‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Easter Cookies Are an Easy Dessert Idea

Ree Drummond makes an easy Easter dessert that never fails — cookies, cut out in spring and Easter-themed shapes and topped with buttercream frosting and an assortment of decorations. She calls the simple recipe a favorite and it’s easy to see why.

Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond smiles and looks on wearing a pink shirt
Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ree Drummond’s sugar cookies are one of her favorite Easter recipes

Drummond wrote about the Easter cookies in a 2014 blog post on The Pioneer Woman website. “Delicious, soft sugar cookies with an easy buttercream frosting,” she wrote. “Cut out and sprinkle to your heart’s content!”

The Pioneer Woman star explained, “This is one of my favorite Easter recipes from my holiday cookbook, so I wanted to share it with you here!”

She noted that she doesn’t get fancy with the cookie decorating and that’s OK. “I have a handful of incredibly talented baker friends who approach decorating sugar cookies with the precision and artistry that Michelangelo applied to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel,” Drummond wrote. “Their icing is smooth and beautiful, their piping techniques flawless. When I hold their cookies in my hands, I feel I’m in the presence of greatness.”

Drummond continued, “My cookies … well, not so much.”

She explained her cookie decorating philosophy comes from the 1970s. “Bake them. Slap some icing on them. Throw some sprinkles in their general direction and hope not too many wind up on the floor,” Drummond noted. “Watch The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island while you eat them with a tall glass of whole milk, which was called ‘milk’ back then, by the way … I still do this today.”

Drummond’s Easter sugar cookies recipe is simple to make

Drummond shared the steps for making her sugar cookies recipe, beginning with putting shortening in the stand mixer. “Shortening, because it’s what my mom always used growing up and I’m sorry to say, but it results in a softer cookie,” she explained.

The Pioneer Woman star said butter can be used instead or a mixture of half shortening and half butter.

She added orange zest, eggs, and vanilla and mixed the ingredients together. She sifted together flour, baking powder, and salt and alternated adding them to the mixer with whole milk. “And mix it until everything comes together in a big lump and it looks so good that you can hardly keep yourself from eating a big ol’ pinch,” Drummond explained.

She divided the dough in half and formed it into two balls, flattened the dough slightly, and refrigerated the disks in a ziplock bag for 2 hours.

“Just keep in mind that if you subbed butter in the dough, it will be too tough to roll out straight out of the fridge (whereas the shortening dough can be rolled immediately.) Just allow a little time for the dough to slightly soften!” she advised.

The Food Network host rolled the dough out on a floured surface and cut out Easter-related shapes, then baked the cookies on a parchment-lined sheet pan in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 9 to 10 minutes.

‘The Pioneer Woman’ star made a quick buttercream frosting and decorated the cookies

Drummond allowed the cookies to cool before decorating them with a buttercream frosting. She beat together butter, powdered sugar, and heavy cream in a stand mixer, then divided the frosting into different bowls and added food coloring to make a variety of colors.

“Now, this is where my 1970s style of cookie decorating comes in: Slap some on,” she wrote.

Drummond spread the frosting over the cookies and added decorations, including sprinkles, candy buttons, and colored sugars.

“These are fun,” she wrote. “Sweet and imperfect and yummy.”

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