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!
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.
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
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.
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.