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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies

Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies

DAY 11: Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies

Today’s cookie is a bow to the Canadian heritage here in our home.

Tiny maple cookies filled with a maple cream cheese frosting. You could always make them bigger, but I love these cute little bite-sized cookies.

My big mistake with these cookies, however, was in thinking that my cookie cutter was symmetrical. Turns out it is not quite the same on both sides! (As you can see if you look closely at the top of the cookies.) This didn’t bother my kids at all. They all disappeared before any made it onto cookie trays.

Lesson for next time: if your cookie cutter is not perfectly symmetrical, before baking, flip half of your cookies over. Then you can put the back-sides of two different cookies together and your edges will line up.

Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies 2

 

RECIPE:

Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies

Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies
—–
(adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2005):

Maple Cookies:
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp maple extract

Maple Cream Cheese Filling:
4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
½ tsp maple extract
¼ tsp salt
2 cups powdered sugar

Cookies:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and maple extract until combined.

Add flour gradually and mix until just blended. Divide dough into two balls and flatten each ball into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap (or place in a Ziploc bag) and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about ¼”. Use small maple leaf cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Place cookies on prepared sheets.

Note: If your cookie-cutter is not perfectly symmetrical,  turn half of your cookies upside down before baking.

Bake for 8-10 minutes (exact time will depend on size and thickness of cookies). Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.

Filling:
In a mixing bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, maple syrup, maple extract and salt until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in powdered sugar.

Spread the backside of cooled cookie with about ½ Tbs filling.  Top with another cookie. (If cookies are not symmetrical, be sure to pair cookies with their inverted match.)

 

Makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies (using a 2” cookie cutter)

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Autumn Spiced Fall Leaf Cookies

Leaf Cookies (8)-2

Leaves are starting to change here in Pennsylvania, so it seems only right to reflect the changes outside with some multi-colored fall leaf cookies made with delicious warm autumn spices.

These cookies are actually easier to make than regular sugar cookies, because you don’t need to frost them. Colorful dough with a shiny glaze makes them beautiful all on their own. And much less sweet than a traditional sugar cookie.

I used a brown sugar cookie dough from Bake at 350 that is spiced with wonderful fall flavors like cinnamon, ginger and allspice. I like this dough for making these leaves because the dough doesn’t lose its shape as it cooks, so the cookies keep their sharp edges and leaf “veins” etched into the top.

To make multicolored leaf cookies:

Leaf Cookies (9)-1

Separate cookie dough into four portions. Place in Ziploc bags. Add gel food coloring (I like the Ateco brand)  to bags and knead until dough is a uniform color.

Leaf Cookies (10)-1

To make multicolored leaves, place small balls of different colored dough on a floured pastry mat. Press with hands to flatten and fill in spaces. Roll gently with a rolling pin to flatten evenly. Make sure that the seams between the different colors are all sealed.

Leaf Cookies (1)

Cut out leaves with cookie cutters and place on parchment paper or silicon mat lined baking sheets.

Leaf Cookies (2)-1

Use a sharp paring knife to draw veins into dough.

Leaf Cookies (3)-1

Baking leaves plain will result in a rustic, matted look to the leaves:

Leaf Cookies (4)-1

For a shiny finish on your cookies, brush with a glaze (add a little almond or orange extract for a great flavor) before baking:

Leaf Cookies (6)-1

As you re-roll the dough, the colors take on more of a tie-dyed or marbled look.

Leaf Cookies (5)-1

These cookies are great fun for kids, and really taste great.

RECIPE:

Leaf Cookies (8)-2

Spiced Brown Sugar Cut-Out Cookies
(recipe from Bake at 350)

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350˚ F.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices with a whisk to mix. (The amounts of spices given make a mildly spiced cookie. For a more pronounced flavor, increase spice amounts)

Using an electric mixer, mix the sugar, brown sugar and butter.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  On low speed, beat in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Dough will be stiff.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about ¼-inch thickness.  Cut out dough with cookie cutters and place on baking sheets.  Bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on the size of your cookie cutter. Decorate as desired.

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies using a 3” cookie cutter

To make Fall Leaves:

Leaf Cookies (2)-1

Additional ingredients:
Gel food coloring (I used red, green orange and yellow)
Glaze:
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
2 Tbs ClearJel or cornstarch
2 Tbs water
1 tsp almond or orange extract

Prepare cookie dough and divide into four portions. Place in Ziploc bags. Add gel food coloring (I like the Ateco brand) to bags and knead until dough is a uniform color. Place small balls of different colored dough on a floured pastry mat. Press with hands to flatten and fill in spaces. Roll gently with a rolling pin to flatten evenly. Make sure that the seams between the different colors are all sealed. Cut out leaves with cookie cutters and place on parchment paper or silicon mat lined baking sheets. Use a sharp paring knife to draw veins into dough. Baking leaves plain will result in a rustic, matted look to the leaves.

For a shiny finish on your cookies, prepare glaze: combine 1/2 cup each water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Stir together ClearJel or cornstarch and 2 Tbs water; stir into pan a little at a time until glaze just begins to thicken. Return to a boil and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in almond or orange extract. Brush lightly onto raw cookie dough (after cutting out and placing on baking sheets). Bake as directed above.

(Fall leaves inspired by HGTV, as seen on Pinterest)

 

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