It's almost spring and that means Easter is just around the corner and Easter requires shortbread cookies in the shapes of bunnies, chicks and eggs. My cookies are not the perfectly iced cookies that one will see in a bakery. (If you look closely the imperfections will be visible.) They are the best tasting shortbread cookies with lots of butter and an icing that is just the right amount of sweetness. These cookies are also easy to make and anyone can make these delectable treats.
The icing for the cookies is really simple because it is just powdered sugar, milk and light corn syrup. Just make sure the flooding icing is the consistency of honey and outline icing is the consistency of toothpaste. That's all you need to remember and you have the perfect icing. And if you do have some uh-oh moments, don't panic. The cookies are suppose to be homemade so if they look homemade, then that's just fine. Just make them with lots of love.
Ingredients (2 - 3 dozen)
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
Icing (each color)
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- food coloring
In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. (Photo A) Add the vanilla.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Slowly add one third of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix on low until the mixture comes together. Repeat until all the flour has been added. (Photo B)
Pour the mixture onto a floured surface and shape into a disk. (Photo C)Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
On a surface dusted with flour, roll the dough 3/8 to 1/2 in thick and cut with cookie cutters. (Photo D & E) (The size of the cookie cutters will determine the number of cookies the recipe will produce.) Don’t twist the cookie cutter during this process. Place the cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes. (Photo F) The edges of the cookies will be sharper.
Bake for 16-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven until the edges begin to brown. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack. (Photo G)
The recipe requires at least 3 batches of icing. I used 4 batches to achieve the results in the pictures.
Sift the confectioners' sugar to remove any lumps. Lumps are almost impossible to remove later so don’t skip this step. (Photo H and J)
Mix in the milk and corn syrup and stir until the mixture is the consistency of honey. (Photo K) If needed add more milk a teaspoon at a time. Mix in the food coloring to achieve the color desired. (Photo L)
Prepare the disposable piping bags with the desired tips. Place the bags in a glass and fold the top portion of the bag over the side of the glass. (Photo M) Fill the bags with the prepared icing. Outline the cookie and then fill the center. (Photo N) Use a toothpick to move the icing around.
While the icing is still wet, sprinkle with sanding sugar. (Photo O) Let the cookie dry completely (at least 6 hours) before storing in an airtight container.
If you prefer decoration with a two dimensional look, let the flooding icing dry completely and then come back and add decorations on top of the first layer. (Photo P and Q) After adding the bunny tails add sanding sugar.
Have fun and be creative. Enjoy!