Basket-Filling Treats

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By Cooking with Paula Deen Magazine

Kids young and old, will love seeing these adorable sweets in their baskets come Easter. They take a little time to make, but the results will bring big smiles to faces. Clear a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to create a few confections that are charming and tasty. The Easter bunny would be proud!

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COTTONTAIL CONES

Makes about 1 dozen cones
1 (5-ounce) package waffle cones
1/2 (24-ounce) package vanilla-flavored candy coating, melted
2 (3.5-ounce) packages cotton candy
Gently break off top of waffle cones to make mini cones. Dip tops of cones into melted candy coating to coat top one-fourth of cone; place, pointed end up, on parchment paper to dry. Place cotton candy into and on top of prepared waffle cones.

Note: Dipped waffle cones can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. Cotton candy can be found on the candy aisle at many grocery stores. We used Keebler® waffle cones.

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EASTER BONNET COOKIES

Makes about 2 dozen bonnets
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup prepared cake frosting
Butter mints
Lemon Coconut Macaroons (recipe follows)
Garnish: Candied Lemon Zest (recipe follows), flower-shaped decorative sprinkles

In a large bowl, combine butter, and sugars. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg, zest, and vanilla, mixing to combine.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed, until smooth. Divide dough into 2 balls, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1⁄4-inch thickness. Cut with round, fluted 2-inch cutters, and place cookies on prepared baking sheet. Chill cookies for 15 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 350˚.

Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Spread a very small amount of frosting (this will act as an adhesive) onto middle of cookie, and top with a butter mint. Spread a small amount of frosting onto butter mint; gently press a Lemon Coconut Macaroon onto butter mint. Garnish with Candied Lemon Zest and flower-shaped decorative sprinkles, if desired.

Note: Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month. We used Lammes Assorted Sherbet Mints (butter mints). They can be purchased at specialty food stores or at lammes.com. We also used Matisse Decoratifs (flower-shaped decorative sprinkles). They can be purchased at fancyflours.com. You can use licorice instead of Candied Lemon Zest to form ribbons on bonnets, and you can also attach macaroons to cookies using pastel-colored frosting. Pipe frosting in a circle in the middle of cookie using a star tip, and then press macaroon onto frosting to attach.

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HOP-ALONG MARSHMALLOW BUNNIES

Makes 8 bunnies
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon French vanilla extract
1 teaspoon raspberry extract
1/8 teaspoon red food coloring
2 (14-ounce) bags pink candy melts
1/4 cup all-vegetable shortening
2 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet baking chocolate, melted
2 (1-ounce) squares white baking chocolate, melted White nonpareil sprinkles

Lightly spray a 13x9-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, place cold water. Sprinkle gelatin over water, and let stand for 5 minutes to soften.

In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, hot water, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 240˚ on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat, and add gelatin mixture, whisking to combine; set aside.

In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. With mixer running, slowly add gelatin mixture in a steady stream. Add extracts and food coloring; continue beating for 10 minutes.

Pour marshmallow mixture evenly into prepared baking dish. Cover marshmallow with a piece of parchment paper sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Chill for 8 hours or overnight.

Remove parchment paper, and invert marshmallow onto a cutting board. Using a 4-inch bunny cutter, cut bunnies from marshmallow, reserving scraps for Confetti Cereal Bars, if desired. Place bunnies on a parchment-lined pan, and freeze for 30 minutes.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine candy melts and shortening. Melt according to package directions; cool slightly. Using a slotted spoon, roll chilled bunnies in melted candy melts. Place on parchment paper to dry. Once dry, decorate bunnies as desired with melted chocolates and white nonpareil sprinkles.

Note: Hop-Along Marshmallow Bunnies can be wrapped tightly and stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. Allow bunnies to come to room temperature before serving. We used Wilton candy melts. They can be purchased in the cake decorating section of craft stores and at wilton.com.

For more delicious recipes, subscribe to Cooking with Paula Deen magazine today!

Read More From Cooking with Paula Deen Magazine.

Read More From Holidays and Entertaining.

Read More From Easter.

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Reader Comments:

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I love ur cooking in miss being able to watch u on TV my dream is to some day meet u and ur sons and eat at the Lady and Sons

By Christine Greene on April 18, 2014

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I love the ice cream cone decoration!! I am going to do this for a center piece for my table. Thank you so much!! Linda

By Linda Kiker on April 16, 2014

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Paula, I just love you to pieces Your the ears on my bunny. The ribbon on my May Day Pole, The receipes on my Memorial Day table, Your my firecracker on the 4th of July, Your hints make my Labor Day less labor, You make my Halloween treats scary good, I am Thankful for you, Your recipes are my Christmas gifts, I look forward to a New Year of ideas, hints, and recipes, You have a heart as big as the world You keep my Irish eyes a smiling. You make my 12 months a year

By Becky Eller on April 15, 2014

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wow, just want to let you know, im a very big fan of yours and your recipes are sooo amazing!!.. I love trying new ideas, especially being a grandma of 11 grandkids... keep all those good recipes coming!!!!

By shirley flores on April 11, 2014

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Paula, I do respect you & love all your recipes & ideas for the kitchen; thank you for all you do! I really feel bad for how people treated you in digging up skeletons of l-o-n-g ago! I truly believe that they should throw the first stone who is without sin . . . we could not find a person qualified to do this, let alone Those Who started all this trouble for you, Paula! God bless you, & may you continue to share all those good things with us!

By Rachel Axness on April 10, 2014

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you are the best!

By Helen Ashley on April 10, 2014

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Love you Paula, miss your cooking show so much. I would like to order your magazine. Come back soon. Deb

By Deb Sonnek on April 10, 2014

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I certainly miss Paula Deen

By Dawn Dalton on April 10, 2014

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I Love u an ur show.Sorry 4 everything; I still think ur one of the best cooks.

By Linda Watkins on April 10, 2014

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yummy love u Paula!

By roxie mcleod on April 10, 2014

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Love your website! You are truly one beautiful woman! I love to see what new creations you make and you make them so simple. I just think you and your family are darling! Keep up the great cooking. Always

By Robin Bush on April 03, 2014

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i just love all of theresipes her and the boys

By ann blevins on March 30, 2014

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i love your website alot .i would like to visit sa ga

By Annette on March 28, 2014

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I have been and always be a fan of Paula Deen and her food. Glad she is BACK.

By Glenda Gardner on March 28, 2014

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Can't wait to make these cute Easter treats for my grandchildren. I'm sure they will love them.

By Mary Lou Fitzpatrick on March 28, 2014

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love all of your recipes, so glad you are back & glowing.

By bonnie thornton on March 24, 2014

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I love all your recipes thanks for sharing them

By sherrysteele on March 29, 2013

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Love your food, your story.You are an amazing woman. GODBLESS YA DARLIN

By KIMBERLY TRUDEAU on March 27, 2013

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my mom saw a recepie on your cooking show with jamie. it was for cookies that used potatoe sticks can you help me find it?

By linda tedesco on March 24, 2013

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When are you coming to the Pensacola area of Florida and when are you writing a cookbook for Diabetics

By Sheila on March 24, 2013

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm