Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Bunny Sugar Cookies - Happy Easter!

These adorable Easter Bunny Sugar Cookies will hop off the plate faster than you can bake them. And they happen to make a great Easter activity for kids or an extra special Easter gift for friends and family.

Why not celebrate the Easter holiday with a special Sunday lunch, lots of chocolate eggs, and springtime baking. If possible, enjoy time with friends and family over the long weekend and nibble away on some of these cute bunny cookies.

Easter Bunny Sugar Cookies
(Author: The Kitchen Lioness)

Ingredients for the Cookies
  • 300 grams (2 1/2 cups) AP (plain) flour
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 175 grams (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200 grams (1 cup) fine baking (caster) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg (L), free range or organic
  • grated zest of an organic lemon

For decoration (optional)
  • eggwash
  • some raisins for the eyes
  • pearl sugar*

NOTE: *Pearl sugar is a type of specialty sugar that is often used in baking in Scandinavia and other countries in Northern Europe. Despite the name, this sugar is not completely round like pearls. It is compacted, which is why it does not melt easily during baking. Mixing pearl sugar into baked goods will give them extra sweetness and crunch. Sprinkling it over the top of a bread or pastry will do the same, and will also give your baked good a nice finishing look. If you live outside of Europe, you can find it at some specialty cooking stores, like Sur La Table, and at Scandinavian import stores, like the food section at Ikea. And, of course, you can also find it online.

Preparation of the Cookies
  1. Sift together the flour and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. 
  3. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly add the sugar and the vanilla sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the egg and lemon zest and beat for 1 minute, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Add the remaining flour and continue beating until all of the flour has been absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal balls. Shape each into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  7. When you are ready to bake the cookies, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperaturte for 10 to 30 minutes. 
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, one disk at a time.
  9. Preheat your oven to 175° Celsius (350° Fahrenheit).
  10. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment paper.
  11. Cut out bunnies, using your favorite Easter bunny cookie cutter. 
  12. Using a small offset spatula, transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2.5 cm (1 inch) apart.
  13. Reroll the scraps and cut out more cookies.
  14. Repeat with the second dough disk.
  15. Brush the cookies with some eggwash and sprinkle with a pearl sugar, and use cut-up raisins for the eyes.
  16. Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.
  17. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool completely.
  18. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

These cute buttery vanilla sugar cookies are easy to make and take very little time. And they do make the perfect Easter treat.

I would like to take this opportunity and wish all of my friends, followers, readers, and their families a very Happy Easter! Frohe Ostern! Buona Pasqua! Bonnes Pâques! Vrolijk Pasen! 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Monthly Cooking Event for a Cause - Über den Tellerrand kochen, Bonn (Germany)

Here is just a little up-date of another delightful cooking event to better the integration of immigrants and refugees from many different countries into German society. As a group, we meet up every first Sunday of the month to cook and bake together in the afternoon and then enjoy the fruits of our labor in the evening. 

On Sunday we enjoyed various dishes including "Ojji" (Syrian Omelette with herbs), "Hummus" (Chickpea Dip), "Ful Mudammas" (Fava Beans with Tahini) and a "Chopped Vegetable Salad" and "Arabic Flatbread".

And for dessert we baked Easter-themed "Sugar Cookie Cutouts", we dyed lots of Easter eggs, baked an "Apple Tarte with Fragipane" and enjoyed "Easter Bunny and Lamb Marble Cakes".

As always, hugh thanks to all the wonderful participants, sponsors, organization team (including Anke Krämer and Sara Meiers) and the Katholische Familienbildungsstätte Bonn for letting us cook and bake in their wonderful kitchen!

We will be cooking and baking again on the first Sunday in May - be prepared to learn more about some delicious food and seasonal desserts from many different parts of the world!

For more information, feel free to take a look at the FB page for the Über den Tellerrand kochen, Bonn group here and follow along, if you like!