Nothing says Easter like bright colors, cute baby animals, and, of course, a whooooole lot of sugar. And while chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, and really anything else chocolate is probably your usual poison, even chocolate can be too much of a good thing. (Forgive me for saying that, it may actually break a commandment in the women’s bible.)
But let’s just say that you, too, are experiencing a cocoa overdose and might want something on the lighter, more vanilla-y side. Then you’re in luck! These delicately decorated sugar cookies are light on the sweetness, but still scream, “Easter!” almost as loudly as that chocolate bunny did in your head when you bit off his foot. So go ahead and mix up your holiday diet a little. Just please don’t hide these eggs in the grass unless your kids can find them in under five seconds!
Easter Egg Cookies: (makes app. 18 cookies)
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
various colors gel or liquid food color
royal icing for decorating
Print this recipe: Easter Egg Cookies (PDF)
Cream the butter and shortening together, then slowly pour in the sugar as you continue to mix. Add the eggs, one at time, mixing after each egg.
Mix in the milk and then the vanilla. At this point your mixture should be creamy and fluid. (It also should probably be a lot less yellow than mine. I used fresh eggs and they have some super saturation going on.)
In a separate bowl, mix together your flour, baking powder, and salt. Then add your dry mixture to your wet ingredients and mix on a low speed until the dough looks ready to steal off the mixer.
At this point you may want to give up on the extra wait time and just plop them on a baking sheet ASAP. I promise no one’s judging, and they’ll taste just as good! However, if you’ve got a party or a person to impress, or just like the taste of pretty things better, wrap the dough up in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours (or overnight if you like to plan ahead).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F). Once the dough is firm enough to knead and roll out without breaking, divide into as many pieces as you want colors. Spread wax paper on your counter or bread board and knead liquid or gel food coloring into each piece of dough. Start with 3 or 4 drops and then continue adding two drops at a time until you reach the desired color. (Consider the color of your dough when choosing colors. My green dough was meant to be blue but the previously mentioned eggs weren’t having any of that.)
Once your dough is colorful, do the following one color at a time. Using minimal flour, roll out the dough to about 1/8 of an inch thick (about the thickness of the 4G iTouch I used to take this picture). Using an egg-shaped cookie-cutter (or an oval shape works perfectly fine as well), cut out as many cookies as you can. The less times you have to re-roll out your dough, the softer and tastier your cookies will be. Place them on a non-stick or parchment lined cookie sheet with plenty of room to grow. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or as soon as a tooth-pick comes out clean. You want them to come out slightly under-cooked, so that they will finish soft and chewy.
If you have any scraps, feel free to eat them as is or you can do what I like to do and make a scrap cookie. This is an especially good idea if you’re baking cookies for someone else and may not get to eat any of them. Plus, of course you have to have one to taste to make sure they came out delicious, right? ;)
Once the cookies are cool, decorate them with royal icing in whatever designs you like. There are a ton of ideas/examples on pinterest if you want some inspiration. I used number 1 and 2 Wilton decorating tips for mine.
That’s it! You’re done and ready to box them up to share or put them on a plate and enjoy. Happy Easter!