I’ve always been intrigued by decorated cookies, especially ones which are intricately decorated in the most beautiful designs imaginable. However, I never attempted them as I felt they would be 1) too sweet, and 2) too much work.
But sometimes, curiosity makes you do things you thought you wouldn’t do…
In celebration of the oh-so-lovely weather, I decided to try making some decorated cookies last weekend. As Easter was fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to make Easter egg shaped ones. And so I did.
My initial plan was to make a whole range of Easter egg designs… in a number of colours. But, I changed my plans very swiftly when I realised that I had about 80-90 cookies to decorate. I kid you not when I tell you that piping decorations on anything more than 40 cookies will take a toll on your shoulder muscles. My shoulders were aching the day after I made these, and it made me have total respect for professionals who do this on a daily basis – they must have arms (and shoulders) of steel!
Having said this, I still had a complete blast making these, and will definitely be making more in the near future. Whilst I was pleased with how these turned out, I wasn’t altogether satisfied with the royal icing recipe and my rather amateur-ish designs. All the more reason to make some more very soon! One thing I will do next time around is to make less cookies so I can focus more attention on the actual decorating!
Oh, and I also made some yellow daisies, because flowers and the colour yellow are totally what spring is all about anyway. ;)
Happy Easter, everyone!
Adapted from this recipe on All Recipes
- 340g butter, softened
- 1 cup caster sugar*
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 4 1/2 cups plain flour, plus more for rolling
1. Sift the baking powder, flour and salt. Set aside.
2. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl, until it becomes pale and creamy. I used my stand mixer and the paddle attachment. You can just as easily use a handheld mixer, or even a wooden spoon if you have strong arms!
3. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing after the addition of each egg.
4. Add the vanilla extract and almond extract, and beat until just combined.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, and mix until well combined. Cover with clingfilm, and chill the dough in the fridge for at least an hour. (I chilled my dough overnight.)
6. On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to a thickness of your liking (usually between 0.25-0.5 inches). I suggest working with a small proportion of dough each time – I divided mine up into four batches to ensure the dough was always nice and chilled.
7. Cut the dough with the cookie cutters of your choice, and place them 1 inch apart on parchment lined baking trays.
8. Bake the cookies in a oven preheated to 190’C for 6-8 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges. Leave to cool completely before decorating.
* To ensure the resulting cookie wouldn’t end up too sweet, I reduced the amount of sugar used to 1 cup (from 2). I’m glad I did, as I felt that the cookies would have been waaaay too sweet otherwise, especially when paired with the icing. Do feel free to use more sugar though.