Spring Entertaining: The Easter Basket Cookies

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Southern Socials 

The Easter Basket Cookies

The Easter basket is such an iconic focal point, particularly in the South, that children look forward to each year. In order to fill them, a variety of items may be crafted in your very own kitchen to make them special. Easter cookies have long been a traditional activity the kids can participate in & although I have chosen to feature Bird Nest Easter Cookies, the design is always yours to create. Try these or handcraft one of your own. Many different recipes may be used in order to prepare iced & decorated celebration cookies. Simply scan the ingredient list of several to make a match with items you have in your pantry & refrigerator. Classic Sugar Cookies serves as the base formula for this charming project however Vanilla Shortbread may also be used & doesn’t require an egg in the dough. Food coloring paste, meringue powder, disposable piping bags, a variety of piping tip sizes & cellophane treat sacks are readily available from super centers on the baking & cake decorating aisle while ribbon may be found on the craft aisle for packaging. For additional pointers, look to The Essential Guide To Making Easter Cookies. Learn how to make these adorable & delicious treats everyone will simply love.

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rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickBird Nest Easter Cookies
makes about 1 dozen

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 cups powdered sugar
4 tsp meringue powder
3 to 4 Tbsp hot water
White, brown & yellow food coloring paste

Cream the butter & the sugar on Medium speed with a stand mixer until light & airy, about 5 minutes. Stop the mixer occasionally & scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Add the egg, the vanilla & lemon juice. Mix the dough just until blended. Whisk together the flour & the salt in a small bowl. Add to the butter mixture & blend just until the dough comes together. Divide the dough in half to form two discs. Wrap each disc with plastic. Chill 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough discs to a 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut 12 {3 3/4 x 2 3/4-inch} & 36 {1 x 3/4-inch} egg shapes with oval cutters. Place the same sized shapes on separate parchment paper-lined half sheet pans spacing approximately 1-inch apart. Repeat until all of the dough is cut. Bake the large dough shapes on the center oven rack 14 to 16 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Bake the small dough shapes 9 to 11 minutes. Cool completely.

Whisk together the powdered sugar, the meringue powder & the water in a medium bowl. Decorate the cookies to resemble chickens & eggs in a bird nest. Let stand 12 hours. Slip into cellophane bags with a bit of brown crinkle paper. Finish the sacks with a satin bow.

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{testing notes}

How To Decorate Bird Nest Easter Cookies

Once the base recipe of the icing has been prepared, it will need to be divvied between bowls, tinted with food coloring paste & transferred to piping bags fit with a variety of tip sizes in order to capture the correct scale over the cookies. Learn the technique.

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Transfer 1/3 of the icing to a small bowl & tint with white food coloring. Cover the remaining icing with a damp paper towel in order to prevent a crust from forming over the surface. Add a smidgen of additional powdered sugar or a droplet of water to the royal icing, if necessary, to thicken or thin it for the desired piping consistency. It should have a slightly whipped consistency in order to hold shape once piped.

Place the icing in a piping bag fit with a No. 5 tip. Outline the small egg cookies with the icing, then fill in the center. Let stand two hours. Meanwhile, Remove approximately 3 tablespoons of the remaining icing & transfer to a ramekin. Tint with yellow food coloring paste & place in a bag fit with a No. 00 to No. 1 tip. Set aside. Tint the remaining royal icing with the brown food coloring paste using up to 1/2 of the container. Transfer to a piping bag fit with a No. 5 to No. 7 tip. Outline the large egg cookies with the brown icing then fill in the centers. Let stand 2 hours. Meanwhile transfer the remaining brown icing into a separate piping bag fit with a No. 00 to No. 1 tip & pipe the eyes on the small eggs to resemble chickens, then pipe beaks using the yellow. Attach the cookies to the large brown, iced cookies using some of the royal icing then finish the details on the nests by piping lines with the brown icing fit with the small tip. Let stand 12 hours.  

The Tune
“It Don’t Mean A Thing” Ella Fitzgerald

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Be sweet.

About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

2 Responses to Spring Entertaining: The Easter Basket Cookies

  1. Elizabeth P. March 22, 2020 at 9:14 am #

    These cookies look so cute & delicious! Thank you for all of the great ideas.

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