Flower pinata cookies

Hower Piñata Cookies

Writer and photographer Monica Longenbaker


With a sweet surprise hidden inside, these colorful flower piñata cookies make a thoughtful gift that is sure to delight both adults and children alike. The hollowed-out center can be filled with sprinkles or your favorite miniature candies, which spill out once bitten into, much like a piñata. Use a variety of cookie cutters to customize these cookies for any special occasion.

Flower Piñata Cookies
Yield: 6 Piñata Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for rolling)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: ½ teaspoon almond extract
miniature candy for filling (sprinkles, mini M&Ms, etc.)
sprinkles for topping
royal icing, store-bought or recipe below
flower-shaped cookie cutter
small round cookie cutter (about 1” diameter)

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract and mix for an additional one to two minutes. Gradually fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix.

Divide the dough in half and shape into two discs. Cover each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two parchment-lined baking sheets. Unwrap the first disc and place onto a well-floured surface. Roll the dough to ¼”- ½” thick.
Cut as many flower-shaped cookies as you can, then transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Tip: Roll the dough onto the parchment paper. Cut the cookies 2” apart, then remove the excess dough and transfer directly to a baking sheet. (Note: Excess trim will need to be reformed and rolled again, but may need to firm up again in the refrigerator before using.) Repeat with the second disc of dough.

Bake the cookies for seven to nine minutes or until golden brown on the bottom edges. Once baked, select 1/3 of the cookies and cut a 1” hole (or as big as your cookie shape will allow) into the center of each. These holes will hold the candies later on.

Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. To assemble piñata cookies: Place royal icing into a piping bag with a small tip. Place a cookie with a hole in its center on top of a whole cookie. Dab some royal icing on each petal of the bottom cookie to glue the cookies together.

Place miniature candies into the hole of the cookie, then place a third cookie on top using royal icing to glue. Frost the top cookie with the royal icing, then decorate as desired with sprinkles. Allow the icing to set for about an hour. Store the cookies in an airtight container until serving.

Royal Icing

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1½ tablespoons meringue powder
3 tablespoons water (plus more for thinning)
Optional: 1-2 drops food coloring

Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat powdered sugar, meringue powder and water on low speed until combined. Raise the speed to medium and continue to beat for seven to 10 minutes until icing forms peaks. Optional: Beat in food coloring until desired color is reached. If necessary, thin the icing by adding water ½ teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

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