One of my favorite things to do every year for Easter is to decorate Easter egg cookies and give them away as gifts. I personally enjoy making my cookies giant sized (4” x 5”) so that there’s more room for frosting and icing, but you can make them any size you want. And since I don’t have an oval-shaped cookie cutter, I draw myself an egg-shaped template on cardboard that I cut out with scissors, and I use that to assist while I trace shapes out of the dough with a paring knife.
Over the years, I’ve tried different recipes for my Easter egg cookies, and this year I found the recipe that I’ll use from this point forward: King Arthur’s Holiday Butter Cookies. These cookies are soft and flaky, and rich with butter, which makes them the perfect complement for all of the fun frosting on top.
Holiday Butter Cookies from King Arthur Flour
• 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 cup + 2 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
• 1 large egg yolk
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1. Combine the sugar, butter, egg yolk, salt, and flavor, beating till smooth.
2. Add the flour, mixing till smooth. The mixture will seem dry at first, but will suddenly become cohesive. If it doesn’t, dribble in a tablespoon of water.
3. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a flattened disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and let it soften for about 20 to 30 minutes, till it feels soft enough to roll. It should still feel cold, but shouldn’t feel rock-hard.
5. Sprinkle your rolling surface with flour, and flour your rolling pin. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it 1/8″ to 3/16″ thick.
6. Use a cookie cutter (or an oval cut-out and a paring knife) to cut out shapes in the dough.
7. Place the cookies on ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheets.
8. Bake the cookies in a preheated 350°F oven for 12 to 14 minutes, until they’re set and barely browned around the edges. (Since mine were so large, I baked them for nearly 18 minutes before they were ready.)
9. Remove from the oven, and cool right on the pan.
10. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough, rolling, cutting, and baking cookies.
11. Allow cookies to completely cool before frosting.
Once your cookies have cooled, you can frost them with frosting or icing. I used pre-made frostings and icings from the store, but there are lots of recipes for homemade versions, such as this tutorial. The main concern with decorating your cookies is to have fun and experiment around.
For my cookies, once the frosting and the icing was completely hard and dry, I packaged them in cellophane bags, secured them with twine, and attached my personalized diamond labels in the style China Blossom.