Easter is a fine time of the year to be baking with the children – especially when chocolate is involved. It’s normally the younger two of my children who want to join me in weighing out the ingredients and covering all of our kitchen surfaces with a dusting of flour. Cooking with my children reminds me of the fun I used to have cooking with my Grandmother and, as clichéd as it sounds, it’s a period of my life where I have some of the fondest memories and quite possibly the reason why I wanted to cook for living.
My grandmother’s ultra-thin jam tart was to die for, and I have never managed to replicate it at any point during my cooking career. The pastry was so crumbly and it was held together by the slightly caramelised jam on top. The tart was baked on a glass plate and as a child I always wondered how it didn’t break in the oven! It was the perfect afternoon treat for us all after a walk along the seafront picking up pebbles and trying to untangle some washed up fishing line.
I like making cookies in various flavours as I know they want last long in our biscuit barrel. My four growing boys need constant feeding and I am free to use them as guinea pigs for new flavours when baking on a weekend.
These shortbreads are very simple and as long as you have a bunny shaped cutter it fits right in with Easter. They can be finished in lots of different ways from a quick piping over with melted chocolate to a simple water icing that’s had a speck of yellow colour added to it.
Easter Bunny Shortbread Biscuits
For the chocolate chip shortbread:
- 250g plain flour
- 75g butter
- 60g of light brown caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 40g of chocolate chips
- ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
- 100g chocolate
- marshmallows, chocolate pieces, sprinkles etc.
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Mix together the butter and sugar until white, add in the egg yolk and ground ginger. Then add in the flour and chocolate chips and mix thoroughly until it’s all combined and smooth in texture with just the chocolate chips sticking out.
Lightly flour a surface and then roll out the dough until its 6-7 mm thick. Cut out the bunnies from the dough using a rabbit-shaped cutter and place them onto a non-stick baking tray.
Reroll and recut the trimmings until nothing is left, and then leave to rest in a cool place for 30 minutes before baking.
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave on the tray until cooled slightly and place carefully on a flat cooling wire.
Melt some milk chocolate in a bowl over a bain-marie of simmering water, and pour into a piping bag. Snip off the end of the bag and pipe the chocolate over the cooled cookies. You can then decorate them with anything you like, from marshmallows to sprinkles to chocolate chips!
Leave the chocolate to set and store in an airtight container.