Priya Chanderbally Paul is The Cookie Girl.
She simply loves baking cookies and spreading the joy she feels when baking. As a matter of fact, her business’s slogan is: Baked with joy, shared with love!
Paul is the owner of The CookieGirlTT in Marabella, and her idea of Easter baking is "creative, colourful, super cute and traditional with a twist."
She has been baking for a long time but she has been making sugar cookies for approximately two and a half years, as a result of a fun baking activity she did with her sons during the Christmas holidays before the covid19 pandemic started.
"I became obsessed with learning techniques and different recipes.
"All my (social media) feeds were cookies, cookies and guess what?…More cookies," she laughed.
"As a self-taught 'cookier', there were the many challenges I faced via trial and error, but that didn’t deter me. I was determined.
“I got a lot of support from my wonderful family which motivated me to persevere to where I am now."
Paul said she finds joy in being able to put a smile on someone’s face when they collect their cookies.
"It is an amazing and rewarding feeling for me. My cookies are made with so much love and I know my clients feel it."
Asked why she loves baking so much, she said, "I love how therapeutic it is for me. The smell of freshly baked cookies wafting through the house is so inviting. Not to mention, the beautiful designs, and textures I get to create. Every set done brings me pride and joy!"
For her, baking is synonymous with creativity.
"There are so many different types of cookies to make, and so many ways to customise them with different flavours, textures and intricate designs," she said excitedly.
The Cookie Girl makes custom sugar cookies for all occasions.
Here's her Easter cookie recipe:
1 cup unsalted butter, 226 grams
1 cup granulated white sugar, 200 grams
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups all purpose flour, 360 grams
For the icing
4 cups (480 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tbsp meringue powder (not plain egg white powder)
9-10 tbsp room temperature water
Optional for decorating: gel food colouring
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of your mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth, at least three minutes. Beat in extracts and egg.
In a separate bowl, combine baking powder and salt with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients.
Important note: If the dough looks crumbly, keep mixing for 30 seconds to one minute longer. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the mixer.
If the dough still looks too dry or stiff for your mixer, turn the dough onto a countertop surface, flour surface as needed. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.
Do not chill the dough. Divide into workable batches (two to three chunks), roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to ¼ inch thick rather than ⅛).
Bake at 350 degrees F for six-eight minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.
When lifting the whisk up off the icing, the icing should drizzle down and smooth out within 5-10 seconds.
To make the icing, pour confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder and 9 tbsp water into a large bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat icing ingredients together on high speed for 1.5 to 2 minutes.
If it’s too thick, beat in more water 1 tbsp at a time. I usually need 10 tbsp but on particularly dry days, I use up to 14 tbsp. Keep in mind that the longer you beat royal icing the thick it becomes.
If your royal icing is too thin, just keep beating it to introduce more air or you can add more sifted confectioners’ sugar.
If using colouring, spoon a portion of the royal icing to a small bowl or container. Add one or two drops of gel color and stir until the colour is even and streak-free. Keep mixing in a drop or two at a time until you get a colour you’re satisfied with. If you make it too dark or saturated, add a little more white royal icing to soften the colour.
Use your favourite Easter colours!