Easter Cookies Recipe:
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, separated
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure vanilla extract
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt
1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
2 - 3 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup (50 grams) dark raisins (or currants)
1/4 cup (40 grams) candied mixed peel
Easter Cookies: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in egg yolk and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add the raisins and candied peel and toss with the flour. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, and beat until incorporated. Add enough milk to give a fairly soft dough that can be easily rolled.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out to a thickness of 1/4 inch (5 mm). Cut into shapes using your favorite cookie cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
In a small bowl, using a wire whisk, beat the egg white until frothy. Using a pastry bursh, brush the tops of the cookies with the egg white and sprinkle with sugar (I used sparkling sugar). Bake in the preheated oven for about 13 to 15 minutes, or until brown around the edges. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes about 24 - 3 inch (7.5 cm) cookies.
Every holiday has special foods attached to it and Easter is no exception. Cakes, cookies, and breads play an important role during the Easter period and every country has their customs. The English, for example, are known for their hot cross buns as well as these Easter Cookies (Biscuits). They are delicious; full of ground cinnamon, raisins (currants), and mixed candied peel. They are not too sweet which makes them especially appealing with all the chocolate and other Easter candy floating around.
Making cookies (biscuits) is definitely one of the more simple things to bake. Just beat the butter and sugar, add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, and then the flour. Fold in the fruit and enough milk to make the dough soft and pliable. We do have to roll out the dough and cut it into shapes and since it is Easter, I thought an "egg" shape would be appropriate. To make the tops of the cookies nice and shiny, we brush them with beaten egg white before baking. I also like to sprinkle them with a little extra sugar which adds sparkle and crunch. These cookies keep very well and are perfect with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
A few notes on ingredients. Candied fruit is actually preserved fruit that has been dipped several times in a concentrated sugar syrup. This process preserves the fruit's original color and shape, while giving it a smooth and shiny coating, a very sweet taste, with a firm and slightly chewy texture. For the raisins I used dark raisins, but you could also use golden raisins or currants. Both dark and golden raisins are simply dried Thompson seedless grapes. The difference is that dark raisins are sun dried which gives them that dark shriveled appearance, whereas golden raisins are treated with sulfur dioxide first to prevent them from turning dark and then air dried to keep them a golden yellow color.