Thursday, October 30, 2014

Recipe :: Fall Leaf Cookies

One of my favorite family traditions is my annual trip home to Oakwood, OH every autumn to make Fall Leaf Cookies with my mom.  I have fond memories of sitting together in the kitchen after school, sipping hot cocoa and decorating dozens upon dozens of cookies.  Over the past twenty years we have tweaked the recipe several times and thankfully my technique has improved a bit {I can only imagine my first attempts as a six-year-old looked more like a messy art project than vibrant autumnal leaves}.  The best part about these cookies, asides from how delicious they are, is that while they look quite impressive are actually incredibly easy!

Fall Leaf Cookies
Makes approximately 40 large cookies, 60 small

COOKIES {Recipe via}
6 egg yolks
4 eggs
2 cups butter, softened
2 1/8 cups white sugar
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.  Add the vanilla.  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt - stir into sugar mixture.  Cover dough and chill for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Grease cookie sheets or cover with parchment paper.  On a floured surface roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thick and cut into desired shapes using leaf cookie cutters.  Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 

ICING {Recipe via Martha Stewart}
6 cups sifted confectioners sugar
6 large egg whites (we use powdered whites, just to be safe)
Almond extract to taste
Food coloring

Put sugar in a mixing bowl.  With the mixer running slowly add the egg whites, allowing sugar to absorb them.  Add just enough egg whites to get a smooth, slightly liquid consistency (you may not need all 6).  Add almond extract and mix well.

Divide icing into small bowls and add food coloring as desired (we typically make red, yellow, green, and orange for these cookies).

We love to play around when decorating these cookies, and since the icing is a nice, smooth consistency it allows us to swirl the icing to create a veiny or ombre-esque effect.  

To create our "standard" cookie as photographed below, I typically spread one color on one side and a different on the other, leaving about a quarter inch in the center bare.  Using a toothpick add a third color to the center of the cookie.  Make sure you use enough icing so all of the colors are easy to swirl and work with.  With your toothpick, lightly "pull" the center color through each side, creating the look of veins.  Continue until you have reached the desired effect. 

Let dry, and watch your friends be amazed!


  1. These are so cute! I just pinned something similar yesterday but these I like sooo much more! What an awesome tradition! I would love to try this with my kids! Oh, and they look delicious too :)

  2. I love this! Your cookies look great, I love traditions like this - so much fun! Love how they are decorated too. I think cookie making is in my future


  3. Yay leaf cookies! My favorite family tradition,too. Beautiful pics

  4. What a fun idea! Would be great to make for a friendsgiving celebration!

    The Style Scribe