Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Autumn Cookies - Leaves and Acorns

Pin It Autumn Cookies - Leaves and Acorns

Autumn Cookies - Leaves and Acorns
I love Autumn almost as much as Winter, but this year New York is unseasonably warm and hardly very few cool, crisp days. I have not baked anything since June, and it was great to get back into the groove. However, the leaves are starting to turn beautiful hues of reds, oranges, yellows and browns and I was inspired to bake. I used leaf and acorn cutters for the Autumn cookies. To keep in the theme of Fall, the dough is a Pumpkin Pie Spice Sugar Cookie recipe from Life's a Batch (see below for link). The rich texture comes from the Whole Wheat Flour, Turbinado and Light Brown Sugars. I made my own Pumpkin Pie Spice and the cookies smell and taste amazing. I hope you try this recipe.

Pumpkin Pie Spice
Ingredients
2 teaspoons Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Ginger

1/4 teaspoon Clove

1/4 teaspoon Allspice

Directions
Add spices in a small bowl and combine with a small spatula or fork.

Close-up of Acorn Cookies

Pumpkin Pie Spice Sugar Cookie Recipe
Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar, lightly packed

1/2 cup Turbinado Sugar

3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder

3/4 teaspoon Salt

3 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 Extra Large Egg

1 tablespoon Milk

2 3/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour

Close-up of Leaf Cookie

Directions
Using a stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed, cream together butter and light brown sugar until light and fluffy; about 3-4 minutes.

Add turbinado sugar and cream for 1 minute.

Add baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice; mix until incorporated.

Add egg and milk; beat well.

Add flour little by little, mixing until combined.

Close-up of another Leaf Cookie

The dough will be soft.

Roll dough into a ball, cover in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 365 degrees.

I used Hodgson Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Lightly sprinkle some of the flour on work space and rolling pin. Roll out dough and cut shapes.

Transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Chill in freezer for 5 minutes. This will ensure cookies keep their shape.

Bake for 10-13 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned.

Cool in baking sheets for 2-3 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

Let cookies cool completely.

Spices: Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Ginger, Allspice

Pumpkin Pie Spice 

Royal Icing
Ingredients
2 Egg Whites

2 1/2 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

4 cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted

Pumpkin Pie Spice dough

Pumpkin Spice dough wrapped and ready to go in fridge to chill

Directions
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the egg whites and lemon juice.

Transfer to stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment.

Slowly add sifted sugar and beat on low until smooth.

Leaves cooling
You can add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until you reach the right consistency. Watch the Joy of Baking (link at the end) video for both Flooding Consistency and Piping Consistency Royal Icing. If you prefer a recipe using Meringue Powder, it is also available at this link. I used half of the dough and made a small batch of the Piping Consistency Royal Icing and saved the remaining dough for another recipe this weekend.

Acorns cooling
I separated the icing in 3 plastic containers with lids for tinting with Wilton Gel Colors in Orange and Brown. To make the dark brown, I added 1 small drop of Black to the Brown color. Dip a toothpick in the gel and then into the icing and combine with a small spatula. Repeat until you reach the color you want. Use a clean toothpick each time so have plenty handy. Keep the other containers covered until you are ready to color. Royal Icing hardens fast so keep it covered when not in use.

Small Squeeze Bottles
I transferred the icing immediately into Squeeze Bottles using a funnel to prevent it from spilling. Keep the squeeze bottle tips covered. If the Royal Icing hardens due to exposure to air, spray a little bit of water and shake bottle well holding the tip with your finger. Test the icing consistency on a paper towel before decorating the cookie.

I did borders around each cookie and let dry for 1-2 hours.

Piped borders on each cookie and let dry before flooding cookie
I used the remaining icing by just adding a few squirts of water from a spray bottle and then shake to combine. This made the Flood Consistency I needed to flood/fill the cookie. Add the water a little at a time until you reach a nice smooth consistency.

Use a toothpick or cookie stick to reach edges and use tip of toothpick to pop any air bubbles.

Let dry for 5-6 hours or overnight.

Please visit, Life's A Batch for the sugar cookie recipe: http://lifesabatch.com/?p=1013

Please visit, Joy of Baking for the Royal Icing Recipe and Video Tutorial:
http://www.joyofbaking.com/RoyalIcing.html

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

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