Monday, March 25, 2013

Cookies & Easter Egg Fun with Granddaughters

Easter Frosted Sugar Cookie - Easy Life Meal & Party PlanningThis past weekend was spent having a slumber party with two of my granddaughters and making sugar cookies, bird nests and coloring Easter eggs.
Their mother joined us for the sugar cookie making.  We had such a great time. My 8 year old is a budding photographer. She has helped photograph food on several occasions and she has a natural talent unlike her grandma. My 3 year old will probably be the food blogger because she loves taste testing and she has something to say every minute of the day. 

Decorating Easter Sugar Cookies - Easy Life Meal & Party Planning

Easter Frosted & Decorated Sugar Cookies - Easy Life Meal & Party Planning

Easter Chocolate & Peanut Butter Birds Nests - Easy Life Meal & Party Planning

Both recipes worked really well for younger kids to help make and eat. They loved the bird nests but also wanted both peanut butter and chocolate so we had to get creative.

Peanut Butter Bird Nest Ingredient
3 cups miniature marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons peanut butter
4 cup dry Chow Mein noodles
Brach’s Easter malt eggs
Grease a large muffin tin. Set aside. Over low heat, melt the marshmallows, peanut butter, and butter in a large saucepan. Once melted, stir in vanilla, then the Chow Mein noodles.  Make sure the noodle mixture is cool enough for children to handle and you will have to work somewhat quickly before they set up.
To prevent sticking, coat hands with butter.  Place a clump of noodle mixture a little larger than a golf ball size in your hands and gently form the noodle mixture into a ball by rolling it around in your hands. Press into greased muffin tin, pressing up on the sides to create a nest shape. Allow to cool before placing candies inside.  Yields approximately 14-16 nests.
**For Chocolate Butterscotch Bird Nests add 1 (6 oz.) package of chocolate chips and 1 (6 oz.) package of butterscotch chips to the ingredients above.  Note:  If the chocolate mixture is not quite as sticky you can also place the noodle mixture in the muffin tin and when cool enough press around the muffin tin with hands or spoon to make the nest.  Allow to cool before placing candies inside.

Ingredients for Frosted Sugar Cookies
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Sugar Cookie Recipe Source Dainty Chef  Original Source

Ingredients for Frosting
4 cups powder sugar, sifted
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5-7 tablespoons milk (more, as needed)
Food coloring
Sprinkles (optional)

Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla and reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Cover and chill the dough for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Split dough in thirds and roll each third in a ball. Roll dough to desired thickness approximately 1/4 to ½ inches.  Using cookie cutters, cut designs into dough and place the cookies at least 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until just set, taking care not to over bake. The edges will be barely browned, if at all. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, place the confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl.  Mix in butter, vanilla and milk. Continue mixing until smooth, adding more milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Tint with food coloring, if desired. Frost and decorate cookies.
Authored by +Terri Henkels 

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