Traditions… what do you do for Easter time that is tradition? We paint Easter eggs the night before the special day, and our hands are a big mess afterward. But, it’s a great reminder on Easter that our tradition will never change, if we can help it. This year I was making sugar cookies to show on the news, and had to decorate the cookies with a royal icing. I was tired from baking all day and didn’t have the energy to be doing the cookies alone. It occurred to me that my family was also suffering from Mommy being in the kitchen all day, and not being around them, so I wanted to give them a treat and let them help me ice the cookies.
It turned out that THAT was the best decision I made all week! We had a blast icing the cookies. I got to teach myself AND my family how to line the cookies, “flood” them, and then decorate! (well, the decorating I left up to each person) I love how every cookie turned out, each unique and very festive for the Easter weekend. The great part of doing this project? Easy cleanup! (Yea, all you parents out there are listening now!) It’s especially great for anybody that is allergic to eggs! No worries on this project, and that is a good thing.
Now… I’m not a master at decorating, as I don’t have a steady hand when compared to this gal’s blog, Glorious Treats, but I aimed to get close to her work. My kids and husband? Well they made up their own designs and I had to say, they had some pretty clever ideas! I especially loved the “ELLA” cookies that my husband and Ella decorated. Super idea!
Ingredients for Sugar Cookie (by Glorious Treats):
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
-In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes.
-Add the egg and vanilla and beat another minute or so.
-Add the flour mixture slowly. (Be careful not to add too much at a time or you will have a snowstorm of flour.)
-Blend until all of the flour is incorporated and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
-Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a piece of parchment paper.
-Using your hands, knead the dough a few times.
-Place the dough in a large plastic (ziplock type) bag and refrigerate for about 2 hours. If you want to speed up the chilling process, place the bag of dough in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes. Just don’t forget it in the freezer, or it will become to firm to work with (and then you’ll have to wait for it to thaw).
-When it’s almost time to remove the dough from the refrigerator (or freezer), preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
-When the dough has chilled and is firm, take out about half of the dough, leaving the rest in the refrigerator (until your ready to work with it).
For the Royal Icing, I made mine from a Martha Stewart version, as I didn’t have any meringue powder on hand. If you want the directions using the powder instead, please click here.
Ingredients (recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart):
- 2 large egg whites, or more to thin icing
- 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, or more to thicken icing
- 1 lemon, juiced
Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar and lemon juice; beat for 1 minute more. If icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it is too thin, add more sugar. The icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To decorate: Follow the directions HERE. Or do it your way!
I realize this seems like it might be a big project, however, I broke mine up on different days. One day I made the cookies and put them in a Ziploc bag, and decorated a day later. That way the family was able to participate in the fun!
Happy Easter everyone!