I love spring time and especially Easter. In Germany, where I am from originally, people go mad over Easter. We decorate your homes with bunnies, rabbits, eggs of all sizes and colours. It‘s also a great time to get the kids involved in some craft and cooking activities. As a kid I used to colour so many eggs that we had to eat hardboiled egg salad for weeks , which I absolutely hated…
This brings me also back in my memory to a very special Easter in the early 70’s. My parents had gone on holiday to Kenya on safari (which at the time seemed very far away and I had never met anyone who had actually ever travelled to such an exotic place). It sounded more like hardship then a holiday and my parents were due to arrive back home on Easter Sunday.
My older sister and I were looked after by my maternal grandparents and to celebrate the return of my parents from their exotic trip we prepared a truly spectacular Easter spread. We filled real eggs with chocolate ganache, baked Easter breads in various shapes of bunnies and made Easter biscuits, sable biscuits filled with jam and iced with coloured icing (so sweet…) . We were so excited to see our parents and present our labour of love.
Unfortunately our parents didn’t return back until 4 days later as the plane had an engine failure after take-off and had to make an emergency landing. They were then stranded for 4 days before returning home. Communication in the early 70’s wasn’t so easy and we were left in the dark about their expected arrival. However we knew they were safe and we had a lot of Easter bakes for comfort eating. When my parents finally made it home we only had the biscuits left, which they enjoyed, minus the icing needless to say, which was scraped off…..
Easter heart cookies with sweet filing – minus icing
The recipe makes a very light and crisp biscuit, you can bake them in Egg shapes or any other shape you like- I had a heart cutter to hand. At Home in Germany we sandwiched them together with jam but you can equally use a chocolate ganache or a home made caramel as in the recipe below.
200g unsalted butter, softened
100g golden caster sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
275g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
MUSCOVADO CARAMEL FILLING
75g unsalted butter
125g light brown muscovado sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
150ml crème fraiche
- Start by making the caramel filling. Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large saucepan and melt together over a low heat, until smooth. Bring to a simmer, add the cream, a spoonful at a time, stirring with a long-handled wooden spoon in case it spits a little. When the caramel reaches a full boil (it will climb up the pan and look frothy), cook for exactly 4 minutes, stirring often. Set aside for 2½ hours or until just warm. Avoid stirring as it will make it granular.
- Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Using a wooden spoon, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, then beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla and salt. Sift in the flours, then mix to a soft dough. Divide between 2 pieces of cling film, shape into saucer-sized discs, then wrap and chill for 20 minutes, until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 190˚C, gas mark 5; line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment. Lightly flour a work surface, roll the dough out to about 0.5cm thick. Stamp out biscuits using a 6cm cutter and re-roll any trimmings to make about 36 biscuits in all. Bake for 10-12 minutes, in batches, until pale gold and sandy to the touch. Cool for 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the caramel is very thick and warm to the touch, use it to sandwich the biscuits together..