Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? That's entirely up to you. Have little ones help decorate a few dozen of our lemon shortbread cookies with sanding sugar, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, and candy. Then share them with your peeps at Easter dinner -- or any gathering you want to sweeten with these sure signs of spring.

Martha Stewart Living, April 2017


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

Makes 3 dozen cookies


Shortbread Cookies
Lemon Icing


Instructions Checklist
  • Shortbread Cookies: Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Whisk together flour and salt. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add sugar, and continue to beat until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping down the sides of bowl, about 2 minutes more. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed, scraping sides if necessary, until flour is just incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed with fingers.

  • Turn out dough, forming into 2 disks; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. To create an egg shape, pinch one end of a 2 1/2-inch-tall oval cookie cutter. Roll out 1 disk to a 1/4-inch thickness; stamp out shapes. Reroll scraps. Repeat with remaining disk.

  • Bake until firm and golden, 13 to 15 minutes. For flatter cookies, tap sheets on counter halfway through baking and again afterward. Let cool on wire racks.

  • Lemon Icing: Stir together sugar and lemon juice. Add food coloring. Transfer to a small squeeze bottle. Outline cookies with icing 1/4 inch from edges, then fill in centers.

  • Set up a candy bar and get creative with decorating. For the chicks: Dip an iced cookie in sanding sugar. Let dry; store in an airtight container up to 5 days. Dot candy sequins with icing; overlap to create feathers. Use orange sprinkles for feet, a candy heart for a beak, and upside-down mini chocolate chips for eyes. For the eggs: Lay orange or yellow sprinkles in a zigzag pattern halfway up an iced cookie. Sprinkle bottom with sanding sugar.

Cook's Notes

Decorate cookies one at a time to ensure sanding sugar sticks to the wet icing.