1 cup sugar
1 cup margarine, softened
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Maple cream cheese frosting
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, softened margarine, milk, vanilla, almond, and egg; blend well. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt; mix well. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Set aside approximately 1 cup each of dough, one cup for each color you would like to make. Keep remaining dough refrigerated until ready to use.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 5-9 minutes or until edges are light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets and onto cookie rack for cooling. Cool completely.
Drip a small amount of food coloring into each of your separated dough ball reserves.
It is messy, so to avoid coloring your hands, I recommend first working the color into the dough with a spoon,
then enclosing it in waxed paper again working the color into the dough until most of the color is absorbed, at which point it is safe to handle with the bare hands.
Repeat the same rolling process as before. I liked the way the dough came out a bit marbled here for dimension, but you can mix thoroughly if you prefer.
Cut your colored dough into leaf shapes. Your kiddos will enjoy this part!
If you prefer, use a gentle, steady hand to imprint the veining of the leaves into your dough using the spring of the cutter. Just be sure not to penetrate all the way through the dough when you do so. You have the option of baking the leaves separately or at the same time as your foundation cookie. If you would like to serve these cookies plain, bake all at once and dust with sugar when complete.
I wanted to infuse my cookies with some Fall flavor and to do that, I frosted my cookies with maple frosting.
To make maple frosting, simply add maple extract to cream cheese frosting, approximately 1-1 1/2 teaspoons per each 12 ounces of frosting. You may opt to make your own cream cheese frosting from scratch, or if you are in a pinch, do as I did....take the easy way out and use store-bought. ;)
Fold the maple flavoring in and mix thoroughly. Simple!
Options, options, options!!
There are so many lovely ways to decorate and serve these!
In addition to dusting with sugar, you can simply frost them,
frost and sprinkle with cinnamon,
frost and add slivered almonds,
frost and add a leaf cookie,
or frost and drizzle with chocolate syrup.
I used a wonderfully rich dark chocolate for these cookies made by Torani. Yummm!
The addition of almond and maple to standard sugar cookies definitely adds the flavor of Fall! To see these cookies featured in my Autumnal Tea Al Fresco, you may visit the post on my blog Parsimonious Décor Darling by clicking here.
What are your favorite flavors of the season?
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