I am getting in a few days before Easter Bunny arrives with this recipe and before I have “had it up to here with easter bunny”talk. Today I am happy to talk about it. It’s officially 5 sleeps until the fury longhaired Easter Egg deliverer arrives and there is NO way I am going forget, getting gentle but firm reminder around 50 million times a day!
Our new additions, fitting for Easter don’t you think?
A week or so back I found myself in the company of a Grounded Pleasure Easter Gift Box. Besides sampling the Noir Drinking Chocolate I discovered their new Straight Up Cocoa and I am pleased I did! As I had my head in the bag of cocoa taking in the most decadent smell of chocolate I decided on some sugar cookies (amongst other recipes) ESPECIALLY as there was a super cute bunny cookie cutter included.
This is a great activity to pull out when the kids are starting to get bored. Give them a lump of dough a well floured surface and a rolling pin. Ok the reality is that there probably won’t be much dough left to cook at the end of it but you’ve killed 45 minutes of them not nagging for something to eat, wanting TV on or refereeing yet another fight. This will also test your patience. I must say cooking with small kids takes some doing. I am learning and with some deep breaths and the mantra ‘it’s only flour/sugar/cocoa on the floor ,up the walls or in their hair’ I am getting better. I certainly don’t have a super clean house by any means.
It is better if you can make the dough up at least 30 minutes before you want to start rolling. I often make this the night before then I don’t have impatient kids wanting to make them right the second you mention it.
I am giving you 1 recipe here that works for both the vanilla and the chocolate sugar cookie both flavoured with panela and a squeeze of honey. I discovered when cooking with this type of sugar that there are some larger lumps that don’t get completely incorporated in the creaming process, this is absolutely ok as they melt and leave pockets of caramel surprises in the cookie.
So Easter Baking here we go..
Meringues for Bunny Tails
1 cup caster Sugar
1/2 cup Egg Whites (4 egg whites), room temp and older eggs work better here so save the fresh, fresh ones for poached eggs!
The contents of 1 Vanilla Bean
Pinch of Cream Of Tartar, if you don’t have this a pinch of salt will work
Pop your oven on to 100*c Fan-bake
In a super clean bowl start whisking the eggs whites and cream of tartar. I do this in my stand mixer but a hand mixer or even a traditional whisk is A-OK.
Keep whisking until you start to get firm peaks. Once you have peaky whites slowly add the sugar tablespoon by tablespoon allowing each addition to be fully incorporated.
Add the vanilla bean. Keep mixing and if you are using a machine you will start to notice a change in the sound of the whisking, hard to explain but listen out for it you will understand. Stop the mixer and run a bit of the meringue between your fingers. If it feels smooth you can stop whisking, if its still grainy keep going.
Grab a piping bag and a star nozzle or a ziplock bag and cut the end off. Fill the bag of choice with the meringue and pipe little ‘pixie’ meringues on to a lined baking tray.
If you fancy some cocoa dusted just use a tea strainer and sprinkle a little straight up cocoa fairy over the uncooked meringues.
Now word of warning, this makes a large amount of small meringues so pipe as many as you feel you want to make and the rest make some bigger ‘nests’ to fill with fruit and ice cream for a quick desert at a later date.
Pop these into the oven and bake for 1 hour 15. To test these are ready they should feel dry to the touch and weightless, pulling off the baking tray without sticking. Also the taste test…if it dissolves in the mouth and theres barely a chew involved thats perfect!
Turn the oven off and let them sit in the oven until cold.
Pixies done! These will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.
200gm Unsalted butter at room temp
350gm Plain Flour **
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Egg, room temp
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
**to make the chocolate cookies use 300gm Plain flour and 50gm Straight Up Cocoa
Pop the oven on to 170*c Fan-bake
Start by creaming your butter, sugar and honey together.
In a separate bowl mix the egg and vanilla together and slowly add this to the butter mix.
Mix the dry ingredients together and add this little at a time to the butter mix. Once this completely incorporated and you have a big lump of dough split the mix into 2 and flatten to make a disk.
Now this is time you go a grab a culpa and don’t tell the kids its cookie making time just yet! I did have some help at the mixing stage.
The dough needs to rest for at least 30 minutes or up to over night.
When you are ready to make the cookies bring the dough out and let it sit on the bench for 10 minutes as it will be pretty hard and trying to get a rolling pin over it will be near on impossible!
The kids now can finally be involved, dust a work surface with flour and give them some dough and let them go for it. If you can get them to roll the dough to about 5 mm thick.
Grab chosen cookie cutters and start cutting. Lay these on a lined baking tray and pop them back in the fridge for 10 minutes to half an hour (enough time to clear up the carnage that has been left by little fingers)
Cook the cookies for around 8 minutes and leave to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before transferring to a cooling rack.
Decorate when completely cool and store in an airtight container.
Gosh those little chubby hands, how hard is it to watch them grow up. I sometimes want to freeze life just to get a bit more of them and other days I am happy to fast forward!
200gm Icing Sugar
2 heaped teaspoons Straight Up Cocoa (leave out if you can plain white icing)
1 Egg White at room temp
1/2 teaspoon fresh Lemon Juice
Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl using a stand mixer or hand whisk.
Once fully combine and the consistency is what you are after start decorating as you choose.
Let the icing fully dry before storing. In the warm weather that doesn’t take very long.
*I choose this type of icing as it doesn’t affect the cookies texture as with traditional buttercream if you don’t eat straight away the cookie becomes soft from the moisture from the icing.
I hope you have a lovely restful Easter with your friends and family.
Stay Safe and Enjoy!
See you at the next recipe, until then..
Remember be inspired and keep cooking like its ‘better than a bought one’