For the past few years, for Easter, I've made some kind of "nest" or basket dessert recipe. I've done Nutella Rice Krispie Easter Baskets, Chocolate Easter Baskets made out of chocolate and pretzels, and Almond Joy Brownie Easter Nests. Traditional Easter desserts can also include carrot cake or anything with lemon to capture the springtime essence.
You'll notice that my Easter creations tend to center around using Cadbury mini eggs. Meaning the only reason I make something is to serve as an excuse to buy my annual bag of mini eggs and put them on top of something. This year I was out of nest/basket ideas and a search for "Easter cookies" came up with a horrifyingly beautiful assortment of iced and decorated cookies. The kind that's out of the reach of my decorating skills. But I did find this recipe from Saving You Dinero and loved it for its simplicity.
It's essentially a little butter cookie you bake and then you push a mini egg into the center (the original recipe called for peanut M&Ms but I took liberties) as soon as you take the cookies out of the oven. The pastel colors represent springtime and you remain loyal to the Easter icon of the eggs. I also like it because if you have kids, they can easily help you with this recipe. Even if they're too young for the actual making of the dough, at least they can have the fun of pushing the mini egg into the cookie. They can "help" and it's a fun family activity – always a good way to celebrate Easter.
I really liked these cookies. Not only do they have the springtime Easter cuteness factor, but they're also quick and easy to make, you make the dough ahead of time and freeze so you can bake them on your schedule, and most importantly, they taste good. Use fresh butter (of course) to get that butter goodness taste shining through.
The cookies don't spread if you bake from frozen dough, something I highly recommend. Make the dough balls small to keep them proportional to the size of the Cadbury mini eggs. These are especially good if you eat them lukewarm as the chocolate inside the candy shell, while not melty, will be soft. As always, do not over-bake these. The cookies won't turn brown except on the bottom, so time them and don't leave them in for too long or they'll easily become dry. Baked just right, they're a little bite of buttery goodness. Just like peanut butter blossoms seem to be a traditional cookie at Christmas, I think these just became my go-to Easter cookie.
Easter jewel cookies
From Saving You Dinero
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pastel M&Ms or Cadbury mini eggs
1. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix in egg and vanilla until well incorporated then add flour, salt, and baking powder slowly.
2. Split dough in half and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Alternatively, you can form into dough balls and freeze 12 minutes prior to baking.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
4. If you haven't already, shape dough into small balls about the size of a walnut and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom edges. Do not over-bake.
6. Remove from the oven and immediately press one pastel M&M or Cadbury mini egg into the center of each cookie. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool completely.