Family Fun With Easter Cookies

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - March 24, 2005
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Ewa resident Lani Guyette has been a service technician for Sears for the past five years, and finds her job both challenging and rewarding.

Lani has three children: son Jasper, who lives in Las Vegas and works for a glass company; daughter Kristen, age 14, who is a freshman at Aiea High School; and son Nathaniel, age 6, who is in kindergarten at Holomua Elementary School. Her husband, Rob, works for Foundations Hawaii, and they both enjoy movies, going to the beach, barbecuing, and entertaining family and friends.

These cookies are dedicated to the Guyettes.

Easter is family time, so get the keiki involved in making and decorating these yummy cookies!

I prefer to use Smart Balance margarine, as it contains no trans fats. Use the regular Smart Balance because the light variety does not cream well with the sugar. Although pure extracts are a bit more expensive than the imitation flavorings, I think they are worth the extra expense because the flavor is more robust.

These basic cookies can be decorated in a variety of ways.

Instead of frosting, you can decorate the cookies before you bake them. Sprinkle on coarse colored sugar, nuts, colored sprinkles or other small candies. You can also make designs on the unbaked cookies by painting them with a mixture of egg yolks beaten with food coloring. The finished cookies will be glossy.

Use powdered sugar (about 3- 4 cups) and add flavored extracts such as vanilla, lemon, orange or almond. Frosting can easily be thinned to the desired consistency by adding liquid such as milk, juice or water. For a smooth, glossy finish, warm the icing slightly in a microwave oven or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Be sure to stir frequently so that a crust does not form on the top.

It’s fun to make a different flavor for each color. The icing can be colored using liquid food coloring. When adding color, mix the color into about 1 tablespoon of icing ,then blend that into the rest of the icing. Happy Easter!


• 33⁄4 cups unbleached flour

• 5 teaspoons baking powder

• 1⁄2 cup Smart Balance margarine

• 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar

• 1 egg plus 4 egg whites, beaten together slightly

• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

• 1⁄4 cup skim milk

• 1⁄4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat cookie sheets with cooking spray.

In medium bowl, sift flour with baking powder, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together margarine and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg mixture and stir to combine. Stir in vanilla extract, milk and oil.

Stir flour/baking powder mixture into the wet mixture until well-combined. Chill dough for about a half hour in refrigerator.

With floured hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls, and on a lightly floured surface, roll the balls out into ropes about 4 inches long. Form into wreath shape and press ends together. Put cookies inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets and decorate before baking (see above), if desired.

Bake for about 10 minutes in the middle of oven, until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown. If decorating after baking, cool and dip into icing.

Makes about four dozen.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving (without decorations or icing):

Calories: 130

Fat: 3 grams

Cholesterol: 2 milligrams

Sodium: 85 milligrams
(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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