Monday, November 16, 2009

Windswept Leaf Cookies

I know fall is nearly past, and with all of the snow that fell over the weekend here it's really time to start making the snowflake cookies, but I just couldn't resist.  I saw these in Woman's Day magazine about a month ago and I knew I had to make them.  It took me a while, but I'm so glad I did.  I love them, and my kids think they "are so awesome."  It makes a mom happy when she can impress her kids!

I really liked the sugar cookie recipe too.  It has a tablespoon of pumpkin spice that gives these cookies a really nice, fall flavor.

***Notes to self:  Follow directions exactly next time so you only have to try once.  Do not try and take a shortcut and buy pre-made sugar cookie dough.  As you found out--it does not work.  Chilling the dough really does make a difference, so just do it.  And read the directions completely on the icing.  I learned many of these the hard way, and had to start over.  Lots of wasted time, but they finally turned out in the end.  Only variation for me from original recipe is to cook 1-2 minutes less as my oven seems to bake hot.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes    Total time including chilling and baking: 3 hours

1 stick (1/2 c.) unsalted butter (not spread)
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt (I omitted the salt because the butter I used was already salted)
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. flour
leaf-shape cookie cutter

Decorating Icing:
1 lbs. box confectioners sugar
1/4 c. powdered egg whites (just whites)
1/3 cup water
yellow, orange, red gel food colors

    1. Beat butter, sugar, spice and salt in a large bowl with mixer on mediumhigh until light, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; add egg and beat until combined. Beat in corn syrup and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually add flour and beat until blended. Shape dough into two disks, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. 

    2. Heat oven to 350ºF. Roll out 1 disk between 2 sheets of wax paper to 1⁄4 in. thick. Remove top layer of wax paper and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes until cookies are golden. Cool on sheet on wire rack 5 minutes; transfer to rack and cool completely. 

    3. Icing: Beat confectioners’ sugar and powdered egg whites in a large bowl with mixer on low speed until combined. Add water; beat until blended. Increase speed to high; beat 8 minutes or until icing is very thick and white. 

    4. Divide decorating icing into 3 bowls; tint one each yellow, orange and red. Add a few drops water to thin slightly until easy to spread. Spread a little of each color frosting onto a cookie.  Drag a wooden pick through colors to swirl. Let dry at least 1 hour; repeat with remaining cookies and icing.

In case you are wondering about the powdered egg whites (I was, this was the first time I have used them) you can purchase these at craft stores in the baking section (like Roberts) or at cooking stores.  Use can use meringue powder (it says on the front of the container that it can be used in place of powdered egg whites).  Hmm, I learn something new every day!  Actually, I learned a lot of new techniques from making theses cookies.  They were fun.  I want to make them again next fall!

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