These Easy Faux Macarons (like French macarons rather than like coconut macaroons) were the result of my desire to create some colorful spring cookies for Easter that would be really easy to make.  This would be a great project to do with your kids too!  All you need is some sugar cookie dough, a round cookie cutter (1 1/2 to 2 inches) cream cheese or buttercream icing, and some food coloring and you are ready to go.

I made my half a batch of my go-to sugar cookie dough, but almost any sugar cookie dough will work.  This recipe has a little nutmeg in it, which gives it a little extra flavor and character.  It also combines butter and shortening so you get the butter flavor, tenderness from the shortening and a little less spreading when they bake.  ( Click here for the recipe. Omit the chocolate for plain cookies.)  I rolled/spread the dough to about 1/4 inch thick on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.  The goal is to bake the dough as one or two big cookies.  I made half a batch of dough and used one small cookie sheet.   For a full batch, I would have divided it into two big rectangular cookies on two cookie sheets.  I also baked the cookies a little longer than usual (about 13-15 minutes) because it was one large cookie rather than the 8-10 minutes for individual cookies.

As soon as the big cookie was done, I took it out of the oven and immediately cut the cookie into a lot of small round cookies using my cookie cutter.  I used the 1 1/2 inch round cutter, but 2 inches would be great too.  I then just let the cookies cool.

Then it was time to make the icing.  I went with cream cheese icing, which tastes great, but you will have to keep the cookies refrigerated before serving.  ( Click here for the recipe. Omit the raspberry juice.)  If you want to leave these cookies out or if you are making them for kids, who may not like the tang of cream cheese frosting, you will likely want to go with buttercream icing.

I made the icing and divided it into 5 small bowls, so that I could make five pastel (or maybe a little brighter) colors for Easter.  I used gel food colors, but you can use any type of food coloring you have.  Just add a little at first, stir it in, and then decide whether to add more.  You can always make the colors darker.  You may also want to reserve a little of the white icing to mix in if you accidentally get one of the colors too dark. 🙂

Now for the fun step.  Take one cookie and place about two teaspoons of icing on the bottom surface.  Then place the bottom side of a second cookie against the icing.  Press and twist slightly to gently squeeze the icing to the edges.  Then run a knife (or a clean finger, my preference) around the edge of the icing to smooth it off.  You can then sprinkle sanding sugar (coarse sugar) on top for a little extra sparkle.

Happy Easter!  Enjoy.

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