Sunday, April 8, 2007

An Eggcellent Easter!

Sorry, couldn't resist the pun in the title of this post. Our Easter preparations began yesterday with the kids attending an egg hunt and then returning home for cookie baking and egg dying. We don't always make sugar cookies for Easter, but we skipped baking them on Valentine's Day, so we whipped out a batch of butterflies, Easter eggs, and bunnies in honor of the current holiday. Gym Girl really enjoys cooking and helped me make the dough. She then took over most of the rolling out and cutting of the shapes as well as the baking of the cookies. She's really growing up lately, something we sometimes miss since she'll always be younger than Swim Chick. When the cookies were baked, we took a break, had dinner, and then dyed eggs. We tried out one of the "marbleized" egg kits this year in addition to the regular dye. I wasn't a huge fan of the process, but in the end the marble ones turned out pretty well. We'll use some for decoration and refrigerate the rest for eating, a detail I insist on even though Adventure Guy reminds me that we always ate the eggs that had been out when we were kids. Well, he did anyway. I've never been a hard-boiled egg fan.

Another sign of our kids growing up is that we didn't do the Easter basket thing until we got home from church this morning. In our family tradition, the Easter Bunny hides the filled Easter baskets somewhere in the house, and the kids have to hunt down their baskets to discover what the bunny has left. This year, no one woke up early enough to hunt before church, so they looked for their baskets when we got home. We will have a nice supply of Peeps, Reese's eggs, Pez, and chocolate bunnies for a while.

This afternoon we went to my in-laws' house for lunch and another egg hunt. I took along the cookies, but it was nice not to have to prepare a holiday meal. They played it casual too, with pork tenderloin on the grill and some easy side dishes. For the egg hunt, each of the five grandchildren had a specific egg color. Swim Chick's eggs were blue and yellow, Gym Girl's eggs were metallic, and Soccer Boy's eggs had a camouflage print. Note for future hunts: camouflage eggs are actually difficult to find! Gym Girl was also excited about nabbing the most coveted of the five "prize" eggs, the one with a five dollar bill in it.

We're now all at home. I've responsibly uploaded all the pictures from the day and sent some via Ceiva to my father-in-law and my parents. Swim Chick has practiced her cello; I've helped Gym Girl with her homework. Soccer Boy is riding his bike, and Adventure Guy is watching golf. My next biggest items on the day's agenda are napping and catching up on my reading!

I hope everyone reading had as nice an Easter or Passover as we did. If you're interested, here's the sugar cookie recipe we use. I like them because they are neither too hard or too soft. This makes a lot of cookies, approximately 8 dozen 3" cookies. I usually half the recipe or make it all and save some of the dough for eating later.

Sugar Cookies

6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 c. butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. mix dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Mix well. Divide in half. Chill one portion of dough. Roll second portion to 1/4" thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake 10-12 minutes. Repeat with refrigerated dough.

Decorating Icing

1 lb. powdered sugar
4 tsp. powdered egg whites
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla (use clear vanilla if planning to leave some of the icing white)

Beat together all ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until just combined, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and continue to beat icing, scraping down side of bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula, until it holds stiff peaks, about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 10 with a handheld. Divide and color as desired. Pipe as is, or thin with 1 tsp. of water at a time until spreading consistency is achieved.

1 comment:

Alto2 said...

After your hellish week, your Easter sounded so nice. The cookies sound delicious, too. I'll have to print the recipe and keep it for Chanukah cookies in December (I even have the cookie-cutters!).