You may be familiar with the Mexican Easter tradition of cascarones, which involves cracking colorful, confetti-filled eggshells over the heads of others for good luck. They're fun to make and play with, but can be a drag to clean up.
This Easter, start a new tradition by making these cascarón-inspired sugar cookies, complete with fake confetti in the form of rainbow-colored sugar nonpareils (also known in Spanish as grageas). The kids can even help with steps such as cutting the dough with egg-shaped cookie cutters, using edible color markers to draw on the icing and sprinkling sugary decorations to make these treats stand out.
Colored sanding sugars (I used pink, orange, yellow and red for the cookies pictured)
You'll also need:
A stand mixer
An egg-shaped cookie cutter
A small offset baker's spatula
For the cookies:
Cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
Whisk the flour and salt together in a bowl.
With the stand mixer's paddle set to low, gradually add the flour to the butter and sugar mixture in quarter-cup increments until the dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide in two. Wrap in Saran wrap or an airtight plastic bag and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes to chill the dough.
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
Once the dough is chilled, sprinkle flour on your work surface and roll the dough to ¼ inch thick. Roll out all the dough until you can't cut any more cookies. Place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. If your dough has gotten too warm, put it back in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before you put it in the oven. Dough that is too warm will slightly puff or bubble once baked.
Bake on the middle oven rack for 10-14 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to turn slightly golden, but not brown.
Cool cookies completely on cooling rack before proceeding to decorate.
Using the Wilton Cookie Icing, outline and fill in the top quarter or third of the egg-shaped cookie that will be the confetti part of the cascarones. You can create a zig-zag line on the lower portion of the outline to resemble a cracked egg. Use your offset spatula to spread the icing evenly. Let it dry for a few minutes just to get tacky, then sprinkle the rainbow nonpareils (grageas) over the frosting. Allow to dry for 30 minutes.
Outline and fill in the rest of the cookie with the Wilton Cookie Icing, using your offset spatula to spread the icing evenly, making sure not to let the icing get very thick. Allow to dry for at least 1 hour.
Once the icing has dried, Use the Wilton FoodWriters Edible Color Markers to draw stripes, polka dots, write words, or whatever designs you wish to decorate your cookies. Allow to dry for about 5 minutes.
For any color designs you drew that have a corresponding colored sanding sugar, use the Wilton Cookie Icing again to outline and/or fill the color in. Sprinkle the sanding sugar on top, allow to dry for 15 minutes and then shake off any excess sanding sugar. Repeat with as many colors as you like.
Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.