A perfect baking challenge for the Bank Holiday weekend! We thought we would celebrate the holiday by sharing Peggy’s recipe for Chocolate Easter Egg Cookies.
Ingredients – Makes 25 Cookies
200g Unsalted butter, softened
200g Caster sugar
50g Cocoa powder
A pinch of salt
1 Medium egg, lightly beaten
350g Plain flour
500g Icing sugar, sifted
Squeeze of lemon juice
2 Egg whites or 12.5g Meri-White powdered egg white (mixed with water as per instructions on packet)
Claret, orange, green and yellow food colours
Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper
Place the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a bowl and cream together. Do not overwork the mixture, or the cookies will spread during baking.
Beat the egg in a jug and slowly add to the butter mixture, whisking until well incorporated. Sift in the flour and mix until just combined. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and briefly knead. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and briefly knead. Roll out the dough, until about 4-5mm thick.
Use cookie cutters to cut out the desired egg shapes and place the cookies onto prepared baking trays. Chill again for about 30 minutes, or until cool and firm. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 175 degrees centigrade/ Gas mark 3.
bake the cookies for 6-10 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Royal Icing Method
Place the icing sugar, lemon juice and three quarters of the egg white or Meri-White in the clean and grease free bowl of an electric mixer.
Mix on the lowest speed until well combined. You may want to cover the mixing bowl with a cloth to prevent the icing sugar from going everywhere. If the mixture looks too dry, add more egg white or Meri-White. The icing should look smooth, but not wet.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl after about 2 minutes to make sure the icing is well combined. If it still looks too dry and grainy along the edges, add a little more liquid.
If it looks slightly runny and glossy, add a little icing sugar to adjust the consistency.
Continue mixing on the lowest speed for 4-5 minutes, taking care to not overwork or over-aerate the mixture. The royal icing is ready when stiff peaks appear around the sides of the bowl and has a smooth and satin-like texture.
Transfer the royal icing to a clean bowl and cover with a damp cloth. The icing can be stored for up to 1 week at room temperature if covered with lid or cling film; or in the refrigerator id using fresh egg whites.
Prepare your piping bags and adjust the colour and consistency of your royal icing. You will need both soft-peak and flooding consistencies of pale pink (using a little claret), peach (using a little orange with a little claret), coral pink (using claret with a little orange), green and yellow icing.
Once prepared, keep the piping bags in a re-sealable plastic bag to prevent the icing from drying out between use.
Taking a piping bag filled with pale pink soft-peak icing, cut a small section from the tip of the piping bag and pipe the outline of a strip about 5mm wide vertically down the middle of an egg-shaped cookie. Pipe another strip of the same width to bisect the first one, slightly curving it upwards. Fill the outlined areas with pink flooding icing. Repeat for the remaining cookies, decorating an equal number with the peach, coral pink, green and yellow icing. Leave them to dry completely.
Once dry, use corresponding colours of soft-peak icing to pipe outlines for the bows, centring them over the intersection of the 2 ribbons. Fill the bows with flooding icing and leave them to dry.
To finish the cookies, pipe over the outlines of the bows with soft-peak royal icing and dot the centres with flooding icing.
Recipe taken from ‘Cookies’ by Peggy Porschen, published by Quadrille. Photography courtesy of Georgia Glynn Smith. For more fabulous cookie projects and decoration ideas, you can order a signed copy of Peggy’s book here.