I think the best thing about holiday (any holiday really!) baking is the excessive number of cookies it is socially acceptable to make and consume in a short period of time. My favourite part of holiday baking process is the decorating (not the eating!) — I love filling cookies, piping details, and adding gold flakes to anything I can possibly add gold to. During the holidays I like to work with recipes that allow you to make several different types of cookies from one base recipe. For Easter this year, I’m making five different kinds of cookies from a perfect blank canvas shortbread dough. The shortbread recipe is my go-to during the holidays and I like to add seasonal mix-ins or use different cookie cutters depending on the time of year.
After I made my base shortbread dough, I divided the dough into two portions, one to remain as a vanilla dough and the second to become dough for carrot cookies. I used this set of Easter cookie cutters from Williams Sonoma Canada to stamp out my cookies and these are the cookies I made with them:
- Marbled sugar cookies (with flower and rabbit-shaped cutters)
- Lemon sandwich cookies (with egg-shaped cutter)
- Sparkly butterfly cookies (with butterfly-shaped cutter)
- Coconut sheep cookies (with sheep-shaped cutter)
- Matcha vanilla carrot cookies (with carrot—shaped cutter)
Marbled sugar cookies: After cookie dough is rolled out, stamped with cookie cutters and baked until edges are golden. While the cookies are cooling, make a batch of royal icing. Divide royal icing into three bowls and colour two of the portions with food colouring. Drop a few drops of the coloured icing into the bowl of white icing. Using a spatula or spoon, swirl icing 1-2 times until marbled. Dip the top side of each cookie into the icing and let excess icing drip off. Decorate with gold flakes.
Lemon sandwich cookies: After cookie dough is rolled out, stamp dough with egg-shaped cookie cutters and transfer cut outs to a baking sheet. Using a small circle cookie cutter, stamp put the ‘yolk’ from half of the egg cookies. Bake cookies until edges are golden. Place cookies with ‘yolk’ cut out onto a cooling rack and dust with icing sugar. Spread a generous layer of homemade or store-bought lemon curd on cookie without cut out, then top with sugar-dusted cookie.
Sparkly butterfly cookies: After cookie dough is rolled out, stamped with cookie cutters and baked until edges are golden. While the cookies are cooling, make a batch of royal icing. Transfer royal icing to a piping bag and decorate cooled cookies with royal icing. Before icing dries, dip the cookie into coarse sanding sugar. Allow icing to set before stacking cookies.
Coconut sheep cookies: After cookie dough is rolled out, stamped with cookie cutters and baked until edges are golden. While the cookies are cooling, make a batch of royal icing. Transfer royal icing to a piping bag and pipe icing to the body and the head of the sheep cookie. Before icing is set, sprinkle toasted coconut to the cookie. Tap cookie against the baking sheet to remove excess coconut.
Matcha vanilla carrot cookie: Make cookie dough and remove ¼ portion of the dough and place in a bowl. Add a few drops of orange food colouring to the large portion of dough and mix until colour is evenly distributed. Add green food colouring or matcha powder do the smaller portion of dough and mix until evenly distributed. Roll out each portion of dough. Using the carrot cookie cutter, stamp out the root of the carrot in the orange dough and the leaves portion in the green dough. Combine the components on the baking sheet. Bake until edges are golden
Thank you Williams Sonoma Canada for supporting Constellation Inspiration!
My Favourite Shortbread Recipe
- 227 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 115 g (1 cup) icing sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 260 g (2 cups and 3 tbsp) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter, icing sugar and vanilla at medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add flour and salt and mix on low speed until combined.
- In between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out dough to ¼-inch in thickness. Lightly flour the cookie stamp/cutter and press.
- Transfer cut outs to prepared baking sheet, placing cookies 2 inches apart.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer for 10 minutes. Freezing cut out cookies before baking will help preserve the design and shape of the cookies.
- Bake until the edges are lightly golden brown, about 12 – 14minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.
- *See body of blog post on how to use this shortbread recipe to create 5 different Easter cookies