Sunday, November 10, 2013

Autumn Leaf Sugar Cookies

Autumn Leaf Sugar Cookies: a colorful treat, perfect for any fall table!

Start with sugar cookie dough. Add food coloring. You'll end up with something that looks a lot like play-doh without the salty, bitter taste. 

Yes, here is a tutorial for sweet, sugary play-doh. Just try to keep your kids out of the kitchen when you're mixing up a batch of these! 

Start with sugar cookie dough (see recipe below), divided into equal parts. Add one part dough back into the mixer with a few drops of your color of choice. You may need to add a little extra flour to keep dough from becoming too gummy.
I doubled my dough recipe to create these cookies.
Lazy Baker's tip: Start with the lightest color first (yellow, in this case),
that way you don't have to wash the bowl between colors! ;)

Laziness paying off! Here comes orange!

If you don't have a stand mixer, you can put your dough in a plastic ziptop bag,
add the food coloring, close the bag and squish it around with your hands to mix in the color.

Yellow, Orange, Purpleish Red, Green 

Good rule of thumb: if you think your dough is too thick, it is probably perfect!

After your first round of cookie cutting, combine the dough and roll it out again.
I think the "second round" cookies make for the prettiest.

Why, yes, I do need new cookie sheets! (Hint, hint, Husband!)

Feel free to use my recipe for sugar cookie dough. But don't tell my mother. Her name is Nancy and this her her top secret sugar cookie recipe. Shhhh.....

Nancy's Sugar Cookies
I can usually make 15-20 cookies per batch of dough, however, it varies depending on the size of the cutter. In the photos above, the recipe is doubled. 

Blend Together:
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp orange juice

2 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
pinch of salt

Blend wet and dry ingredients together. 

I like to roll the dough into a ball and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with flour. Sprinkle top of dough with flour and roll out dough to 3/8-inch thick (I use the width of my pinky as a guide, but if you have giant pinkies, that might not work for you. When it doubt, err on the side of thickness!) You may need to flip the dough around to roll it out. While rolling, check underneath the dough frequently to make sure it is not sticking (if it is, sprinkle with more flour). Cut into desired shape and place on a COOL baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until cookies are set and barely brown on edges, about 5 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE!

NOTE: In order for the cookies to keep their shape, the dough needs to be cold. If you overwork the dough it will become too soft and the cookies will not hold their shape. You can even place your cut-out cookies on a plate or cookie sheet and pop the whole thing in the freezer for a few minutes to guarantee a perfect shape after baking!


  1. Such a cute idea! Can't wait to try these!

  2. pinned this so i can try them this fall!!