Create a pretty Easter theme with assorted Easter-related cookie cutters. If you can’t find bunny- or egg-shaped cutters, make paper templates, lay over the cookie dough and carefully cut out using a small, sharp knife. These Easter bunnies are made with a large cutter, but feel free to use a smaller breed!
Basic Vanilla Cookie Dough
If you can resist tucking into these delicious cookies straight from the oven, they will keep undecorated for up to 3 days in an airtight box. Once they’ve been decorated, they should be eaten within 24 hours.
Ingredients225 g/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
450 g/31/2 cups plain/all-purpose flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the beaten egg, vanilla and salt and mix well.
Gradually add the flour and mix until incorporated. Bring together into a dough, then flatten into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm/ plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 3–4 mm/1/8 inch, then turn to the relevant recipe.
Remember that once you have stamped out the shapes required in the individual recipes, you can gather the remaining dough together into a ball and re-roll to make more shapes. The shapes will then need to be chilled for a further 15 minutes before baking
Now you can decorate your cookies and create this cute Easter scene filled with different coloured eggs and bunnies.
1 quantity Basic Vanilla Cookies or Gingerbread Cookies
plain/all-purpose flour, for dusting 2 quantities
brown, pink, blue, lilac and black gel or paste food colouring
white nonpareils or sugar strands
Easter egg-shaped pastry/cookie cutters
Bunny rabbit-shaped pastry/cookie cutter
2 baking sheets, lined with baking parchment
small pastry/piping bag, fitted with a fine writing nozzle/tip, or make your own
narrow gingham ribbon (optional)
Makes 10 -12
First, prepare the basic vanilla cookie or gingerbread cookie dough. Dust a clean work surface and roll to 3 mm/1/8 inch thick. Using the cookie cutters, stamp out egg and bunny shapes and carefully arrange them on the prepared baking sheets, allowing plenty of space between each one. Gather the dough scraps together, knead lightly, re-roll and stamp out more cookies until all the dough has been used up. Chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C (350 ̊F) Gas 4.
Bake the cookies on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, until firm or starting to brown – you may need to swap the sheets around halfway through baking to ensure that the cookies brown evenly. Leave to cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Divide the royal icing between six bowls. Tint each one a different colour using the food colouring. You will only need a tiny amount of the black icing. Leave the last bowl of icing plain.
Fill the pastry/piping bag with whichever colour you want to start with and pipe a fine line around the egg-shaped cookies. Flood the area inside the borders with icing: once you have made a neat border, you can spoon icing within the borders and spread it carefully up to the edges with a mini palette knife/metal spatula or small knife. Leave to dry and harden slightly before going any further. Pipe in the rest of the design: draw lines, squiggles and dots over each egg. Leave
to dry completely.
Repeat the same technique for icing the bunnies using brown icing. Pipe in noses, mouths and eyes with the black icing. Finish off each rabbit with a fluffy tail: pipe a large blob of white icing in the correct position and scatter with the nonpareils or sugar strands.
Once the icing has completely set, tie a length of gingham ribbon around the neck of each bunny and serve alongside the eggs.