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Coronavirus Easter: Celebrate indoors with 3 easy dessert recipes, expert tips

Coronavirus Easter: Celebrate indoors with 3 easy dessert recipes, expert tips 1

If you’re used to April showers, having your Easter egg hunt indoors this year isn’t unprecedented. But finding enough butter to bake those darling and much-needed bunny-shaped treats could be.

Using an alternative grocer, like Cheetah For People, or allowing enough lead-time to get your Instacart delivery should ensure you have the sticks you need to make Martha Stewart’s adorable Easter Chick Cookie or cookbook author Tiffany Dahle’s Dainty Daisy Cupcakes.

Dahle, an avid baker, is counting on those sticks to brighten her daughters’ at-home Easter. “We usually do a lot of baking and celebrating in the days leading up to Easter,” says Dahle, who pens her Peanut Blossom blog from her home in Charlotte, North Carolina. “With everybody stuck at home this year, I think it gives people something to do.”

In her latest cookbook, “The Ultimate Kids’ Baking Book: 60 Easy & Fun Dessert Recipes” (Page Street Publishing; $22), Dahle offers up several tempting, yet simple, spring-themed sweets, including the cutest Earth Day Dirt Cup, mint-chocolate puddings studded with mint sprigs. And they’re all easy enough for the littlest of helpers.

Bird Nest Haystack Cookies are no-bake, with easy-to-find ingredients you may already have. (Tiffany Dahle) 

To make her no-bake Bird’s Nest Haystack Cookies, simply coat chow mein noodles in melted peanut butter and nestle a few mini chocolate eggs in the center. “Just make sure you add the eggs to the haystacks while the peanut butter is still warm and wet,” she says. “Otherwise they won’t stick.”

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Her Dainty Daisy Cupcakes require a bit more work, but they’re still deceptively easy. The white flower petals are made from large marshmallows snipped in half at an angle to form the ideal shape. Adults should handle the kitchen scissors; kiddos can press the pastel chocolate candy in the center of each daisy.

“It’s oddly satisfying to cut a marshmallow,” she says. “But make sure to decorate the cupcakes the same day you plan to serve them or the marshmallows will dry out and get crispy. They’ll look fine but the texture changes.”

And if you’re more of an Easter cookie traditionalist, look no further than “Martha Stewart’s Cookie Perfection” (Clarkson Potter; $26). The culinary maven’s 2019 collection of sweets has a whole chapter on Celebration Cookies, from Whoopie Hearts for Valentine’s Day to Candy Cane Cookies for Christmas. And in typical Stewart fashion, they look like little works of edible art.

Her Easter Chick Cookies are simple, iced lemon shortbread decorated with fine yellow sanding sugar, orange sprinkles for feet, candy hearts for itty-bitty beaks and mini chocolate chips for eyes. And if you want your baskets brimming with minimalist Easter rabbits, you have to make Stewart’s Bunny Cookies.

The bite-sized cookies start with an oblong ball of simple sugar cookie dough, tinted with pink or lavender gel-paste food coloring. They take shape with two quick snips of your kitchen shears and a couple of pokes with a toothpick. Once finished, they’ll look adorable peering over the edge of a brunch plate.

Have blue sprinkles instead of orange? No pink food coloring, but plenty of red left over from Christmas? It doesn’t matter, Dahle says. You can order sprinkles and other baking supplies online — she loves Sweetapolita, which has great sales and $7 flat shipping — or just use what you have.

“Part of being at home is focusing on family and that’s what’s most important,” she says.

Dahle’s family should know. Her eldest turns 13 on Saturday and will be spending it enjoying her favorite homemade almond-flavored cake: “She’s officially going to be a Quaranteen.”

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