March 27, 2016

Easter Decorated Sugar Cookies

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By Published: 2016-03-27
Happy Easter!  This year, instead of our usual Easter Eggs, we decided to make some Easter Decorated Sugar Cookies instead.  I love Easter Eggs, especially the ones we make from natural Easter Egg dye, but sometimes I find it rather stressful to have that many eggs to eat up.  We shouldn't really eat that many eggs because both I and my daughter are eczema prone and too many eggs means itchy.  

So we switched it up and did Easter Decorated Sugar Cookies.  And you know what?  Making and decorating these cute Easter Cookies was a super duper fun and creative project to do with my little girl, as fun or maybe even more fun than doing our usual Easter Eggs!  Plus now we get to eat all these yummilicious beautiful to look at cookies!


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Essential, of course, to Easter Decorated Sugar Cookies is that you find an Easter egg cookie cutter.  I found one after much searching, sadly there are not a lot of cookie cutters here in Hong Kong.  I end up buying almost all the cookie cutters that I find, who can resist such cuteness?  My 老公 has been eyeing my every growing bag of cookie cutters with something like despair.  Well, never mind, as long as I see his hand reaching into the cookie jar every day!

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And of course you have to have your itsy bitsy bunny and lambie cookie cutters.  Didn't my little girl do a good job with her little Easter animal cookies?  Kids will just love making these.  It's just like a craft or painting project, except you get to eat your project!  How cool is that!

      

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Add food coloring to royal icing
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Fill squeeze bottles with icing

As it is Easter we did all our colors in pastels.  Make the royal icing with pasteurized egg white which  gives you your base white icing.  Then color with one drop of coloring at a time until you reach the pale pastel color you want.  

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Outlining the cookies
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Flooding

Prepare the base icing of the sugar cookies yourself, the outlining and the flooding of the base icing coat.  (For more details about this part see our recipe links below.)  This part is more technically challenging and, well, wee bit tedious, and children will probably not enjoy this part.  I did this part in the dead of night when my little girl was sleeping and by the next day it was completely dry and ready to be decorated.  

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Once your base coat is on and completely dried, it's time to call all the little artists out!  Just let them go free with their eggs and see what wonderful creations they can come up with!  Hope you liked our kid project hand decorated Easter Cookies.  Happy Easter to all!
Easter Sugar Cookie Recipe
(makes 24, adapted from SweetSugarbelle blog here)   
Prep time: 10 mins  Cook time: 8 mins

Ingredients:

Directions: 

Allow butter to soften by leaving out for a couple of hours.  Cream softened butter and sugar together.

Add egg and extract and mix.  Mix flour with baking powder and salt, then add, little by little to the wet mix until incorporated.  The dough should not stick.  If sticky add a bit more flour until the dough doesn't stick to the bowl or fingertips.  Allow dough to rest 5 minutes.

Flour working surface and roll dough out to 1/4" thickness.  Cut out cookie shapes and bake at 400F or 204C for 7-8 minutes.  Cookies should not brown.  Allow to cool completely before decorating.

Pasteurized Egg Recipe 
For making the egg white royal icing we pasteurize the egg first. 
Prep Time: 1 hr   Cook time: 4 mins

Ingredients:
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 3 cups water

Directions:

Allow eggs to come to room temperature by leaving out for 1 hour.  

Fill small pot with water and carefully put eggs in.  Cook over medium heat until temperature reached 150F or 65C.  Remove from heat and let eggs sit in pot for 3 minutes.  Remove egg and allow to cool before using.  

Royal Icing Recipe
Prep time: 10 mins  Cook Time: 0 mins

Ingredients:
  • 3 pasteurized egg whites (see recipe above)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups icing sugar, 500g
  • food coloring

Directions:

Beat egg whites and vanilla til frothy.  Add the sugar little by little until incorporated and shiny.  Using high speed beat till soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.

Separate icing to different bowls, one bowl for each color.  Add desired food coloring and mix.   Reserve a small bowl of white icing to use as white colored icing.  At this stage the icing should have a toothpaste like thickness perfect for outlining. Use small squeeze bottles filled with icing to pipe.

Tip: To adjust icing, add either more icing sugar (thicker) or very small amounts of water* (thinner).  Use a water spray bottle to add water to icing if needed.  Much easier to control the water amount.

It's time to flood the cookies, i.e. completely covering the cookie with a thin layer of icing.  Do remember to wait until the outlines of cookies are completely dry.  (The outlines keep the flooded icing from spilling over the edge.)  First thin out icing by adding small amounts of water until the icing has the consistency of honey.

"Flood" icing within your piped outline, use spatula or chopstick to spread out and nudge the flood icing to meet the outline.  Repeat until the whole outline is filled.  Let cookie dry completely before next stage.

Leave bowls of icing uncovered so that by the time your flooded cookies are dry, the icing will have thickened up again to toothpaste like consistency.  Test thickness by dipping chopstick in and making a dot with it.  If the dot holds its shape the consistency is good.  If too thin, add some reserved white icing to thicken it up.  If too thick add a tiny bit of water.

Once you have the right consistency, use chopstick and/or squeeze bottle to pipe details on your cookies.  Let the completed decorated cookies dry completely before storing in an air tight container.  Hope you have as much fun with this as we did!

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