If you’re looking for a more personal Easter gift idea, something that’s not just another chocolate egg, then how about a cute gift bag of these pastel pretty Easter Cookies. I mean really, who wouldn’t love them?
Hands down these chocolate sugar cookies are the best kind of cookie you can make. They hold their shape well, and have a rich chocolately flavour – just perfect for Easter cookies! (or Halloween cookies like these)
I’m not going to lie, decorated sugar cookies do take a bit of work, and I am definitely no expert in the cookie decorating biz. There are however lots of experts out there with some really great YouTube tutorials, so if it’s your first time decorating sugar cookies with royal icing then I highly recommend you go and watch some tutorials. One you should definitely check out is Sweet Ambs Cookies her videos will really help you to understand the recipe method below. Once you’ve watched those, come back and give these cute Easter cookies a go.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
– 3 cups flour, sifted
– 2/3 cup good quality cocoa
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 225g unsalted butter, softened
– 1 cup caster sugar
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 2 egg whites
– 450g pure icing sugar, sifted
– 1 tsp lemon juice
– Gel food colouring & a food grade decorating pen
Cookies – Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into a bowl and mix to combine. Place the butter, vanilla and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until pale and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Split the mixture into two halves, place onto cling film and press it out slightly to flatten. Wrap each one and refrigerate for 45mins.
After 45mins take the dough out of the fridge (one at a time) and place between two sheets of baking paper. Roll it out to around 1cm in thickness then pop it back in the fridge for 15mins. Take the dough out of the fridge and using bunny and circle cookie cutters, cut into desired shapes and place onto trays lined with baking paper. These cookies don’t spread a lot so you can leave around 2cms in between each one. Pop the trays into the freezer for 15mins so the cookies get really cold and almost frozen. Bring together the leftover dough and repeat the process of rolling and cutting shapes until you have used it all up.
After 15mins in the freezer bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 170 degrees celcius for 16-18mins or until the edges are just crisp. Leave the cookies to cool for 5mins on the trays before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Royal Icing – Place the egg whites and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat until the icing is stiff and white, about 3-5mins. Add the lemon juice, and then beat for a further 1-2mins. Divide the icing into separate bowls and colour each one. I used white, pink, black and yellow but you can use any colours you like.
Once the icing has been coloured it needs to be thinned down to a ‘flood’ consistency for decorating, this is done by adding a little water. Start by just adding half a teaspoon and mixing it through thoroughly, then keep adding a few extra drops of water at a time until it reaches the right consistency. The consistency you want is when you draw a line across the surface with a knife, and the line disappears back into itself within 14-16 seconds. Once the icing is at the right consistency, transfer each colour to a disposable piping bag. You can use a small round tip (like a #2 tip) or alternatively you can just snip a small bit off the end of the piping bag and pipe straight from the bag.
To decorate the individual bunny cookies – Pipe an outline of the bunny cookie in white. Next fill in the entire cookie with the white icing, and use a toothpick to spread it out evenly and fill in any gaps. Shake the cookie, or tap it on the bench to smooth out the surface. Straight away pipe on the pink ears and belly, and the two black dots for the eyes, giving the cookie another tap to help settle the icing into the white and make it all smooth. Leave it aside for a few hours to set. Once set pipe on the pink nose (this is so that the nose stays a little raised). Using a food grade pen draw on the mouth and whiskers, then set aside for 12 hours to set completely.
To decorate the round bunny head cookies – Pipe an outline of the round cookie in yellow. Next fill in the entire cookie with the yellow icing, and use a toothpick to spread it out evenly and fill in any gaps. Shake the cookie or tap it on the bench to smooth out the surface, then set aside for a few hours to set before continuing. After the yellow icing has set, pipe the outline of your bunny head and ears. Then straight away pipe on the pink ears, and the two black dots for the eyes. Give the cookie another tap to smooth out the icing then set aside for 12 hours to set completely.
Once the cookies are decorated and completely set, you can package them up into little cellophane bags and tie with ribbon, ready to give to all your friends & family as beautiful Easter gifts.