Autumn Maple Leaf Sugar Cookies
Autumn Maple Leaf
Autumn maple leaf sugar cookies smell heavenly. Touched with some maple extract they smell just like fresh maple bar donuts when you open the cookie box. I think these are wonderful holiday cookies for the Fall in fact I made some for Thanksgiving last year.
This year I made these cookies for the Stanford at OSU football game because my husbands side of the family was gathering there for a mini family reunion to watch our nephew Kaden Smith play for Stanford. What a game that was!
It was a tiny bit difficult for us all being Beavers fans for the most part and Kaden's dad is actually OSU alumni, but we were there to support K and he did not disappoint. Not only is he a great guy but a hell of a football player too! Love you Kaden!
Although we only had a few minutes to spend with our nephew we did get to spend many wonderful hours visiting with cousins, brothers and sisters and all of the kids that we had not seen in quite some time. We had a tailgate party with other Stanford player families and made new friends too! It was a great time.
Cookies at the after party
A few days before we left for Corvalis, Or. where the game was played, I started on the cookies. Cookies like these are not made in one day, so I made the dough the night before baking the cookies and let the flour bloom and everything get cozy overnight in the fridge. (day 1)
I've researched many sugar cookie recipes and I've come to a compromise. The recipes that make the cleanest sharp edged intricately designed cookies do not make the tastiest cookies. The rich, chewy sugar cookie recipes taste great but do not make the prettiest cut outs because they are too puffy and the edges become too rounded. So the recipe I have used here is somewhere in the middle.
The next day, (day 2), I quartered the dough and then one at a time, I rolled the dough out and cut and baked the cookies. That process takes a couple of hours and is illustrated below. Click on the images for extra details.
After cutting and rolling out the cookies I bake them at a slightly higher temperature for a shorter length of time than most recipes call for. I found that 375 degrees for 8-9 minutes gives me the just slightly golden color I like for these Maple Leaf cookies. Don't forget to turn the pan half way through baking to maintain an even color.
After all of the cookies are baked and have had plenty of time to cool, I put them into a large airtight container for the night.
The next day, (day 3), is decorating day!Time to make the yummy maple glace icing. It smells so good. The smell of maple fills the kitchen for the day and I mix up my little paint pots with bright fall color. My husband went outside and found these beautiful leaves for me to use for inspiration. The color will soften as the cookies dry so I keep that in mind as I add the color to my icing.
I found the icing recipe at Stuff By Stace and changed the vanilla extract to maple extract for this recipe. I use Wilton food coloring to get the intense hues. I made these colors to flood the cookies with so I added enough milk to get a consistency that melts back into itself within a few seconds when drizzled without leaving marks.
After making and coloring the maple glace icing for flooding, I fill one piping bag with a thicker version of the brown glace icing. It's just a little bit more stiff so that it will hold its shape when piped onto the edge of the cookie creating a barrier that will keep the flooding icing from running all over the place and making a nice clean edge. When piping the edge around the cookie, I like to make nice sharp points to enhance the shape of the design. Click through the images below for more details about decorating these cookies.
Here's a short video from my YouTube channel illustrating how I flood and marble the icing.
How to do a marble effect with icing on sugar cookies
As the cookies dry overnight, the colors melt together and soften bringing out subtle details in the marbling. It always amazes me how different they look after drying. The icing recipe I use is a maple glace really so unlike royal icing, they retain a satin like sheen even after the high gloss goes away. In the morning they are ready to box up or wrap in individual clear cookies bags for sharing.
I love this technique for decorating maple leaf cookies. Just like in nature, no two are ever exactly the same. It's a very organic.
I hope you're enjoying a beautiful Fall wherever you are!
Happy Holiday Baking~ Melisa
Autumn Maple Leaf
For the cookies
2/3 cup room temperature real butter
1 cup sugar
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder