Turn ordinary sugar cookies into beautiful Easter basket cookies. They’re not only easy to make, but also make delightful Easter goodies for both young and old alike.
What you’ll need: I used the following: Sugar Cookies (I’ve included my recipe below), 4-inch egg-shaped cookie cutter, white decorator icing, pink decorator icing, green decorator icing, piping bags, couplers, #5 round tip, #18 star tip, #233 grass tip, pastel M&M’s. I used purchased decorator icing, but you could also make your own buttercream icing.
Building the East basket cookies: I cut sugar cookie dough into egg-shapes and baked the cookies according to the recipe directions. As soon as the cookies came out of the oven, I cut the cookies with the egg-shaped cookie cutter again. The reason for this was that the cookies spread during baking.
Once the cookies cooled, I produced a basket weave on the bottom half of the cookies. I started by piping a horizontal line using a #5 round tip across the middle of a cookie. Then, I piped a vertical line from the center, close to the edge.
Next, I piped spaced short horizontal lines over the vertical line. I piped another vertical line, followed by spaced short horizontal lines over the vertical line. I continued this until I had the complete basket weave on the bottom half of the cookie.
For the basket handle, I used the #18 star tip to pipe a row of stars. I finished the basket by piping “grass” using the #233 tip.
Once the baskets were complete, I “filled” the baskets with pastel-colored M&M’s.
Easter Basket Cookies
Makes 20 Easter Basket Cookies
1 cup (8-ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (7-ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon milk
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups (15-ounces) all-purpose flour
Confectioners’ sugar for rolling out the cookie dough
Easter Basket Cookies
1 recipe for sugar cookies, cut into 4-inch egg shapes
Pink, white, and green decorator frosting
Pastel colored M&M’s
Place butter and sugar in large bowl; beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Add baking soda and salt; beat until combined. Gradually add flour; beat on low just until the dough comes together. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375º F. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with confectioners’ sugar.
Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time and place on prepared surface. Sprinkle the top with confectioners’ sugar and cover with parchment paper. Roll out dough to ¼-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut with 4-inch egg-shaped cookie cutter. Place at least 1-inch apart on parchment, or silicone baking mat.
Bake at 375°F for 11 to 12 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges. As soon as cookies come out of the oven, shape by cutting with 4-inch egg-shaped cookie cutter. Yield: 20 egg-shaped sugar cookies.
Easter Basket Cookies
Use the above recipe or your own sugar cookie recipe. Bake sugar cookies, cut into egg shape with 4-inch cookie cutter according to recipe directions. As soon as the cookies are removed from oven, shape by cutting with 4-inch cookie cutter. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Smooth edges of cookies by “filing” on wire mesh strainer.
Fill piping bag with white/pink decorator icing, fitted with coupler. Starting with #5 round tip, pipe horizontal line in the middle of cookie. Pipe vertical line from center, close to edge. Pipe 4 or 5 spaced horizontal lines across vertical line. Pipe another vertical line. Pipe horizontal lines, creating basket weave. Continue until basket weave is formed.
Replace #5 tip with #18 star tip. Pipe basket handle with individual stars.
Fill piping bag with green decorator icing, fitted with coupler and #233 grass tip. Pipe grass in basket. Finish by placing pastel colored M&M’s in grass.
Yield: 20 Easter Basket Cookies
If your sugar cookie dough is sticky, you’ll want to dust your surface to prevent sticking. I use confectioners’ sugar to do this rather using flour.
I used store-bought decorator frosting to decorate these Easter Basket Cookies. However, you could also use homemade buttercream frosting tinted with gel food coloring.
I’ve tried using pastel colored M&M peanuts. However, I thought that they were too big. The regular M&M’s tend to work better.
Chula King is the blogger behind PudgeFactor.com.
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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Easter Basket sugar cookie recipe: How to make them at home