Easter Ideas 2014

easter2014
Here’s the Easter idea roundup for 2014!

1. Tuxedo Peeps
2. Easter Egg Cookies
3. Hot Cross Buns
4. Peep Cookies
5. Butterscotch Birds’ Nests
6. Coconut Easter Cupcakes
7. Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes
8. Homemade Peanut Butter Eggs
9. The Best Carrot Cake
10. Cadbury Mini Egg Cookies
11. Peep Cupcakes
12. Carrot Cake Cupcakes
13. Cadbury Mini Egg Blondies
14. Anniversary Peep Brownies
15. White Chocolate Jelly Bean Cupcakes
16. Easter Thumbprint Cookies
17. Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg Cookies
18. Carrot Cookies
19. Ducky Cookies
20. Cadbury Mini Egg Bark

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Cadbury Mini Egg Bark

DSC_8553x900You guys didn’t think that I’d let an Easter season go by without making something with Cadbury mini eggs, did you? The glorious Cadbury mini egg is my favorite seasonal candy of all time. I think they are perfect. Absolutely perfect. In past years, I’ve made Cadbury Mini Egg cookies, blondies, birds’ nests, thumbprint cookies, etc. I was scratching my head as to what I could make this year until I saw this recipe for Cadbury mini egg bark. It combines white chocolate, chocolate, and crushed mini eggs — what’s not to like?

Cadbury Mini Egg Bark
Recipe source: Tutti Dolci
Print Recipe

1 pound white chocolate, chopped
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces Cadbury Mini Eggs, chopped

1. Line an 11 x 17-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
2. Place white chocolate in a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Slowly melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until glossy and smooth. Pour melted chocolate into prepared pan and spread with an offset spatula into an even layer. Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 25 minutes. Remove pan from refrigerator and leave at room temperature while melting remaining chocolate.
3. Place bittersweet and semisweet chocolate in a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Slowly melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until glossy and smooth. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Pour melted dark chocolate over white chocolate layer; carefully spread with an offset spatula into an even layer.
4. Sprinkle with chopped Cadbury eggs. Chill in the refrigerator until completely set, about 1 hour.
5. Carefully lift parchment paper and place bark on a cutting board; trim away any ragged edges, then use a sharp knife to cut into squares (I did a weird mix of shapes!).

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Katrina @ WVS - April 16, 2014 - 6:58 am

I love barks like this so much! Lovely recipe!

Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) - April 17, 2014 - 2:05 am

The mini eggs are awesome aren’t they?! I happen to know the Easter Bunny will be delivering some to our house this year. ;) This is a great way to use up any surplus!

Easter Egg Cookies

DSC_8678x900Here’s the last post of Easter sugar cookies! I wanted to do something simple, traditional, and full of nauseating pastels.  I’m not usually a fan of pastel colors, but let me tell you, after enduring one of the worst winters evahhhhhh I’m am totally embracing all things mint green, lavender, and bubble gum pink this spring! I stuck with pink, yellow, green, and purple for these cookies — because I think those are the most Easter-y.

If you are a new to decorating cookies with royal icing, here are some helpful tips and links:

  • I used my grandma’s sugar cookie recipe, which is listed below.  Another good cut-out cookie recipe can be found at Bridget’s wonderful Bake at 350.
  • I used a royal icing recipe from Annie’s Eats, which is listed below.
  • If you are new to decorating with royal icing, please visit this post by Annie’s Eats, which will teach you about outlining and flooding.  Bake at 350 is also a great resource for cookie decorating and ideas (I love Bridget’s book, too!).

Here are the specifics on how I made these cookies:

  • The egg-shaped cookie cutter is a Wilton comfort-grip cutter. I bought mind on Amazon, but I know that hobby stores like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby carry them.
  • I dyed the icing with Wilton’s gel colorings. To get the pastels, only use a little bit! Like, a little bit on a toothpick. A little will go a long way — especially with the pink.
  • I outlined the cookies with white icing and flooded them with the various colors.
  • After the flooded icing dried, I piped stripes or chevrons onto the cookies — or placed large sprinkles to serve as polka dots. The dots are a Wilton product that I found at Hobby Lobby.
  • I used the recipe below for the sugar cookies — and it will make quite a few cookies, so you may want to cut the recipe in half.  Or not.  Depends on how many cookies you want!
  • On a related note, it’s hard to tell you how many cookies you’ll get out of the batch of dough.  It depends on the size of the cookie cutter you use.  But it’s safe to say that you’ll get at least 2 or 3 dozen Easter egg cookies out of the recipe listed below.

Omi’s Sugar Cookies
Print Recipe
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Beat butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients gradually. Chill the batter overnight or for at least 4 hours. Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350F until golden (in true fashion, my grandma didn’t give a specific baking time. I baked the cookies for about 8 minutes).


White Royal Icing
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons meringue powder
5 Tablespoons water

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating. Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated. Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg Cookies

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Oh sweet baby Jesus, these cookies. I am usually a big fan of Reese’s peanut butter cups — but I think there is something extra magical about the egg version. It’s like the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter is better. Something is different about them! (anyone else feel this way? Or is it just me? Anyone? Bueller?)

Another cool thing about these cookies is that no flour is involved! Good for all of you who are trying to avoid gluten (though I’m not sure if the peanut butter eggs contain gluten or not).

Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg Cookies
Recipe source: Bake at 350
Print Recipe

A bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs
2 cups smooth peanut butter (don’t go organic/all-natural/whatever – stick with Skippy or JIF!)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
sanding sugar

1. Place the peanut butter eggs in the freezer to chill while you make up the dough.
2. Preheat oven to 375 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
3. Beat the peanut butter, sugar, eggs and baking soda together until smooth.
4. Scoop out 1/4 cup dough. Divide the scoop in half and shape one half into an oval large enough to make a “bed” for the egg.
5. Place the egg on top, them cover with the remaining dough, pressing around the egg to fully cover. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
6. Bake for 12 minutes, cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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Rachel - April 14, 2014 - 3:56 pm

Is there only one size for Reese’s eggs? I found a bag at my grocery store but they have different packaging than the ones in your photo. They’re the individually wrapped foil ones with pink, blue, and purple colors. I hope they work! :)

Annie - April 14, 2014 - 4:58 pm

I have heard that there are more than one size — but I’ve only seen yellow bags of them at Target. Sorry that I can’t help more!!

Jen of My Tiny Oven - April 14, 2014 - 7:39 pm

I am totally with you on the Easter egg peanut butter cups! I LOVE them. It is totally the peanut butter to chocolate ratio that makes them super awesome. I always stock up!! These cookies, my god! YUM!

Ducky Cookies

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Aww, little duckies! These cookies work for springtime — or for a baby shower (anyone know why little ducks are always associated with baby showers? Maybe because kids love their little yellow rubber duckies at bath time? I don’t know). I wasn’t planning on making these cookies, but got the idea when I was digging through my bin of cookie cutters and found the little ducky.

If you are a new to decorating cookies with royal icing, here are some helpful tips and links:

  • I used my grandma’s sugar cookie recipe, which is listed below.  Another good cut-out cookie recipe can be found at Bridget’s wonderful Bake at 350.
  • I used a royal icing recipe from Annie’s Eats, which is listed below.
  • If you are new to decorating with royal icing, please visit this post by Annie’s Eats, which will teach you about outlining and flooding.  Bake at 350 is also a great resource for cookie decorating and ideas (I love Bridget’s book, too!).

Here are the specifics on how I made these cookies:

  • The ducky cookie cutter that I used was part of an Easter collection that I bought years ago. I’m sure you can find something similar on Amazon or another retailer.
  • I dyed the icing using Wilton’s gel colorings — Buttercup Yellow and Orange.
  • The black icing was colored with AmeriColor’s Super Black gel.
  • After flooding the yellow icing, I let the cookies sit for a minute or two, then dipped each into yellow sanding sugar.  Same goes for the orange beaks – create a little triangle of orange icing and dip it into orange sanding sugar.
  • I used a round tip to pipe the little black eyes onto each ducky.
  • I used the recipe below for the sugar cookies — and it will make a lot of cookies, especially if your ducky cookie cutter is small! I’d recommend cutting the recipe in half – otherwise you’ll end up with 4 dozen plus cookies.

Omi’s Sugar Cookies
Print Recipe
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Beat butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients gradually. Chill the batter overnight or for at least 4 hours. Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350F until golden (in true fashion, my grandma didn’t give a specific baking time. I baked the cookies for about 8 minutes).


White Royal Icing
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons meringue powder
5 Tablespoons water

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating. Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated. Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.

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