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Easter Cut-outs

Aren't these the sweetest little cutout cookies for Easter weekend?! This is the second Easter we won't be able to gather to celebrate with friends and family, but these are perfect to package up and leave on a friend's porch as an Easter surprise. They're simple but the different colours make them fun and super springy! These cookies also freeze well so you can enjoy on the weekend and tuck a few away for a treat later on.

Marzipan Butter Cookies - Easter Cut-outs - Recipe by Carolee Krause

1 cup softened unsalted butter

3/ 4 cup white sugar

2 oz marzipan (grated if hard, cut into small pieces if very soft)

1 tsp almond extract

1 large egg, room temperature

1/ 4 tsp baking soda

1/ 4 tsp salt

2 3/ 4 cups all purpose flour

With electric mixer beat butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light in colour and well incorporated. Add grated or softened marzipan. Mix well. Add almond extract and egg. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add dry ingredients and stir in by hand. Divide dough in half. Shape into loose rounds or ovals on a parchment sheet. Place another sheet on top and roll out dough until it is 1/ 8” thick. Repeat with second ball of dough between 2 more sheets of parchment. Slide both of them on to a cookie sheet (the beauty of parchment paper) and refrigerate for at least 30min. Dough should be cold and firm to touch.

While you’re waiting for the dough to chill, heat oven to 350F. Arrange oven racks to top and bottom third of oven. Using an oval or round cookie cutter (3” diameter) cut out cookies 12 to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Do not over-crowd. Continue working with dough while it’s still cold to cut another 12 cookies. With a smaller cut-out shape (I used a bunny shaped cutter) cut-out the center of 1/ 2 of the cookies so that each blank cookie cut out will have a shaped cut-out pair in the center. If dough gets too soft, gather and roll out scraps and refrigerate again. This will ensure that the shapes you’ve chosen will hold their shape while they bake. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on racks. Repeat rolling, chilling and cutting out shapes until dough is used up. Ensure that for every blank cookie cut-out that you have is paired with a center cut-out cookie.

Icing Sandwich filling

1/ 2 cup softened unsalted butter

1 tsp almond extract

2 - 2 1/ 2 cups icing sugar (plus more for dusting - optional)

1-2 tbsp whipping cream

Gel food colouring pastes of choice ( I used pink, yellow, green and blue)

Using electric mixer beat butter until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar in 1/ 2 cup intervals and beat until thoroughly incorporated, starting off slowly and increasing speed so that the icing sugar stays in bowl! Add a little cream when mixture gets too heavy. Divide icing into 4 medium sized bowls or for however many colours chosen. Add colour sparingly on the end of toothpick to achieve pastel shades. You can always add more colour to increase the intensity but a little goes a long way. Thoroughly combine. Spread about 1 tbsp of frosting on the back side of the blank cookie cut-out. Top with the shaped center cut-out. If you want icing sugar dusted tops then sprinkle the shaped cut-out cookie before adding it to the top of the icing. Otherwise the icing will not absorb the extra icing sugar and you’ll just end up with an icing sugar divot! Once the top of the sandwich is sprinkled you can add to the layer with the icing for a gorgeous contrast. Store in an airtight container and freeze if desired.

If you need to balance your seasonal intake of Cadbury eggs with cookies, we have another great Easter cookie recipe for you tomorrow!

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