One basic cookie recipe used in multiple ways
Every home cook who loves to celebrate the holidays needs a really good sugar cookie recipe in their arsenal. One that has flavour, will hold it’s shape but is still crumbly and delicious to eat. This is a great way to get the kiddos involved in holiday baking too. Whether you choose to fill them, layer them, decorate them with royal icing or just sprinkle them with some icing sugar, this is the most versatile cookie recipe you will ever need.
Below is the basic recipe. And I’m giving some examples of some of the variations I’ve made this Easter and last. I don’t include the recipes for the fillings or icing here, but am super happy to share those if you need them. This is the perfect blank canvas though. Feel free to make them whatever shape or design you like. Add some food colouring if you wish or fill them with your favourite chocolate spread, nut butter or curd.
1. Plain Cookies
2. Layered Cookie
This version has three cookie layers, sandwiched together with white chocolate Ganache and decorated with sprinkles, speckled eggs and chocolate bunnies. You don’t need any fancy cutters for this. I simply downloaded a free printable template from the internet.
3. Sandwich Cookies
Above I have use the left over dough from the previous batch and the same leftover white chocolate Ganache. I added some yellow gel food colouring to the Ganache for a little variation and used sprinkles to decorate the cut outs I created with my cookie cutters. You can fill these with anything though. Below are ones I made last Easter that were sandwiched together with Nutella and dipped in dark chocolate.
You can find the recipe for these Chocolate Sandwich Cookies here.
3. Simple Royal Icing or Icing Sugar
Basically you can keep the decoration as simple or make it as elaborate as you wish. These are a few simple options if you’re not comfortable using royal icing for elaborate designs.
Easter Sugar Cookies
- ¾ Cup Unsalted Butter Softened to room temperature
- ¾ Cup Castor or granulated sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2½ Cups All-Purpose/Cake Flour
- ½ tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp Salt
- In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, or in the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar until smooth, pale and creamy
- Add the egg and egg yolk, followed by the vanilla and mix until incorporated
- Next, sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until smooth and lump free
- Form a ball with the dough and place between two pieces of plastic wrap. Once wrapped, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to around 1/2cm (5mm) thick (this step is not essential but is a little hack to make it easier to cut our your first batch straight from the fridge). Then place in the fridge for around 30 minutes to chill
- Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with baking paper or silicone baking mats.
- Once chilled, remove the dough and place onto a lightly floured surface. Cut out your desired shapes with cookie cutters or stencils (the amount of cookies you get out of this batch with depend on their size. I get at least 24 quite large bunnies out of this dough and had quite a bit to spare after the three very large bunnies for the layered cookie)
- Place the cookies on a prepared baking tray (cover the remainder of the dough and keep it cool**) and bake for 10 – 12 minutes (for small or regular size cookies) or until just turning lightly browned around the edges (you want them quite blonde not brown)***
- Roll out and cut your next batch of cookies while the first batch bakes
- Once baked, remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for around 5 minutes before placing them on a wire cooling rack to cool completely
- Make sure that the cookies are completely cooled before any decorating or whatever you add to them will melt. Feel free to bake them in advance and keep in an airtight container until ready to decorate