Spring flowers may not yet be with us but gamboling Easter bunnies soon can be with these pretty pastel Easter bunny pops.
I often say any food is more fun when eaten on a stick. Themed iced biscuits on sticks can make an Easter display or a great gift. Assuming Easter will be wet and cold this year, these Easter bunny cookie pops are also a good indoor activity to keep little people busy during the holidays.
Kids love cutting shapes out of sugarpaste, to them it’s just like playing with Play Doh. The decoration here is simple enough for them to help; cutting out sugarpaste shapes, drizzling molten chocolate and sticking down that fluffy bunny marshmallow tail.
The jumping bunny cookie cutter came from Hobbycraft but plenty of supermarkets stock seasonal Easter cutters too. If you don’t have any lolly sticks then some of those long wooden stirrers from coffee chains do the job just as well. The bunny’s eyes were large blue sprinkles picked from a selection of mixed colours but you could use sweets or balls of darker sugarpaste.
This recipe yields a generous ball of dough – I did consider halving it but cookie dough freezes so beautifully it makes perfect sense to make this big batch and keep the rest for another occasion. Cookie dough can be kept wrapped in the fridge for 7 days or frozen for 2-3 months. If you have any scraps left over, why not chop them up and pop into your own cookie dough ice cream?
A last note on food colour – gel or paste food colourings are much easier to use than liquids. It’s worth investing in a set – they work out around £1.25 per pot but last much longer than liquid. Alternatively you can buy pre-coloured sets of primary shades of sugarpastes (stocked widely) and mix a little of each with larger blocks of white sugarpaste – I told you it was just like Play Doh! Leftover sugarpaste needs to be double wrapped and used within a few weeks before it goes too hard. You can also use diluted food colouring to paint the lolly sticks.
For fixing the cookies to the sticks I have suggested instant royal icing to avoid faffing with egg whites – but you can make traditional royal icing with standard icing sugar if you don’t want to buy an extra kind for one recipe.
For the cookies (makes 36)
175g very soft butter
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
500g plain flour plus extra for rolling
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
For the decoration
1kg white sugarpaste
pink, yellow and green gel food colouring
100g apricot glaze, warmed slightly
hundreds and thousands sugar sprinkles
large blue sprinkles (or similar for eyes)
36 mini marshmallows
200g instant royal icing sugar with a little extra for rolling
You will also need
baking sheets lined with parchment paper
bunny cookie cutter
vinyl or latex gloves (to avoid staining from food colouring)
To bake the cookies
1. Preheat oven to 180c/ Gas 4.
2. Using a large electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale then blend in the eggs and vanilla extract.
3. Stir the baking powder and salt into the flour and gradually mix into the batter to form dough.
4. Split the dough into two halves and chill for one hour wrapped in cling film.
5. Sprinkling some flour on your surface, roll out a disc of the chilled dough to 5mm thickness. Cut into bunny shapes and place apart on the baking sheet.
6. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden. After slightly cooled, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To decorate the cookies
7. Knead around 200g of sugarpaste and a dab of gel food colouring until the colour is evenly distributed. Repeat to make more coloured batches of sugarpaste as desired. Wear gloves to avoid staining.
8. Sprinkling a little icing sugar on your work surface, roll one of the sugarpaste balls to 3mm thickness and cut out more bunny shapes to cover the cookies.
9. Using warmed apricot glaze pasted on the back, stick the sugarpaste bunny shapes onto the cookies.
10. Add drops of water to the instant royal icing sugar until you have a damp paste.
11. Pour the hundreds and thousands into a bowl. In a small dish, water down one tablespoon of royal icing to a watery syrup and spread on the sugarpaste surface of the cookies. Press them upside down in the hundreds of thousands.
12. Dab the mini marshmallows with the thick royal icing to stick down as bunny’s fluffy tails. Squash them to get a better bunny tail shape. Use the end of a chopstick or skewer to mark a point as the bunny’s eye and press down a large blue sprinkle.
13. When the cookies are dry, smear royal icing on top of the sticks and press onto the back of the cookies. Allow the icing to dry completely before standing the cookie pops up. You can stand them in cups, vases or a block of florist’s oasis covered in gift wrap.
Inspired? There’s more kids recipes in Great British Chefs collection for Easter baking. Also a collection of delicious Easter recipes if you’re looking for dishes for grown ups.
What are your favourite biscuits to decorate? Let us know here or over on Great British Chefs Facebook page