Bunny hug sugar cookies are super adorable! Although they take a little time to assemble, they’re very easy to make. These little treats are the star attraction of spring dessert tables and Easter brunch.
SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Add 1/3 cup white sugar crystals to a small bowl. This will be used to decorate the bunnies’ bodies. It’ll make them sparkle!
- In another bowl, mix 1/4 cup white sugar crystals with a few drops pink gel food coloring. This is for decorating the ears.
SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE
RECIPE PREP: Line 3 to 4 quarter sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt with a spoon. Put the bowl aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or a mixing bowl and hand mixer), beat butter, shortening and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl with a rubber spatula. Blend to combine. Add eggs, one by one. Add vanilla and lemon juice. Blend to combine. Gradually add in the flour mixture. Mix until ingredients are fully incorporated. But don’t over-mix.
- Gather the dough together. Divide it into 3 balls. Place each ball between 2 large pieces of waxed paper. Press the dough down into flat disks. With the dough still between pieces of waxed paper, stick them in the freezer for 25 minutes. [Or slip the disks of dough into zip-top bags. Chill in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours, or up to 2 days.]
- Transfer 2 disks of dough from freezer to fridge. Put remaining disk on a lightly-floured work surface. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness between 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch. Cut out cookies with a bunny cookie cutter (a gingerbread man cookie cutter turned upside down). Transfer bunnies to a baking tray, 2 inches apart. With a small spoon, scoop white sugar crystals onto the body of the bunny. With the back of the spoon, press the crystals into the body and head. Press pink sugar crystals into the ears. [Kitchen tip: Gently tilt and tap baking tray to collect excess crystals for reuse.]
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Just below the bunny’s ears, poke 3 deep round holes (for eyes and nose) with a toothpick. Place a mini Cadbury egg between the arms. Fold in arms to “hold” egg in place. Chill tray of cookies in the freezer for 12 minutes. Continue rolling, cutting and decorating the next batch of cookies.
- Bake chilled cookies for 11 to 12 minutes. Don’t over-bake. When pulled out of the oven, they’ll still be pale on top. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
KITCHEN TOOL HACK: Turn your gingerbread man cutter into a bunny cookie cutter. In this recipe card, there’s an Amazon affiliate link to the exact cutter I used for these bunny cookies.
ADJUST THE METAL COOKIE CUTTER: With the cutter in hand, gently press the bunny ears closer together. Narrow them up slightly. Adjust the arms so they’re in a straight T formation with the body.
BEST SWAP FOR MINI CADBURY EGGS: Outside the Easter season, use pastel-colored Jordan almonds instead of mini Cadbury eggs. Year round, I’ll drop off batches of “bunny hug cookies” to family and friends who could use a few hugs to lift their spirits.
BEST WORKFLOW ROTATION: When assembling these decorated cookies, it’s best to use 3 to 4 quarter sheet pans. By working in small batches, the workflow rotation is even and smooth, and the dough stays cold. As a batch of cookies chills for 12 minutes, and a tray bakes for 12 minutes, you’re prepping another 5 to 6 bunny cookies in 12 minutes.
A FASTER VERSION OF THIS RECIPE: Skip the sugar crystals. Instead, go with a stylish understated look. Make plain (yet adorable) bunny sugar cookies hugging candy eggs. This will cut the prep time in half.
HOW LONG DO DECORATED SUGAR COOKIES LAST? When stored in an air-tight container, or in cello bags tied with ribbon, they’ll stay fresh for 2 weeks. But these bunny cookies are at their best when enjoyed during the first 7 days.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Bunny Cookies, Easter Cookies, Sugar Cookies