Thursday, April 5, 2012

Special Easter Treat


Easter is one of my most favorite holidays. One of the reasons I like it so much is the fact that I am a "kid at heart". I love colored eggs, decorated baskets, jelly beans, and hollow chocolate bunnies. I look forward every year to my sister's annual Easter Egg Hunt. It is so much fun!


Every year, at the Easter Egg Hunt, my sister and her husband hide approximately 500 colored eggs all over their backyard. Friends and family show up ready to engage in some highly competitive Easter egg hunting. We all line up and wait for my sister to blow a whistle to start the game. When, the high pitched sound is heard, all of us take off grabbing as many Easter eggs as we can. 

When, the hunt is over, everybody counts their booty of eggs. The winner gets a grand prize from The Dollar Tree store. In fact, we all get prizes from The Dollar Tree store, but not as nice a prize as the winner gets.


This year, I want to make a special Easter treat for the masses. I have many ideas. Cookies, cupcakes, candy, etc. are all possibilities. I'm leaning towards cookies. I have an amazing butter cookie recipe handed down to me from my mother. 

It is a vintage 1950's recipe.

For the decorations, I shall be whipping up a classic Royal Icing. For the cookie cutters, I'll be using some Spring themed ones that I picked up at a baking supply store a few years ago.



Easter Butter Cookies

Ingredients:


1 cup soft butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt


Recipe:


Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar gradually. Stir in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Stir in flour and salt.




Chill two hours.


Use pastry canvas (or wooden cutting board) and covered (or not) rolling pin. Flour both lightly. Roll out one-quarter of the chilled dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and with wide spatula transfer to cookie baking sheet.


Place cookies one inch apart. Bake in moderate oven (350℉) about 10 minutes, to a light brown appearance. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on rack. Frost and decorate.


Royal Icing

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups sifted Confectioner's powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites

Recipe:


Mix sugar and cream of tartar together in a bowl. Add the unbeaten egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer or rotary beater until mixture stands in stiff (rigid) peaks.


To keep the surface of the icing from hardening while decorate cookies, cover bowl with damp cloth.


Now for the really fun part!

Decorating

Gather small bowls of different colored sugars, nonpareils, silver dragees, red hots and anything else edible that you think would be pretty.


Smear a dollop of the Royal Icing onto a cooled cookie. Take a spoon and scoop your choice of colored sugar and sprinkle on the frosted cookie, letting the excess sprinkles fall back into the bowl.


Enjoy yourself and let your imagination go wild! It gets messy when you let your creative juices flow!

Eat the broken "mistake" cookies!


Arrange the cookies on a plate as you finish decorating.



I am very pleased with my Easter Butter Cookies. As they were baking in the oven, the familiar childhood buttery scent filled the kitchen. Sweet memories!


Have a very wonderful Easter holiday, everyone!

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