These cookies look like maple leaves and taste like the syrup that comes from them. Sweetened with some maple extract and decorated with the fiery colors of fall, these cookies make the perfect autumn treat.
For the cookies:
1-1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
4 tsp maple flavoring
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
For the royal icing:
1 pound powdered sugar
5 tbsp meringue powder
1/3 cup water (plus more for adjusting consistency)
Few drops maple flavoring
- Beat together butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes
- Add the egg and egg yolks one at a time, beating until smooth. Add maple flavoring and vanilla
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder
- Add the dry mix to the wet slowly with the mixer on low speed, just until combined
- Wrap dough in saran wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours (I let mine chill overnight)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Roll out dough with plenty of flour and cut with a maple leaf cookie cutter, placing them about 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on how chewy you like your sugar cookies
- Transfer to a wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely before decorating
- For the icing, mix together sugar, meringue powder, water, and maple flavoring until smooth (about 2 minutes). If icing is too thick, add more water in 1 tsp increments. If too thin, slowly add more powdered sugar. For the outlining, you want the icing to be fluid but still hold a firm peak. For the flooding, add enough water so the peak will sink back into the bowl and smooth out within 10 seconds
- Divide icing and color as desired (I dyed 2/3 of it orange-red and 1/3 golden yellow)
- Prepare piping bag for outlining (I used Wilton #2) and place upside down in a glass with a wet paper towel on the bottom while not in use so the icing in the tip does not dry out. You won't need much for outlining, since you're only doing a thin line around each leaf. Place the flooding-consistency icing in bags with a larger tip, or a squeeze bottle (like this one).
- Pipe the outlines first using the thicker icing and let it sit for 30 minutes before going back to flood
- Flood with a bulls-eye pattern of alternating red and yellow (see diagram), and then use the tip of a offset spatula or toothpick to mix the colors, gently moving back and forth away and towards the center until desired combination .
- While the icing is still wet, go back with the red flooding icing to pipe veins
- Allow cookies to dry over night before packaging or devouring
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