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Mar 17, 2019 1:14am

Julia Usher baking in her home kitchen
Blog Recipes and Tips From Julia Usher

Panorama Easter Egg Cookies

You’ve heard of panorama sugar eggs for Easter, right? You know, the ones with icing-trimmed windows that frame edible vignettes nested inside? Well, this double-decked cookie is a simple riff on that springtime treat.

What you’ll need for several cookies:

  • Several large (3 1/2- to 4-inch) oval cookies, topcoated with Royal Icing
  • Several large (3 1/2- to 4-inch) oval cookie frames with smaller (2- to 2 1/2-inch) windows cut in the center, also topcoated with Royal Icing
  • About 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups Royal Icing, for “glue” and detailing (allow at least 1/4 cup per color)
  • Soft-gel (aka liqua-gel) food coloring, assorted spring-y colors
  • Assorted small (about 3/4- to 1-inch) readymade royal icing do-dads in the Easter theme (think: bunnies and chicks like these)
  • Small (about 1/2-inch) readymade royal icing roses for additional decoration
  • Parchment paper pastry cones (or substitute disposable plastic piping bags)
  • Scissors
  • Pastry bag fitted with a small (#352) leaf tip
  • Pastry bag fitted with a small closed (#18) star tip
  • Extra powdered sugar, as needed to thicken icing

To make:

1 | Prep the cookies. First, a quick note on how to cut the cookies for this project. Each panorama egg uses 2 rolled cookies: 1 oval and another oval “frame” whose outer dimensions match the first oval, but which has a smaller window cut in the center. To minimize distortion of the cookies, it’s best to cut them, especially the frames, directly on your cookie sheets before baking. I used a 3 x 3 3/4-inch oval cutter to make the large oval and a 2 x 2 1/2-inch oval cutter to cut out the window in the frame. However, any size will work - and is easy to cut if you have a graduated oval cutter set like this one from Ateco.

Bake the cookies as directed in your recipe. If you feel the window has closed too much during baking (due to the dough spreading), then you can always cut it again while the cookie is hot from the oven. Don’t wait to cut, though, as you’ll be more likely to break the frame once it has cooled. Cool the cookies completely before topcoating them with Royal Icing in colors of your choice.

Let the cookies air-dry, uncovered at room temperature, until the icing has dried all the way through. You’ll be less likely to mess up the icing when stacking the cookies and arranging the vignette inside if everything is completely dry.

2 | Gather your goodies (second photo from top) and assemble the cookies. Use a small portion of thick Royal Icing to glue the frames to the tops of the larger oval cookies and to anchor readymade royal icing decorations inside and round the frames. My favorite readymade decorations (third photo from top) come from

3 | Add icing borders and other details. Divide the remaining icing into as many portions as you want border and detailing colors, and tint each portion accordingly. I usually thin about 1/4 cup to the consistency for beadwork for dots around the perimeter of the frames, and leave another 1/2 cup (each) at thick, “glue” consistency for leaves and a trailing star border around the interior of the frames. Dots can be piped with a parchment pastry cone, with a barely perceptible hole cut in the tip. But textured effects, like the leaves and star border, benefit from the use of a pastry bag fitted with a metal tip. (Tips #352 and #18, respectively, were used here.) If your star border or leaves do not hold their shape, your icing is too loose; thicken it with additional sifted powdered sugar and try again.

4 | Display the cookies - or eat ASAP! If you’ve got the willpower to wait to eat these treats, they can easily be turned into freestanding tabletop decorations. Simply glue them with thick Royal Icing to the top of a round cookie “pedestal” and prop until dry. Or, easier yet: up-end them in saucers filled with spring-y colored sanding sugars!

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I love your panoramic sugar egg cookies!

By Lauretta Carra on July 29, 2012

Ok, I just saw your video on the snowglobe cookies Amazing!!  Thank-you for sharing.  I will have to buy your cookie book!

By Lauretta Carra on July 29, 2012

Hi, Lauretta! Thank you so much for the kind words and for supporting my book. I forgot I had a snow
globe video among my videos, but I’m glad you found it!! The panorama egg cookie comes together in the same basic way. I’m currently (literally, as we speak) shooting 17 cookie decorating instructional videos that should be out this fall. They cover all the techniques in Ultimate Cookies (up close and personal), so they may also be of interest to you. I’ll have more info here on my site when they become available. Thanks for visiting!

By Julia M Usher on July 29, 2012