I love making things with Max in the kitchen, but if the project is too intricate or involved I find myself getting more stressed out then I like to be. I want us all to enjoy our time in the kitchen together, I want to foster a love for the kitchen, not memories of a stressed out mom. That’s why I love planning projects like this that are easy for him to help with, don’t make a ton of mess and look great no matter how tiny the hands are that made them.
This is the perfect project for toddlers and preschoolers because although their not quite adept enough to pipe sensical decorations onto cookies, they can decorate these cookies easily and have them turn out beautiful. They can choose the colours they like or mix and match them like Max did. They can have complete freedom and you’ll know the end product will add something special and delicious to the Easter table.
We topped our’s with candy coated chocolate covered almond eggs (wow, that’s a mouthful!) which I thought were the perfect complement to the coconut topping. When I made these I figured they would be just for looks but they were actually really delicious. This is one case where the toppings aren’t just there for show, they actually add something special to the flavour of the cookie.
The coconut topping is just shredded coconut that has been dyed with food colouring and water. I used liquid food colours but you could also use gel colours, although you may need to add a bit more water to make it the right consistency to coat the coconut. My favorite colour was definitely the purple and I’ve included the instructions below on the amounts of liquid colour I used to achieve the colour. The other colours are much more straight forward – just one or two drops from the average four-pack of liquid food colouring.
These are so tasty and so fun, I know I’ll be making them again next year. Im pretty sure we just found a new Easter tradition.
- 1.5 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 4.5 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 5 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar), sifted
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 7 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- food colouring
- chocolate covered almond eggs, chocolate eggs or jelly beans
- Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Beat in vanilla.
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly beat into butter mixture, just until combined. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Scoop ¼ cup amounts of cookie dough, roll each into a ball and flatten slightly. Place on parchment-line baking sheets 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or just until set; do not brown. Let cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes before removing to cooling racks or paper towel to cool completely.
- Mix together all ingredients until smooth.
- Place ¼ cup coconut into four ziploc bags. In a small bowl add ¼ teaspoon water and desired food colouring, swirl to combine. Pour into one of the bags, seal and shake until the coconut is evenly coloured. Rinse the bowl and repeat with remaining colours. (To make the purple, use 3 drops red and 2 drops blue of liquid colour.)
- Top each cookie with frosting, a good sprinkling of coconut and chocolate eggs.
- Store, covered, at room temperature.