courtesy of McCormick’s
Cooler temperatures, beautiful changing leaves and the familiar scent of pumpkin pie spice are all signs of fall. Whether you’re hosting a pumpkin carving party or decorating sweet treats with family, celebrate the season with maple-flavored leaf-shaped cookies and hot apple cider.
“The crisp air seems to inspire us all to start baking again,” said McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter. “Create an autumn frosting palate with our new Color from Nature Food Colors, which are made from ingredients such as beets and turmeric. You can combine the trio of starter colors – berry, sunflower and sky blue – to make a maroon glaze for an Autumn Leaf Cookie.”
The food colors can be used in icing, beverages and other no-bake recipes.
Glazed Autumn Leaf Cookies
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons maple extract
Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and maple extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.
Roll dough on generously floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out leaves with 2- to 3-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutters. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
Prepare desired colors of glazes. Decorate cooled cookies with glazes.
Glaze Variations: For the variations below, dissolve the designated amount of the food colors with water in small bowl. Stir in any remaining ingredients until smooth.
To glaze cookies, hold a cookie by its edge and dip the top into the glaze. (Or spoon the glaze onto cookies using a teaspoon.) Place iced cookies on wire rack set over foil-covered baking sheet to dry. (The foil-covered baking sheet will catch drips.) Let stand until glaze is set.
Maroon Cookie Glaze: Use 1/2 teaspoon Berry food colors, 3 tablespoons water (plus additional to dissolve color), 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.
Forest Green Cookie Glaze: Use 1/2 teaspoon Sky Blue color and 1/4 teaspoon Sunflower food colors, 3 tablespoons water (plus additional to dissolve color), 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.
Pumpkin Cookie Glaze: Use 1 teaspoon Sunflower color and 1/4 teaspoon Berry food colors, 3 tablespoons water (plus additional to dissolve color) and 2 cups confectioners’ sugar.
Test Kitchen Tips:
- Use glaze soon after preparing. Do not refrigerate glaze, as it will begin to harden.
- Allow glaze to dry before storing cookies in airtight containers.
Spiced Caramel Apple Cider
Prep time: 5 minutes
4 cups apple cider
1/4 cup caramel topping
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Bring apple cider, caramel topping and apple pie spice to simmer in medium saucepan. Stir in vanilla.
Pour into serving cups. Serve topped with whipped cream, additional caramel topping and apple pie spice, if desired.
Flavor Variations: For the variations below, use the following extract in place of the vanilla:
Spiced Caramel Orange Cider: Use 1/4 teaspoon orange extract.
Spiced Caramel Maple Cider: Use 3/4 teaspoon maple extract.
Spiced Caramel Rum Cider: Use 3/4 teaspoon rum extract.