Saturday, March 26, 2016

Simple Easter Craft + Dessert All In One

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This year Easter is a little odd in our house, mostly because my husband has to work a 10-hour shift on Sunday (thank you medical field) and my mother-in-law is out of town. Because of that, we celebrated Easter last weekend with the traditional big meal, pretty dress for our daughter, church as a family and Easter basket goodies. The fig-glazed ham recipe I link to below is our family favorite, I discovered it years ago and it is demanded every time ham is expected on the table, we love it and it is just so easy!

If you're still scrambling to find your perfect Easter meal recipes, check out some of my no-fail, go-to recipes in the links below:

Fig-Glazed Ham, Tarragon Deviled Eggs & Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

Garlic Potato Gratin & Creamy Deviled Eggs

Still, I wanted to do something a little fun on the actual calendar day Easter with my daughter so we decided to make these adorable little cookie cups and decorate them with frosting and Cadbury Mini Eggs so they look like little birds nests.


At just 3 months away from turning 4, my daughter is obsessed with all things bird. She loves ducks, baby chicks, chickens, geese and most importantly eggs. The chocolate ones that is, I can't convince her to eat a real one, but she loves cracking them open to help me when we bake and just learned the ASL sign for the letter "E" and proudly does that while saying "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" whenever she sees an egg.

That being said, this was the perfect little Easter craft/dessert for her. Plus, buttercream frosting is one of her favorite food groups.

If you're looking for a shortcut on this dessert its really easy, just use any pre-made or boxed cookie mix, make it according to package directions and use the mini-muffin tins the way I did for baking them (see baking steps below). Then let the kids pipe on store-bought whipped-style frosting (or do that part yourself) and let them decorate with the candy eggs. They'll love it, it'll keep their little fingers busy while you get Easter dinner on the table.

Make-Ahead Tip: You can even bake the cookie cups a day ahead (like TONIGHT) and keep them in a sealed container ready to decorate tomorrow.

If you want to make them from scratch, check out the recipe below that I found thanks to Lil Luna. I barely adapted the original recipe, so be sure to check out that site as well for more fabulous ideas!

Easter Nest Cookie Cups

Ingredients For The Cookies
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 room-temperature eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
3 1/2 cups AP flour
2 tsp. baking soda

Ingredients For The Frosting

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Food coloring (any color you like, my daughter chose green like grass and we use Wilton Icing Color)
Easter candy (for decorating; ie, mini chocolate eggs, robin eggs, peeps, etc.)


First, make the cookie dough. Like I mentioned in the post above, you can do this a day in advance and bake the cookie cups. Just keep them in a sealed container until you're ready to frost and decorate.

Beat together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, shortening, peanut butter, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer until well combined and slightly fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then pour in the milk and mix until creamy.

Sift in the flour and baking soda, then mix well to combine. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and use a cookie scoop to place a ball of dough in each greased mini-muffin tin (or you can use 2 small scoops in a regular-sized one). Use a tart press (if you have one) or the end of a rounded spatula or kitchen spoon (the way I did) to make a small indent in each little cookie mound in the muffin tin. This will help mold the dough a little into the muffin cup.

For mini-muffin sized cookie cups, bake for 12 minutes. For regular-sized muffin cookie cups, bake for 15-17 minutes. Let cool in the tins for at least 10 minutes before removing and setting on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting and decorating.

Make the frosting by whipping together the butter, vanilla, cream and 2 cups of the powdered sugar on high until smooth and creamy, then add in the remaining cup of sugar and whatever food coloring you've chosen.

Pipe the frosting on top of your little cookie cups and decorate with Easter candy. 

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