(click picture to enlarge and see the detail!)
Easter has always been my favorite holiday. As a child, I couldn’t wait for Easter to come, as it heralded the arrival of Spring. It signified new beginnings and new life, baby bunnies, chirping birds, and blooming flowers.
For the holiday, my Mom and I would make daisy and butterfly spritz cookies, as those were the only even remotely relevant disk patterns that came with our cookie press. I always wanted more designs, especially at Easter, so It’s incredibly exciting to have created Impress!™ cookie press shapes to give people so much more to bake with!
I had a blast making cookies for this blog post. My teenagers were too busy to help bake and decorate this time, but they weren’t too busy to nibble. I had to keep shooing them away from my work! Luckily I managed to salvage enough cookies to photograph.
A cookie press makes it so easy to make shaped cookies quickly and easily. There’s no messy floured surfaces, no cutting out shapes. Just whip up the dough, load the barrel, and press dozens of shaped delights.
The Easter set has eight disks to get creative with. There are endless ways to decorate the eggs, baskets, crosses and bunnies. Or you can keep it pretty simple and just color the dough for chicks and ducklings, adding just a touch of colored sugar as an accent. I’ll take you through the steps to make the cookies in the first picture.
Let’s get started!
Gather your cookie press, the Easter disks, and your ingredients. For these cookies I used my basic vanilla-honey spritz recipe.
I say this in every post, but it’s necessary for new readers! The key to great spritz cookies (cookie press cookies) is the dough. It has a particular consistency that when made right, presses smoothly, quickly and easily.
Impress!™ Vanilla-Honey Spritz
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (not melted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cream the butter well. Add the sugar and cream it very well again. Add the honey, then vanilla and egg; beat well. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add it slowly to the butter mixture, just until the flour is mixed in. DO NOT over-mix!
Spritz dough should be soft but not sticky. It has an almost crumbly texture that doesn’t stick to your fingers.
Load the dough into your press barrel, packing it in with the back of a spoon to avoid any air pockets forming.
Place your disk and begin pressing. It’s OK if the first few come out misshapen. That happens to even the most experienced pressers. It sometimes takes a few cookies to build up a consistent pressure in the barrel to make the cookies come out uniformly. Just throw the bad ones back in the dough bowl to be re-pressed. Keep a steady pressing rhythm for best results.
For the egg cookies, you may want to smooth the edges in a bit on the sections. Pressing spreads the dough out, so to keep that nice egg shape, just use slightly wet fingers to smooth the sharper points.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. All ovens are different, so check that first batch early- at 6 or 7 minutes to gauge your baking time. Let sit for just a minute or two, but not too long or the cookies could break when removed, and cool on a wire rack.
We’ll get back to decorating these. Let’s finish baking all the cookies first.
For the chicks and ducklings, color a little dough yellow with GEL food coloring (liquid will change the dough consistency too much). Load your press barrel, and again press with a consistent rhythm.
After baking, decorate these cute little guys with just a little orange icing on the beaks and feet. For fancier birds, dip the beaks and feet in sanding sugars! You can make simple eyes with just a dot of black icing, or I love to use the small candy eyes from The Baker’s Kitchen™ (order online, I put a link at the end of the blog).
Here’s how I decorated the rest of the cookies.
For some of the lambs, I used store-bought cookie icing , the kind that is very smooth and hardens quickly. I put a very thin coating on the bodies of the lambs and spread it around into all the crevices with a slightly wet finger.
While the icing was still wet, I then placed the lambs upside-down in a small plate of white nonpareils, turning the cookies to coat all the edges and coat the lamb completely with what looks like lumpy white lamb wool! Once that section had hardened enough to handle, I added some black cookie icing to the head and legs and a candy eye to the face. That’s it!
For the rest of the lambs, I first used a star tip and white icing in a decorating bag to create a woolly appearance with small stars of icing on the body, and again once hardened, finished the head, legs and face the same way as the nonpareil-coated lambs.
I thought that cinnamon sugar might make cute, natural-looking bunnies and baskets, so using the same technique I coated Easter baskets and bunnies with the cookie icing, then with the icing still wet, dipped them in cinnamon sugar.
I finished their decorating with eyes and a white icing star tail on the bunnies, and a little white icing trim and some Easter-themed sprinkles on the baskets.
For the eggs I used several techniques. Some I frosted with colored frosting, smoothing it very well with a finger dipped repeatedly in warm water to make a nice finish, then added pearly nonpareils using tweezers for accuracy. Others I used the sections of the pressed cookies as my guide to create a tri-colored cookie by icing one section at a time and dipping it in colored sanding sugars. Once each section was sugared, I let the eggs dry in between sections to make them much easier to handle. Once the underlying icing “sets” and hardens, it is easy to add icing and sugars to the other sections without rubbing off the first color. (If any colored sugars get on the wrong section, simply brush them away with a decorating/paint brush. If the first section hardened properly, you should have no trouble doing so.) Now some of the eggs I left just like this, others I added a zigzag of white icing along the section divisions. For a third variety, I iced the eggs in solid colors, dipped them in sugars and added a border using the white icing in the decorating bag with the star tip.
I decorated the crosses simply with a surface of smoothed icing and lines of icing with the star tip or white nonpareils placed with tweezers.
I decorated some of the baskets the same way, simply smoothing icing on with slightly wet fingers, and once dry, adding decors.
The carrots were done just like the three-sectioned eggs. I iced them in orange icing piped from a bag, then smoothed each section, then dipped them in orange sanding sugars. Once they hardened and could be handled, I iced the leafy tops and dipped them in green sanding sugars. Carrots!
Below is a collection of pictures of the finished cookies.
I hope you have as much fun baking these as I did, and have a wonderful holiday!
If you have any issues or questions, I am always happy to troubleshoot and help. 🙂
Disk Designer/Recipe Developer at Impress! Bakeware, LLC
Our website with more recipes and over 200 disks in 30 disk themes: http://stores.impressbakeware.com/
Our Amazon Store: https://www.amazon.com/Impress-Bakeware/pages/12702786011
Link to purchase the Easter disk set:
And if you’re interested in making spring flowers and butterflies like I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, we have daffodil and tulip disks in the Flowers set and a butterfly disk in the Summer Critters set.
If you’d like to see more disks, be sure to check out www.impressbakeware.com for over 200 disk designs and many more recipes and ways to use a cookie press. You can press icing decorations on cupcakes, make chocolate truffles, crackers, peanut butter spreads, pumpkin mousse parfaits, and much more.
(Click any pictures to enlarge)
The candy eyes I used here can be found at: http://www.thebakerskitchen.net/3/16-in-Candy-Eyes-Assorted-Colors—1000-Count-Pack.aspx