour ( I used half white, half white whole wheat)
Ice cream sprinkles (optional for making faces)


GLAZE:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs. hot water
2 Tbs. orange juice  (or 2 more tablespoons hot water for a plain glaze)
1 tsp. butter

Directions:  In a medium sized bowl, combine the yeast and the warm water.  Set aside.  In another bowl, heat milk in microwave for about 1 minute 20 seconds or so.  Milk should be hot, but not boiling.  Blend hot milk with sugar, oil, and salt. (NOTE:  Before adding the next ingredients, make sure your milk mixture is  warm to the touch, but not too hot to leave your finger in for a few seconds (110-120 degrees is perfect)).   Then add eggs, yeast with water, orange juice, and orange peel.  Add flour a few cups at a time to make a soft dough.  Knead for 5-10 minutes ( I let my Kitchen-Aid do the hard work for me).  Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.  Cover bowl and place in a warm place.  Allow the dough to rise for 1-2 hours, or until double in size.  Punch dough down and let stand for 10 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a long rectangle 1/2-inch thick.  Cut dough into strips 1/2-inch wide and 14-inches long.  Roll the dough to make rounded snake shapes.  Reserve 1-2 of the strips to cut into pieces about 1/2-inch long and roll into small balls (for the tails).  Place one long piece of dough on a greased cookie sheet.  Place one end of the strip over the other to make a loop; bring the end that is underneath up and cross it over the other end.  Place a ball of dough on top of the bottom loop (to be the tail). 

(NOTE:  If you would like to make faces, now is the time.  Make an egg wash with one egg white and one tablespoon of warm water.   Brush over the tops of the bunny buns.   Using a combination of sprinkles, raisins, or whatever,  make a little face at the base of the "ears".  Proceed as directed.) 

Cover bunnies and allow to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes, until nearly double in size.  Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

For the glaze, stir powdered sugar, water, orange juice, and butter together.  Frost bunnies with the glaze while still warm.  Makes about 20 bunny buns.  Enjoy! 
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