We always bake a cake with Easter decorations, and also serve a fruit salad. So three years ago, we adapted the “pizza” idea to a fruit platter.
Year 1: We took a tray and piped royal icing in an Easter egg shape, a border to contain the fruit. You could arrange the fruit without one, but as guests serve themselves, the border keeps the shape of the egg (not to mention, it keeps the grapes from rolling away).
Year 2: We had an inspiration to go back to the original recipe’s cookie dough, but use it raw to build the border. Unless you have a very steady hand, it’s much easier to shape strips of cookie dough into an egg than to pipe the shape. We used a tube of egg-free sugar cookie dough. Some people nibbled on the dough, some didn’t.
Year 3: We used chocolate chip cookie dough. Not surprisingly, most of it was nibbled up.
Year 4: This year, we’re using cream cheese frosting for the border. It’s easier to pipe and tweak (fix the shape) than royal icing. A recipe is below.
Truth to tell, even with three years of practice, Ms. LaBau’s work is still far lovelier than ours. But we never claimed to be a professional pastry chef—just a professional pastry eater.
RECIPE: CREAM CHEESE FROSTiNG
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup strawberry jam, room temperature
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
Note: To frost a cake, you need a larger amount of icing. For vanilla cream cheese frosting, combine: 16 ounces cream cheese, 2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter, 1-1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted after measuring) and 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract.
1. COMBINE the ingredients and place in a piping bag and pipe an Easter egg shape.
2. TIP: If you don’t want to pipe freehand, cut an egg shape from foil or parchment and use it as a guide. The trick is to fold the foil in half and cut half an Easter egg, so the halves will be perfectly symmetrical when you unfold it.