Easter is just around the corner and I suspect that it’s even harder to cater for dietary requirements at Easter than at Christmas. If you’ve got little ones (or a house full of big kids) this recipe for easter bunny cookies is sure to include everyone!
These chocolate shortbread cottontail bunnies are fun, easy and they have all the best elements of Easter treats. Chocolate, chocolate and marshmallows!
What do you need to know before you make this recipe?
The chocolate shortbread recipe is wonderfully simple for a gluten-free cookie and worth making even if you’re not interested in turning them into bunnies. For a more grown-up version toast your coconut in the oven until golden and leave the marshmallows out.
This recipe makes thirty cookies approx. so I highly recommend decorating them with your kids, partner of flatmates as a cute Easter activity.
Questions about the recipe? Or did something go wrong with your easter bunny cookies? I’ve included all the recipe notes at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. If you found this useful, I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
For the chocolate shortbread
- 150g non-dairy butter
- 75g light muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 180g gluten-free flour, all-purpose
- 50g cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. xanthan gum, leave out if your flour already contains it
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
For the bunnies
- 200g non-dairy chocolate, melted
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 200g vegan marshmallows
Cream your butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla and then sift in the flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum and salt. Mix again to combine and form into a smooth dough.
Rest the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 320C and line two large baking trays with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half (leave the second half in the fridge) and dust a clean surface with flour. Roll the dough out to 3-5mm thick and use a 6-7cm cookie cutter to cut as many cookies as possible out of the dough. Transfer the cookies to the baking trays and repeat until all the cookies are cut out.
Bake the cookies, one tray at a time, for 12-15mins. Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing them from the tray.
Transfer a couple of tablespoons of melted chocolate to a piping bag fitted with a narrow round nozzle (if you don’t have a piping bag you can use cocktail sticks) and place the desiccated coconut onto a plate.
Spread chocolate in a circle over the centre of a cookie, leaving a 2-3mm rim of bare cookie. Press the cookie into the desiccated coconut and tap off any excess.
Cut a marshmallow into 3 rounds. For the bunny tail press the centre marshmallow round (the bit that’s sticky on both sides) into the desiccated coconut and use a drop of melted chocolate to stick it, coconut side up, in the centre of the cookie. Use the two marshmallow ends to make the bunny feet. Use a drop of melted chocolate to stick the marshmallow ends, powdered side up, to the left and right side of the bottom of the cookie. Then use the melted chocolate to pip a paw pad in the centre of the marshmallow and three toe pads at the bottom. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
NOTES: Chocolate Shortbread Easter Bunny Cookies
Why are these cookies baked at 160C?
In general gluten-free bakes are baked at a lower oven temperature. Low and slow baking helps with the development of structure in the absence of gluten, prevents crumbling and will stop your cookies from drying out.
What GF flour do you use?
I use Dove’s Farm gluten-free flour and love the way it performs.
If you’re in the US try Bob’s Red Mill One for One gluten-free flour or King Arthurs all-purpose gluten-free flour.
What vegan butter do you use?
Using a solid vegan butter for the shortbread will give you the best results. In the UK and Europe try Naturli Vegan Block. In the US I know the solid vegan butter brands are Earth Balance, Miyoko or Country Crock Plant Butter.
Do I have to use xanthan gum?
Yes – see ‘Why are my gluten-free cookies falling apart?’
Troubleshooting - did something go wrong with your easter bunny cookies?
Why are my gluten-free cookies falling apart?
You left out the xanthan gum. In this recipe (and many others) xanthan gum is standing in for gluten and eggs as a binder, without it, GF bakes tend to crumble. If you’re opposed to xanthan gum you can try a flax egg but note that I haven’t tried the recipe with a binder other than xanthan gum.
You didn’t let them cool completely before removing them from the tray. Gluten-free cookies are more fragile than their gluten-containing counterparts. Allowing them to cool on the tray, allows them to fully set. If you skip this step you may find they completely crumble when moved.
Why are my gluten-free cookies gritty?
Rice flour is to blame for a gritty texture. Try using a different all-purpose GF flour or make your own mix. I like this recipe for gluten-free flour by Minimalist Baker and even better make this recipe with superfine brown and white rice flour.
Why did my cookies spread so much in the oven?
You skipped the fridge step. Gluten-free cookie dough should always go in the fridge before baking as they tend to spread excessively in the oven.
In these small bakes, the butter/marg will melt quickly and without gluten to hold them back you can end up with one giant cookie instead of one dozen. The overnight fridge step in this recipe helps to solidify the source of fat and temper spreading.
This time in the fridge will also soften the flour and help prevent grittiness in cookies.