Believe it or not, I thought I could get through the Easter holiday without decorating some sugar cookies for the occasion.  I saw some adorable bunny cookie cutters that completely tempted me.  Then I was looking through the pantry and glanced at a set of pastel sanding sugars.  I bought them a month or two ago specifically for decorating Easter cookies.  That settled it, I was making Easter cookies.  I always have a blast decorating with royal icing, and this time was no exception.  I did love it even more than usual though, because I think the sanding sugars took the cookies to a whole new level – taste, texture and appearance-wise.  To achieve the sparkly sugar look, I just sprinkled the sugar on to the still-wet icing from flooding and it worked perfectly.  Just be sure to shake off any excess before adding additional detailing, so the extra piping has a sturdy attachment point.  The bunnies (or “munnies” as Andrew calls them) are just too cute!  If you could use a royal icing tutorial, check mine out here.

I also had to share these because I have been playing with flavor variations on my favorite sugar cookie lately, and I have totally fallen in love with this version.  I actually happened upon this by accident, when I was completing a cookie order and ran out of almond extract.  I didn’t have time or energy to run to the store, so I went with what I had on hand – vanilla extract, vanilla bean, and lemon zest.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the almond version, but this is a wonderful new spin on my old favorite cookie.  The tiny black flecks of vanilla bean are so pretty, and the lemon zest adds a lovely bright flavor.  As if I needed another reason to make sugar cookies….

For one last fun Easter dessert idea, these baby bird cupcakes are adorable and delicious!