One of my absolute favourite things about the season is the beautiful autumn leaves, their bright colours gracing all of the trees around us. Due to the heat this year, however, I’ve noticed that there is a serious lack of fall colours in my corner of the world. Most of our trees are still green, confused about what season it currently is (can you blame them, just a couple weeks ago we were hitting 100 degrees Fahrenheit with the humidity). So, in place of the beautifully coloured leaves outdoors I decided to bring them into my house with these fun sugar cookies.
Sure, I could have kept it easy by simply baking different cookies in different colours – red leaves, orange leaves, yellow leaves, etc. But where is the fun in that? Why not push yourself for that extra special Blogtober baking project? Actually, these cookies are easier than they look!
Not only do these cookies taste great, but they also look impressive. Show off your incredible baking skills and impress your friends. I have never had so many questions asking how I did something then I have had since posting a picture of these cookies on my personal Facebook page! Time to reveal secret…
What You’ll Need:
- 3 ½ cups of all purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 2 sticks of butter at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Food colouring in a variety of colours
- Leaf-shaped cookie cutters
You can mix this dough in a mixer if you have it, using a hand mixer, or stick with my usual go to – the classic technique of a fork and your good, old reliable arm power! Combine the butter and sugar until you create a fluffy, light and fully blended mixture. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing well.
In a second bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add this dry mixture to the original bowl a small amount at a time allowing you to blend it in, creating a thick mixture that is similar in consistency to peanut butter. You may not need all of the dry ingredients, at this point you need to pay careful attention to the mixture. If you reach the desired consistency before fully adding the final cup of dry ingredients that’s ok. Don’t push it as you don’t want them to be too dry!
This is where you have the opportunity to start adding some fun colours to your cookies. Take your dough and divide into a number of different Ziplock bags. You can decide how many colours you want to work with. I decided on red, orange, yellow, green and a brownish orange rust colour.
Add the food colouring to each bag working it in evenly throughout the dye for a uniform colour. Sealing the bag, removing excess air, place the bags into the refrigerator and allow them to chill for approximately 1 hour.
Taking the chilled dough, break it off into smaller piece, sticking them together on a floured surface or a piece of parchment paper. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of your dough and roll it out creating one large surface. The process of rolling the dough will cause the individual pieces of each colour to connect to one another creating the blended colour effect.
With your leaf cookie cutters, cut out your fun leaf shapes. You can take the remaining piece of dough and stick them together again, repeating the process – just know that the more often you repeat the process, the more your colours will blend together rather than being separate patches of each bold colour.
Placing your cookies on a greased baking pan, it is now time to add the finishing touches to your leaves. With a knife, carefully score vein lines into each individual cookie. Be careful not to cut all the way through the dough or they will be more likely to fall apart when you have finished baking them! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the cookies for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until you notice that the bottom of the cookies are beginning to brown slightly. They do bake quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on them!
Voila! Your beautiful autumn leaves are ready. Allow them to cool slightly before removing them from the tray to avoid breakage. Enjoy these cookies with friends and family, or keep them all to your self (I don’t judge). The perfect treat for a cool (or not so cool) autumn day!
What baking projects are usually part of your autumn plans? Are you beginning to see the leaves changing colour in your part of the world?