Easter holiday, hop into a new tradition and swap your classic ham for savory lamb.
Cooking lamb can be easier than many might think, especially when using a pressure cooker. You can combine aromatic herbs with white wine for a juicy leg of lamb in under an hour. Or try baking a rack of lamb crusted with a quinoa-hazelnut combination and topped with a mint pesto.
For a perfect, set-and-forget side, try slow cooker carrots, sprinkled with dill weed and lemon extract for a delightful spring dish. End the meal with festive cupcakes modeled after the Easter bunny, which can satisfy the sweet tooth of guests of all ages.
Find more Easter recipes at McCormick.com and find McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest.
Bunny Butt Cupcakes
Recipe courtesy of Amanda Rettke of “I am baker”
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 2-layer size white cake mix
1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons, McCormick Pure Lemon
1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
2 sticks butter, softened
16 ounces confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
10 drops McCormick Green Food Color
1-2 drops McCormick Red Food Color
12 large marshmallows, halved crosswise
3 tablespoons white nonpareil sprinkles
Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding 1 tablespoon
lemon extract and vanilla. Spoon 3 tablespoons batter into 24
paper-lined muffin cups. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes.
Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
To make bunny feet: In medium, microwave-safe bowl,
microwave white chocolate chips on high 30 seconds. Stir
until completely melted and smooth. Spoon into pastry bag or
re-sealable plastic bag. Snip small corner from bag. Pipe 24 pairs
of bunny feet onto parchment or wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
Use toothpick to smooth out bumps or rough edges, and gently tap
cookie sheet on counter to help settle. Allow to harden 2 minutes in
freezer or 15 minutes in refrigerator.
To make frosting: In large bowl, beat butter and remaining
lemon extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’
sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and
bottom of bowl frequently. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy.
Remove half the frosting and place in medium bowl. Add green
food color; mix until evenly blended. Spoon into pastry bag fitted
with grass decorating tip. Set aside. Remove half the remaining
frosting into small bowl. Add red food color; mix until light pink.
Spoon into another pastry bag.
Using pink frosting, pipe three toes and padding on each bunny
foot. Once frosting has set (about 1 hour) gently press down on
pink frosting to create smoother look.
To assemble cupcakes: Pipe green frosting onto each cupcake
in series of short motions to create individual grass spots. Cover
top of each cupcake completely.
To make bunny butts: Place cut sides of marshmallow halves
onto each frosted cupcake, leaving room for bunny feet. Shape
remaining white frosting into dime-sized balls then roll with white
sprinkles to cover. Pipe small drop of remaining pink or white
frosting onto top of each marshmallow. Press bunny tail on top.
Place both bunny feet against base of marshmallow with toes
Lemon Dill Slow Cooker Carrots
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3-4 hours
Nonstick cooking spray
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons McCormick Dill Weed
2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Lemon Extract
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Spray inside of 4-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking
spray. Add carrots, water and salt; toss to coat. Cover.
Cook on high 3-4 hours, or until tender.
In small bowl, mix olive oil, dill weed, lemon extract,
Dijon mustard and vinegar. Stir into cooked carrots in
slow cooker before serving.
Rack of Lamb with Quinoa-Hazelnut Crust and Mint Pesto
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
2 tablespoons red quinoa
2 tablespoons white
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon,
2 racks of lamb, about
1 pound each
3 tablespoons olive oil,
1 1/8 teaspoons McCormick
Gourmet Sicilian Sea
1/4 teaspoon McCormick
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon McCormick
1 cup plain Greek
Rinse quinoa; drain well. In
small saucepan over mediumhigh heat, bring quinoa and
water to boil. Reduce heat
to low; cover and simmer
13 minutes, or until liquid is
absorbed, stirring occasionally.
Spread cooked quinoa on baking
sheet to cool. Stir in 1/4 cup
hazelnuts. Set aside.
Heat oven to 450 F. Brush
racks of lamb lightly with 1
teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1
teaspoon sea salt and pepper.
Coat lamb with quinoa mixture,
pressing firmly to adhere. Place
lamb on roasting rack in foillined, shallow roasting pan.
Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil.
Roast 20-25 minutes, or until
To make Mint Pesto: In
small bowl, mix remaining oil,
remaining hazelnuts, lemon
juice, mint, garlic powder and
remaining sea salt until well
blended. Stir 1 teaspoon pesto
To serve: Carve lamb into
chops. Drizzle with remaining
pesto. Serve with yogurt sauce.
Electric Pressure Cooker Lamb
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 48 minutes
1 tablespoon McCormick
1 tablespoon McCormick
2 teaspoons McCormick
1 teaspoon McCormick
1/2 teaspoon ground
2 tablespoons vegetable
1 semi-boneless leg of
lamb (about 4
1 cup Kitchen Basics
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 medium carrots, peeled
and cut into 2-inch
1 medium yellow onion,
cut into wedges
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
In small bowl, mix garlic powder,
rosemary, sea salt, thyme and
black pepper. Set aside.
In electric pressure cooker,
heat oil on saute setting until
simmering. Sprinkle half the
seasoning mixture evenly over
lamb. Place lamb in pressure
cooker. Cook 8-10 minutes,
or until browned on all sides,
turning occasionally. Add stock,
wine and remaining seasoning
mixture to pressure cooker.
Arrange carrots and onion
around lamb. Close lid.
Cook 25 minutes on high
pressure. Once complete, allow
pressure to release naturally with
vent closed 15 minutes. Vent
to release remaining pressure;
remove lid. Remove lamb and
vegetables from pressure cooker;
set aside and keep warm.
Set pressure cooker to saute.
Cook, uncovered, until liquid
is reduced by about half, about
5-10 minutes. In small bowl, mix
water and cornstarch. Stir into
pressure cooker with wire whisk.
Cook, stirring occasionally, 1-2
minutes, or until thickened. Serve
lamb and vegetables with gravy.