Easter Sugar Cookies

IMG_3294Oh heeeeey!

Hope you’re all having a GOOD FRIDAY! (I went there, I’m sorry.)

Anyways, today marks the first day of my 2 week Easter holiday (working term time ftw!) and I cannot wait to just put my feet up and do NOTHING! I mean, I have literally made no plans. I’m basically looking at 2 weeks of mooching around in my pj’s, catching up on tv shows, drawing, and cooking/baking as much as I want! It’s going to be glorious.

Though, the Easter break also means my younger brother and sister will be home for a couple weeks (they’re both away at University), so I’m also looking forward to being able to hang out with them both! So much so that I decided to bake them some Easter cookies for their arrival, because major big sis points.

IMG_3291These are just simple iced sugar cookies but with an Easter design, and would easily make a cute gift to give to your loved ones this weekend!

Happy Easter! 😀

IMG_3201To make the cookies, I first creamed the softened butter and sugar together till pale and fluffy.

IMG_3195I then beat in the large egg, vanilla extract, and the milk till fully incorporated.

IMG_3204IMG_3187In a separate bowl, I sifted together the plain flour, baking powder and salt and mixed to combine.

IMG_3210I gradually added the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing after each addition. The dough should start to come away from the sides of the bowl.

IMG_3218I then tipped this out onto a lightly floured surface and pressed into a rough ball. I cut this into quarters (I made double of the recipe below), pressed each quarter into a rough disc and wrapped in cling film. I left my dough in the fridge for 1 hour to rest. This should ideally be for a minimum of 1 hour, or even overnight! You could also freeze the dough at this stage for later use (as long as you thaw it the day before you want to make them!).

IMG_3223Once chilled, I then rolled out each dough quarter to a large rectangle of about ½cm thickness and cut out as many egg shapes as possible. You caaaan re-roll the dough scraps once more, but I’d try not to do it too many times as it would overwork the dough and warm it up too much. However, if the dough does warm up too much, just chill in the fridge again for another 10 minutes and you should be good to go!

IMG_3228IMG_3232I placed the cookies onto a lined baking tray and baked at 180°C for 8-10 minutes (rotating the tray halfway through). The time will vary depending on cookie size/ovens etc., just take care not to let the cookies brown too much on the edges.

Once baked, I removed the cookies from the oven but left them on the tray to cool slightly/firm a little before moving onto a wire rack to cool completely.

IMG_3237IMG_3243For the icing I used a box of royal icing sugar, adding 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time and whisking until I got a stiff royal icing consistency (almost like play dough). This is useful to have on hand when making ‘flood’ consistency icing.

IMG_3246For the ‘flood’ icing (runnier consistency icing for filling spaces – used when creating an even layered block of icing on top of the cookie), I took a tablespoon of the stiff royal icing into a separate smaller bowl and added 1 teaspoon of water to thin it out. You want a consistency that holds its form when dribbled back into the bowl for about 10 seconds before sinking back. At this stage I coloured all my icing using gel food colouring. (If using liquid or powdered dyes, take this into account when trying to get the correct consistency!)

If the icing becomes to runny, add a little of the stiff icing. If the icing is still to thick, add a trickle of water.

IMG_3261Once I’d made a range of different pastel colours, I spooned into disposable piping bags, snipped off the tips and iced all of my cookies.

IMG_3282

FLOODING COOKIES

Flooding creates a nice flat layer of icing on top of your cookie, and is usually done as follows:

  1. Outline the whole cookie (or the shape you want to fill) with your flood icing.
  2. Pipe icing evenly throughout the space you’ve just created.
  3. Take a cocktail stick (or pointed tool) and swirl through the icing, pushing it to the edges to fill out any gaps/create a better shape, and to remove any air bubbles.
  4. Leave to set.

IMG_3288Different Icing Methods:

Wet-On-Wet – Once you’ve got your flooded cookie, you can then pipe a design straight on top of the wet icing just so it sinks into your flooded background (e.g. the flowers and spots on the rose cookie above). This keeps the flat even layer of icing on top of your cookie, but you’ve got to work fast for this one!

Regular Piping – Or you could pipe a design onto your flooded cookie once it’s dried for a raised pattern on top (e.g. the white piped design on the pink cookie above). This needs to be done with a much stiffer royal icing than used for flooding.

 

Easter Sugar Cookies
Author: Acorns & Custard
Serves: approx. 40-50
Ingredients
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1tbsp milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 400g plain flour
  • ½tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 500g royal icing sugar, for decorating
Instructions
For the cookies:
  1. Cream together the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Give this a thorough mix. too.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet until the mixture comes together as a dough (should pull away from the sides).
  5. Tip out onto a surface lightly dusted in icing sugar.
  6. Cut into halves, shape into a rough disc, then refrigerate for a minimum of one hour to chill/firm up. You could leave this overnight, or even freeze this until you want to make your cookies (simply thaw the night before).
  7. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  8. Once chilled, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of ½cm and cut out your preferred shapes.
  9. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes (rotating the tray halfway) until cooked, making sure to catch them before they begin to brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and leave to firm up slightly on the tray before moving to a wire rack to cool.
For the decorating:
  1. Tip the royal icing sugar into a large bowl.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, whisking in between, till you get a stiff almost play dough like, icing.
  3. To loosen up to ‘flood’ consistency, take a large tablespoon of the stiff icing and place it into a smaller bowl. Add 1tsp of water and mix together. The ideal consistency would be when you take a spoonful and let it trickle back into the bowl, it should hold its form for about 10 seconds before sinking back into itself. (If too thick, add more water. If too runny, add a little bit more of the stiff icing.)
  4. If colouring your icing, take into account whether you’re using a liquid or powdered food colouring and use more or less water accordingly. Gel food colouring is ideal.
  5. Spoon the icing into a piping bag and snip off the end making a small hole.
  6. Decorate your cookies to your design.
  7. Set aside to let the icing dry completely before serving. (Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks)
Notes
Flood fill (‘flooding’) your cookies: Pipe a border around the edge of the cookie, then immediately fill in the middle space. Take a cocktail stick (or pointed tool) and swirl around the icing to get rid of any gaps/ air bubbles. Shake the cookie along the table to settle the icing. You could also leave the border to dry a little before flooding for a different effect.[br][br]’Wet-on-wet’ method: Once you have a flooded cookie you can pipe a design straight on top whilst still wet. This will eventually sink into the icing and appear as one level.

 

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