It’s that time of year! Easter is here! Bright colored eggs and pastel candies have officially filled every store in town! I saw Peeps on sale the other day and thought to myself, “wow, when was the last time I ate one of these?”. I started to reminisce to my childhood, when Easter meant waking up to an Easter egg hunt and a basket full of candy and stuffed animals! Those were the days! Well, I decided to treat myself this year with several boxes of Peeps and bags of chocolate bunnies and eggs (not like I need it or anything)! Then, it got me thinking.. I’ve never baked anything special for Easter. Of all the holidays, I think Easter has some of the cutest decorated treats too. So as I’m scrolling through Pinterest looking at cute Easter ideas, I came across several pictures of cookies that look just like Peeps! How genius! And EASY! If you’re not huge into decorating, trust me this is the recipe for you! Everyone will be impressed too because they’re so adorable.
Unfortunately, I won’t be giving out my recipe for my sugar cookies. I was sworn to secrecy by my boss when I worked at a bakery for my internship for Le Cordon Bleu in south Florida. The woman I worked for has the most amazing sugar cookie recipe and all of her customers always raved about them. I’ve made and tasted plenty of different sugar cookie recipes, some which have no flavor, others that don’t come out perfectly shaped, and then luckily hit the jackpot with discovering hers. So my advice here is, if you don’t happen to make sugar cookies on a regular basis and have a super amazing recipe like mine, go ahead and buy a sugar cookie mix at the store. I’ve never actually made a cookie mix, but I’m sure they will do the trick! In fact, that will make last minute decorating even faster!
Don’t worry I’m still going to show you how to decorate these little Peeps cookies like a pro! We’ll start with the icing. Which is actually Wilton’s royal icing recipe. Super easy and delicious! And it only has 3 ingredients!
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 5 tablespoons warm water
*If you don’t want to go out and buy meringue powder just for this (as it can be pretty expensive), substitute the water and meringue powder for half of one egg white at room temperature. If your icing is too thick, add water a little at a time until you achieve the consistency you need*
First, sift the confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl.
Once the sugar is sifted and lump free, start scooping it into your mixer along with the meringue powder and water. (Or if you’re substituting the meringue powder and water, go ahead and add your egg white).
Beat on low speed for 7 minutes, scraping down the bottom and sides halfway through. The consistency you are trying to achieve is almost the same as toothpaste. It’s best to make it more on the stiff side because you will be using this as an outline on your cookies. Therefore, it needs to hold up nicely when piped. If your icing is too thick, add water ½ teaspoon at a time. If your icing is too runny, add more sifted confectioner’s sugar.
(This is an example of icing that is too runny. You can see how its dripping in a stream down into the bowl. I had to add a few more tablespoons of sifted confectioner’s sugar.)
(When you lift your whip and the icing holds shape and doesn’t drip down, thats a good indication that you’ve achieved the right consistency.)
Now separate the icing into different bowls (depending on how many different colors you are going to use). I use the gel food coloring from Michael’s, but they sell liquid pastel/neon food colors at Publix that will work just fine for this (anything bright and colorful is a good color for Easter)! Slowly add gel coloring with a tiny amount on a toothpick, or tiny drops, because a little goes a long way.
Make sure you keep all of your icing covered with plastic wrap because it dries out very quickly!
Now, once your cookies have baked and cooled completely, it’s time to decorate!
If you want to do this the professional way, scoop each colored icing into a piping bag with a coupler and set aside two different tips. I like to pipe the outline with a thin tip (Wilton #2 or #3) and fill it in with a wider tip (Wilton #10 or #12). If all of this mumbo jumbo sounds like too much work and you don’t have these supplies, have no fear! There is NO need to use them for this cookie. You’re going to throw sprinkles all over the top at the end anyway, so putting some icing in a plastic ziploc bag and cutting a small hole at the end will do the trick!!
Start by outlining each bunny or chick Peep shaped cookie (cookie cutters found at Michael’s, which by the way has a 30% off coupon on their site good for this weekend) with each icing color.
Like I said before, none of this has to be perfect because it is going to be covered in sprinkles!
Once you’ve finished outlining the cookies, it’s safe to thin out the rest of the icing to fill them! Add water drops at a time with a ½ teaspoon spoon. Be very careful doing this, because if you add too much water you’ll need to add more stiff icing and then more food coloring to make sure you get the same color you already piped. So I literally add water in drops and mix with a spoon little by little until it drips off the spoon and melts into one uniform puddle in the bowl.
(Like this.) Now you can fill in the cookies with your thinner icing.
Again, doesn’t have to be perfect because it will be covered in sprinkles and nobody will even notice you did all of this work (sigh). If you wanted to, you could even spoon out the icing onto the cookie and smear it around with a spoon. Yup, that will work for this cookie. SEE HOW EASY, anyone can make these!
Once the cookie is covered in icing, sprinkle a matching color sprinkle on top while the icing is still wet. Then, shake off the excess sprinkles. These are not your average circle sprinkles, these are tiny square sprinkles you can find at Michael’s. For example, these blue ones are labeled “Blue Sugar” on the container (so I’m guessing these are formally called “Sugar Sprinkles”?).
*The best way to do this is on a separate baking tray with parchment paper on top. Place one set color of cookies on it at a time. That way, when you’re done sprinkling all the blue cookies you can lift each end of the parchment paper in half making a funnel and pour the extra sprinkles directly back into the blue sprinkle container. That way you don’t have to waste any sprinkles or make a big sprinkly mess all over the counter! Then repeat with each color! *
Here’s all my Peeps! But they’re not Peeps just yet. They need those silly little brown eyes and noses! I melted a few (only about 5 to 10) chocolate chips in the microwave and then mixed the melted chocolate with a spoonful of white royal icing I set aside. (It’s hard to get a nice brown color, so the easiest way is adding melted chocolate.) I cut a teeny tiny hole in a plastic bag and piped these onto their cute little colorful faces.
Yay! Peeps, but cookie version! They’re so cute and fun for everyone and they taste great! Who doesn’t love a cookie covered in sprinkles anyways?
I took a big box of these to work and I’m so sad I forgot to take a picture of them all wrapped up together! But they would make a cute little Easter basket for someone special!
Are those cookies or Peeps in there? ;)
Or you can even individually wrap them and give them out to friends or family for Easter!
(Sent these to my son’s teachers at daycare yesterday!)
You can even eat them all up and treat yourself this Easter since you’re probably not receiving an easter basket like when you were a kid (and if you do, I’m jealous)! Whatever you choose to do with them I hope you enjoy making these Peeps cookies because they are really fun, cute, and they taste SO yummy! I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter with their families! God Bless :)
In the theme of pretty Easter colors, here’s an easy dessert you can also make this weekend! I made this cookie cake for my mom’s birthday (and all of the April birthdays) at work!
Get the full recipe here!