Years and years ago, one of my friends had a young son who was learning about the meaning of Easter, and his summary of her teaching was, “It’s not about the bunny!” If you are looking for a fun, tasty, and meaningful cooking activity to do with the kids for Easter to teach them that “it’s not about the bunny,” this is a good one. This is not a new or original idea of my own. I first came across the idea a few years back on The Girl Who Ate Everything, but it is all over the internet, sometimes also called resurrection rolls/buns. I have done this activity with my kids for three years now, and they really enjoy it and look forward to it as an Easter tradition.
If you struggle with patience or have a lot going on Easter morning, you may want to do these on Saturday morning or wait until Easter afternoon when the morning rush is over. My kids are 5, 7, and 9, and they were able to do most of this on their own with only a little assistance from me. Younger children will be able to do most of this too, but they may get themselves and your counter or table a little bit messier.
Now, you could make this project harder on yourself if you want to… You could make homemade dough and homemade marshmallows, but as for me and my house, we are fine with the packaged stuff for this project. 🙂
Easter Empty Tomb Rolls
Ingredients: (Yield: 8 rolls)
- Melted butter (Amount will vary depending on how saturated your marshmallows and rolls are. You could start with about 4 Tablespoons and melt more if needed.)
- Sugar and cinnamon mix, to your taste (We used 1/4 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon; you may prefer more or less cinnamon. Again, you can add/mix more if you find this isn’t enough.)
- 1-2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls (Use two cans of the regular size crescent rolls or one can of the extra large crescent rolls. We tested both for the purpose of this post and prefer the extra large crescent roll option. Individual regular size crescent rolls are really challenging for kids to use to seal the marshmallow; they are just too small. Using two regular rolls pressed together works, but the rolls come out a little more doughy. We preferred the extra large rolls because it was easy to get the marshmallow covered, and the finished product had a better dough to cinnamon/sugar/marshmallow goo ratio. The preparation picture below is with two regular size crescent rolls pressed together, which is what we tried first.)
- 8 large marshmallows
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare all of the ingredients and a workspace for the kids. Spray 8 wells of a cupcake pan with cooking spray. If you have a jumbo cupcake pan, use it. If you do not have a cupcake pan, a regular baking sheet sprayed and lined with foil will work also. If you have a regular size cupcake pan, set it on top of a baking sheet to bake. (I learned this last piece of advice the hard way. Unless your kids are perfect at sealing the rolls, you will likely get some seeping/overflow.)
- Read the Easter story. Depending on the age of your kids and their familiarity with the Easter story, you may choose to read more or less of it. My kids and I summarized the story of Jesus’ crucifixion together, and then I read the story of Jesus’ burial from John 19:38-42. (below)
“Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial custom. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.”
- Explain/discuss the correlation between the scripture and the ingredients they see in front of them. White marshmallow=Jesus and his purity, butter and cinnamon/sugar mix=the oils and spices that were used to prepare Jesus’ body, crescent dough=the linen wrappings.
- Assemble the rolls. First, if you are using two regular size crescent rolls, place them together as a rectangle and seal anyperforations or tears. Next, roll one marshmallow in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon/sugar mix. Place the coated marshmallow on the crescent dough and then wrap the dough around the marshmallow, being careful to seal any openings. If you use the oversize crescent rolls, it works well to put the marshmallow on the wider end of the dough and roll up per the instructions for making crescent rolls. Then just fold and pinch the sides to seal the marshmallow.
Dip the top half of the wrapped roll in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon/sugar mix. Place in the sprayed cupcake pan, sugar side up. Repeat for the rest of your dough. (Sealing the dough well will give you the best rolls in the end. You want the marshmallow to melt and leave its goo inside the roll, not all over the bottom your oven.)
- Bring the filled cupcake pan to the oven and explain that the oven represents the tomb. (I promise I did not even stage this picture. They were so genuinely interested in seeing what might be going on in there that they turned on the oven light and watched for a while.)
- Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute or two while you read the part of the scripture about the empty tomb in John 20:1-9.
- Cut each roll in half and ask the kids what has happened to Jesus. He is risen! He is not there. (The marshmallow melts from the heat of the oven.)
- Enjoy eating the cinnamon roll-like treat. Happy Easter!
Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything and all over the internet
Look at what I found in the 2012 Easter archives: