Oh I wish I had have posted this recipe before Easter (because some mini bunny cookies would have been so adorable!) but better late than never right?! I've been meaning to post this recipe since I first baked these gorgeous, sweet little cookies for Allegra and Anya's Joint Birthday Party back in November last year. They were such a hit (and so easy to make) that I made another batch a few weeks later for Christmas! For my girls' party I wanted to create a cookie that would go with their party theme but something that would not take up too much of my time as there was so much else to do and make. Icing cookies is an art and process within itself (something that I hope to be able to master one day) but with time not really on my side I decided to cheat just a little. I baked and iced the cookies myself (I just used a basic royal icing recipe for the icing) and then outsourced the edible toppers from Custom Icing. Once I had a PDF of the images I wanted to use, it was as simple as placing an order online. The service was super quick (I received in the post within a matter of days) and despite being a little overwhelmed when I first read the step by step instructions, the process of removing the toppers from the edible sheets and placing onto my cookies was super easy! I was so thrilled with how they turned out and had so many people comment on them... a small effort for a 'wow' factor! This recipe really is super easy to follow and will make about 30, 2 1/2 inch cookies or 16, 3 1/2 inch cookies. Perfect for any occasion :)
3 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and using the paddle attachment, cream together until light and creamy. This should take about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another minute or so.
- Add the flour mixture one cup at a time (this stops a storm of flour dust!).
- Mix until all of the flour is incorporated and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a piece of baking paper.
- Using your hands, knead the dough a few times.
- Place the dough in a large plastic (ziplock) bag and refrigerate for about 2 hours. If you would like to speed up the chilling process, place the bag of dough in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes (just be sure not to forget to take it out).
- A few minutes before you are due to get the dough out of the fridge or freezer, preheat oven to 180°c.
- Once the dough has chilled and feels firm to touch, take out about half, leaving the rest in the refrigerator until your ready to work with it.
- Place dough between two sheets of lightly floured baking paper. This enables you to roll out the dough without having to add too much additional flour. Adding too much flour can cause the dough to be become a little tough and can also result in pockets of flour which may result in bumpy cookies.
- Roll out the dough to about 1/4 of an inch thick- Cut the dough with your choice of cookie cutters (I usually use a small circle cutter as it makes gorgeous little bite-sized cookies). Try to make the best use of the dough you’ve rolled out. Every time you have to re-roll the dough you will need to add a bit more flour resulting in the bumps I mentioned above.
- Carefully place cookies onto prepared baking sheets. To avoid unevenly baked cookies, be sure to only put cookies of similar size on each baking sheet.
- Place the entire baking sheet (with cookies on it) in the freezer or refrigerator for about 3-5 minutes. Chilling the cookies will help ensure they keep their shape while baking. This is one of the best tips I was ever given!
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the cookie. Bake until they are just barely beginning to take on a golden tone. They will continue to bake as long as they are on the baking tray, so don’t let them get too brown. Cool for just a minute or so on the tray and then carefully remove cookies from the baking sheet and place on a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, the cookies can be decorated with either frosting, royal icing or rolled fondant.
- Enjoy! :)