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Springtime Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
Directions
For the Cookies
1 c
unsalted butter, at room temperature
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1.5 c
white sugar
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1
whole egg
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0.5 tsp
orange oil
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1 tbsp
orange zest, finely chopped
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0.75 tsp
salt
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2.5 c
all-purpose flour
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0
bunny-shaped cookie cutter
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For the Royal Icing
3 c
powdered sugar
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2
egg whites
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1 tbsp
white vinegar or 1 tablespoon strained lemon juice
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0.25 tsp
orange/lemon extract (optional)
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0
food coloring
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For the Meringue Powder Icing (alternate icing)
3 tbsp
meringue powder
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3 c
powdered sugar
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6 tbsp
warm water
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0.25 tsp
orange/lemon extract (optional)
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0
food coloring
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Springtime Sugar Cookies

These easy sugar cookies make a festive Easter treat. Be sure to allow ample time for the cookies to cool prior to and during icing—once you pipe a border around the edges of each cookie, you’ll want to wait at least 20 minutes before filling in to prevent drips. If you prefer not to use egg whites for Royal Icing, follow the recipe for Meringue Powder Icing. Note: If you are having difficulty piping, the icing may be too thick—add a little bit of liquid and try again.

24-30 cookies

For the Cookies
  1. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the egg, orange oil, orange zest, and salt, and mix until well combined.
  3. Add the flour in two batches, mixing slowly until completely blended.
  4. Spread the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and cover with another sheet. Use a rolling pin on top of the paper to roll it out to 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Chill the rolled dough in the paper for at least 2 hours, or store for up to 1 week.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F, with racks on the upper and lower thirds.
  7. On a lightly floured work surface, use a bunny-shaped cookie cutter to cut the cookies.
  8. Transfer the cut-out cookies to two sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Space the cookies at least 2 inches apart.
  9. Chill the sheet pans with the cookies in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
  10. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Rotate the sheet pans top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time.
  11. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies can be kept in an airtight container, layered between sheets of wax or parchment paper, for up to 3 days at room temperature, or frozen for up to 2 months.
For the Royal Icing
  1. Place the powdered sugar in the bowl. It’s recommended to use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  2. Add the egg whites gradually, and beat on medium speed for about 3-5 minutes. Add the vinegar and optional flavoring.
  3. If using food coloring, divide the icing into separate bowls for each color and add the food coloring a very small amount at a time, mixing well to incorporate.
  4. Cover the bowls with damp towels to keep the icing from drying out until ready to use. For longer storage, place the icing into a plastic container, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, seal, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
For the Meringue Powder Icing
  1. If using this instead of the Royal Icing, beat all ingredients together until well combined in a bowl.
  2. If using food coloring, divide the icing into separate bowls for each color and add the food coloring a very small amount at a time, mixing well to incorporate.
  3. Cover the bowls with damp towels to keep the icing from drying out until ready to use. For longer storage, place the icing into a plastic container, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Decorating the Cookies
  1. Using a pastry bag or a parchment paper cone, pipe a border around the edges of each cookie: Hold the tip of the pastry bag about 1 inch above the cookie surface, create a line by carefully squeezing the bag and guiding it as the icing falls onto the cookie.
  2. Allow the border to dry completely, about 20 minutes.
  3. Thin the remaining icing with a small amount of water and “flood” the inside of the piped outline.
  4. Let the cookies set for at least 8 hours or overnight, uncovered.

Recipe by Kate Kosaya

Kate Kosaya

Kate Kosaya is a New York City-based food photographer, stylist, and content creator. She spends her free time cooking, collecting props, and blogging about life and food at LublYou.com.