Baking can be such a creative outlet–sort of like arts and crafts you can share and eat!
This year for Easter, Walmart challenged me to come up with a new idea using some of the ideas on the Walmart “Celebrations” page for Easter as inspiration. It’s a great page with lots of super cute (but doable) baking projects–things like Bunny Ear Cupcakes, Bunny Rolls, Jelly Bean Garden and the M&M Easter Surprise Cake.
I wasn’t sure what to make, so I did what I always do. I went in store to peruse the seasonal aisle and see what they had for Easter Baking . They didn’t disappoint–there was an entire aisle of items! Easter Cookie Cutters of all kinds, fun royal icing candy decorations, cupcake kits, TONS of sprinkles, premade tubes of icing (just snip and frost). . . really, I think this is the most stuff I’ve seen for Easter baking.
When I saw the “Treat-inside” egg shaped cookie cutters I knew I had a winner. I picked them up along with a bag of M&M’s for filling and some really sweet packaging supplies (they are really supposed to be for mini loaves of bread–but I knew they’d be the perfect size for my cookies).
One of the interesting things about this project is that what could have been a mammoth chore turned into a nice little project I could fit in between things. How? Well, I broke up making these cookies into 4 different days. Day one I made the sugar cookie dough and stuck it in the fridge. Day two I cut out and baked the cookies. Day three I assembled the cookies. Day four I iced the cookies. If I had done all that in one day I would have been working for hours, what with waiting for the dough to chill, baking time, waiting for icing to harden. . . you get the idea. Instead it was done in manageable chunks.
So day one I made my sugar cookies. I used the recipe out of my Betty Crocker Cookbook–but you can use any sugar cookie recipe you like. You can even pick up sugar cookie mix at Walmart that doesn’t need to be chilled if you aren’t into making it from scratch.
Day two I rolled, cut and baked my cookies. The dough was rolled out to about 1/8′ thickness. Don’t forget to sprinkle flour on your counter and flour down your rolling pin–otherwise your dough will stick like crazy!
Each cookie needs two “full” egg pieces and one of the center pieces with the smaller egg cut out of it. You of course can gather up all those little “eggs” and roll them out again to make more big cookies, but I decided that 6 big cookies and a bunch of smaller ones worked well for me.
Day three I assembled the cookies. I could have made royal icing at home, but I wasn’t in the mood so I pulled out the white cookie icing I had purchased at Walmart. Don’t forget to put your “surprise” in the cookie before you seal it up!
Day four I iced the cookies. I had considered using royal icing to outline the top of the cookies and make Easter egg style designs and then fill in with flow icing. . . but I just wasn’t feeling in the patient mood. I decided instead to try the icing that is used for Petit Fours–I figure that since it coated little squares of cake it would coat my cookies. I even bought a pound cake and cut it into squares so I could practice before putting it on my cookies.
It turned out to be a finicky process–you have to bring a sugar, water and cream of tartar mixture up to a specific temperature on a candy thermometer, then let it cool down to another temperature (which takes an hour), then mix in powdered sugar. It was frankly a pain. It coated the cookies and looked lovely, but the flavor was so unimpressive that I won’t even share it here. I will tell you this–in the future I will either use Royal icing or I will just coat the whole thing with melted candy melts like folks do for cake pops.
The finished cookies are quite large–I dyed some coconut green to act as grass, tossed a few chocolate eggs inside with the cookies and packaged it all up in the mini loaf pans. Aren’t they sweet?
Are you looking for more Easter baking ideas? Here are some more from the Walmart Moms!
Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.