Autumn Leaf Sugar Cookies

glu-logo-copyApparently 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

_mg_6569Roll 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Happy decorating!

Michelle & Kirby

Fall Leaf Gift Tags

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Autumn has always been my favorite time of the year. Kickstarting the holiday season with my birthday, followed by Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve, I’m rarely seen without a beaming smile on my face. When I was younger, admittedly, one of my favorite parts about this season had to do with gifts. I can still remember the uncontained excitement having just opened my Barbie Dream House at my 6th birthday. And whenever my parents left me alone with the Christmas tree I’d sneakily shake my gifts hoping to discover their contents.

As I’ve grown older, gifts have remained a major highlight in my holiday celebrations, but I’ve become more interested in giving them than receiving them. The act of searching for the perfect gift that will make someone smile or laugh is so fulfilling and I honestly get more excited watching others open gifts than I do opening my own.

Personalized wrapping is the best way to elevate gifts, making them even more special. These leaf gift tags are the perfect addition to any fall gifts, whether it’s tied onto a Thanksgiving hostess gift or attached to an October/November birthday present. My sister, Nicole, recently moved to Oakland with her boyfriend and these leaf tags were a nice touch to the housewarming gift I sent.


Materials:

  • Paper (I used red and brown cardstock, and white and gold striped wrapping paper)
  • Scissors
  • Gold leaf pen  (I swear by this one here)
  • Pencil/pen for tracing
  • A leaf to trace (you can print a cutout if you don’t have one)
  • Hole punch
  • Twine
  • Wrapping paper

Trace the leaf onto each of your pieces of paper, then carefully cut them out. I used three but feel free to add or remove layers depending on what you like. Stack the leaves and punch a hole near the stem.

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Add the gold details to the leaf cutouts. On the red leaf I painted half of it solid gold. Be generous with layers to avoid streaks. For the brown leaf I did a simple gold outline, which gives plenty of room to write a note for Nicole. I left the gold and white paper alone since it already had plenty of gold sparkles.

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Wrap your gift and tie with twine. Then stack the leaves once again and loop the twine through the holes before you complete the knot. I love the simple, rustic look of plain white giftwrap and twine, but the subtle sparkle and color in the leaves gives it a warm holiday feel.

 

Happy gifting!

 

-Michelle