Saturday, 27 April 2019

Sugar cookies at Easter

E asked me why I didn't make ANZAC biscuits this year on ANZAC Day.  I told him because Easter was too close.  Easter was so late this year that I could sandwich one day of leave between all the public holidays and have a week off work.  When ANZAC Day came, we were still finishing baking our Easter biscuits (which some may call cut out cookies or sugar cookies but in my day were just plain old biscuits).

Months ago, Sylvia and I bought an egg shaped cookie cutter and decided we would make cookies when Easter rolled around.  It was meant to be.  In April Coles Supermarket magazine had cookies on the cover.  And my friend Alison visited with a present of Easter shaped cookie cutters.

Our first batch was a chance to use the Easter cookie cutters.  We did these the day before Easter because we didn't get organised enough to do it earlier.  But we were racing around before we went to my parents'.  One batch of cookies was enough commitment on a busy day.

The other half of the dough was left in the fridge for 5 days.  ANZAC Day was the last day of holidays before Sylvia started Term 2 and I went back to work.  Easter was close enough that we could justify using our egg shaped cookie cutters.  It was just as well we used up the dough because it was hard as a hockey puck and took a lot of convincing to be soft enough to come at with a rolling pin.

The cookies were delicious - quite short and nicely flavoured but not that sweet.  They were a great base for sweet frosting and sprinkles on top.  They did not have egg in them so I would be willing to try them with margarine to make them vegan but we made ours with butter.  I thought it odd they did not have any raising agent in them but this worked and meant they kept their shape well.

We went to my parents' house armed with biscuits and buttercream.  My mum had the sprinkles.  My niece came with fondant, which was nicer than our fondant.  I am no expert at biscuit decoration.  Nor were the two kids helping out.  We just played with all the buttercream, fondant, sprinkles and icing pens at hand.  We also helped decorate bunny biscuits that my mum had made.  My favourite decoration was the carrot with the orange and green fondant.  We even made a few little fondant carrots but those will wait for another post.

On Easter Sunday a few of my siblings needed to leave mid afternoon to see in-laws.  So we started early with an Easter egg hunt.  My dad started it off with a briefing, complete with a white board and a pointer.  Then we were relieved that they could find all the eggs (or chocolate bunnies, in fact).  My dad put letters on each chocolate bunnies and each kid had to find bunnies with the first three letters of their name.  Another fine moment in cooperation from my dad!  Then we had the pinata which Sylvia made.  After three kids had hit it (and one made it fall) my nephew hit it so hard I thought he was going to hit it over the roof for six!

So yep, by the time lunch came around the kids had sampled one or two Easter eggs.  I on the other hand piled up my plate like a Gilmore Girl.  (When we were not running around during the holidays we were binge-watching the Gilmore Girls on Netflix.)  My lunch was so impressive.  I took along a favourite vegan nut roast.  I ate this with chutney, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, cauliflower cheese, a spinach, pumpkin and lentil salad.

Dessert was a feast of toblerone cheesecake, carrot cake, pavlova and iced cookies.  We were all stuffed afterwards and there were lots of leftovers.  And of course there were lots of Easter eggs.  Plus lego.  My mum gave my niece a Lego kit that Sylvia helped make before she left.

We drove home listening to a true crime radio show (Crime at 10,000 feet) about Martin McNally and Garret Trapnell.  I digress but we were quite amazed at how the latter criminal had written his memoirs which had led to a criminology student falling in love with him, dying in the attempt to break him out of gaol with helicopter.  Saddest of all was when her 17 year old daughter hijacked a plane to try and break him out of gaol.  The show also highlighted how many plane hijackings there were before airport security tightened up.  It was fascinating.

On ANZAC Day we decorated the second batch of eggs.  It was fun to get out our sprinkles.  Sylvia found some eyes, moustaches and mouths to play with.  I was glad to finally finish up the buttercream that was leftover from her birthday.  And with that Easter and ANZAC Day were over and we were back to our regular routine.

More cut out cookies on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Best ever chocolate cut out cookies
Choc cherry cut-cut cookies
Chocolate and black tahini cut out biscuits (v)
Cookie wands (gf) 
Gingerbread bush buddies
Lego sugar cookies (v)

Easter sugar cookies
From Coles Magazine, April 2019
Makes 48

250g butter softened
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp custard powder
2 tbsp rice flour
buttercream and sprinkles, to decorate

Cream butter, brown sugar and golden syrup (I did this with electric beaters).  Gently mix in remaining ingredients until they clump together.  Use your hands to bring this together into a ball and knead a few times until the dough is smooth.  (This could be done in the food processor too.)

Wrap dough in clingfilm and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.  We did half the dough for about 4 days and it was like a hockey puck - it needed to be kneaded in small pieces to get it soft enough to use but was fine in the end.

Roll out to about 3-5mm on a lightly floured surface.  Cut into shapes.  Bake at 160 C for 12-15 minutes (15 minutes for us).  Cool on a wire rack.  Decorate with buttercream and sprinkles or as desired.  Note: if you want to decorate with fondant, spread a thin layer of buttercream underneath.

On the stereo:
The greatest hits: the Teardrop Explodes


  1. Those biscuits are so cute, especially the moustache characters.

  2. How adorable are these? Yes Anzac Day was so close to Easter that a slight panic ensued and I had to make something quickly.


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