Sugar Cookies for Easter

This past weekend I got some of my Easter baking done, including these sugar cookies and the mini cheesecakes I shared earlier this week. There’s a chance I will make some macarons just for fun but not making any promises at this point. I’ve shared my sugar cookie recipe before in a post that has been my most popular by a landslide here. The recipe is still the same and still the best in my opinion 😉

I used these cookie cutters here to make the bunnies and carrots.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. This recipe makes about 25-30 cookies using an average sized cookie cutter. I usually double the recipe since I’m already going through all the work to make them. They also freeze very well in an airtight container.
  2. To the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar mixing very well. Add the egg and vanilla, mix well. Next, add the dry ingredients (salt, baking powder and flour) and mix on low until combined. If the mixture seems too dry add a small amount of water, start with a teaspoon or so, it shouldn’t take much.
  3. On a lightly floured surface roll your dough and use the cookie cutters of your choice to shape. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake 8-10 minutes.
  4. Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Once they’ve fully cooled they are ready to be iced or at this point you could store them in the freezer to decorate at a later date.

Royal Icing

(you will want to double this as well if you doubled the cookie recipe above)
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons meringue powder
6 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment add all ingredients and mix on lowest speed for 5-7 minutes. It is very important to keep the speed on the lowest setting to avoid whipping the meringue powder.
  2. I adjust the consistency as I go which usually results in adding more water to thin the icing. A little bit goes a long ways so start with a teaspoon or so.
  3. To get the right consistency for piping a good rule of thumb is to look for a 15 second icing. That means if you were to run a spoon through the icing it should take approximately 15 seconds to smooth back out completely. If your icing is still too thick add some water, just a little bit at a time. If your icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar.

Once you’ve reached your desired consistency transfer to a piping bag (a plastic baggie also works, just snip the corner when you’re ready to start decorating).

Good luck and happy baking!

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Mini Cheesecakes for Easter

This weekend was a little cooler so instead of spending extra time outdoors I took advantage of the indoor time to get some baking done for Easter. I made these mini cheesecakes and sugar cookies which I will also plan on sharing sometime this week. I am thinking this was a good call because Easter weekend looks beautiful as of now so I don’t think I will want to spend my time inside baking.

I reserved a few of these cheesecakes to photograph and share with you but the rest of them are in the freezer (without the toppings). I’ve made these many times and they freeze very well. I will transfer them to the fridge on Easter Sunday and the topping can be added just before serving. I used a standard size muffin tin with parchment liners to bake them. The carrots (still available to be shipped before Easter, hurry!) and little bunny plates were both from the Target dollar spot section 🙂

I just followed the recipe on the box of the Philadelphia cream cheese I was using because it was simple and I had everything it called for. I did modify a little bit and will share exactly what I did below. Happy baking!

Ingredients:

crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons melted butter

filling:
3 packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325*. I ended up getting about 22 mini cheesecakes.
  2. Make the crust by melting the butter in a microwave safe dish. Add the graham cracker crumbs and mix until combined. Line a muffin pan with baking cups and add a spoonful of the crust to each. I would guess I add about a tablespoon of the mixture to each one. I then use a mini spatula to press it down firm into the cup.
  3. Add the softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla to your stand mixer and using the whisk attachment beat very well, until smooth and no lumps appear. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until combined.
  4. Scoop the filling into the baking cups on top of the crust mixture. I filled them about 3/4 full or a little more, you could add more but you might end up with a few less in the end.
  5. Bake for 15-17 minutes. The centers should still be a little giggly when you remove them from the oven. I have a gas oven and used the convection setting and 15 minutes was perfect.
  6. Let them cool at room temperature then transfer to the refrigerator to set, allow a few hours for best results. Store in an airtight container. You could also store them in the freezer if you don’t need them right away or within the next few days.
  7. Top with whatever you like! In this case I made a whipped topping (you could totally go with store bought too) and some Cadbury chocolate eggs, an Easter staple in my opinion 😉
  8. Enjoy!