Apparently we are 54 days into Fall, but here in L.A. it has been above 90 degrees for more days than we can count. Instead of cozy sweaters, knit hats, and hot lattes in hand, we’ve been trekking to class in shorts and t-shirts, wiping the sweat from our brows before downing iced drinks. While we try not to ever take the endless sunshine for granted, we do miss the seasonal changes that really help transition into the holiday spirit.
In an effort to fix this, we made these autumn leaf cookies for the apartment, a simple reminder that it is indeed Fall. They are a nice break from the meticulous detail that we tend to lean towards when decorating cookies.
Ingredients & Materials:
- Sugar cookies (you can find our recipe here)
- Royal icing (you can find our recipe here)
- Food coloring of your choice (we used copper, red, orange, yellow, and green)
- A cooling rack
- Paper towels or newspaper (anything you don’t mind ruining with icing)
- A spoon
Roll your sugar cookie dough 1/4 inch thick and use a maple leaf cookie cutter to cut your shapes. Bake them for 6-8 minutes at 400 ºF and then set aside to cool.
While the cookies bake, make your royal icing. Be sure to add a little bit of water. These cookies don’t have any detail in them and rely on the icing being able to run off the cookie. However, it should still be very thick and goopy. Divide the icing into as many colors as you want to use, and mix in the dye. Try to look at leaves for inspiration; you want the colors to be more natural looking and less neon, otherwise the cookies will look more like rainbows than leaves.
Evenly distribute the cookies on a cooling rack with a thick layer of paper towels underneath. Using a spoon, pour the green icing over the cookies until they are covered.
Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then pour the next shade (in this case a greenish yellow) over most of the cookie, leaving one end the initial green color.
Again, allow them to sit for 10 minutes, then pour the next color (in this case golden yellow) over the cookies, leaving the previous colors still exposed on one side. Keep repeating this process until all of the colors have been laid down.
The cookies should gradually transition from green to yellow to orange to red. Don’t worry if the icing looks messy and is mixing together. The imperfections are what give it the marbled ombre look. You also may need to clean up with edges with your fingers or a toothpick since the multiple layers of icing is so thick and slightly deforms the leaf shape. Allow to cool completely and enjoy, whether you are in warm weather or cold!
Michelle & Kirby