Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Brown Sugar and Spice Cut-out Cookies


I don't mess with my cookie recipe much. Sometimes, I change up the extracts or add vanilla bean paste, but usually I stick with what works.

Fall spices were calling to me, though, and I thought I'd try to use them in a cut-out cookie. It worked!!! These cookies are lightly spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. I replaced half with sugar with light brown sugar. The cookies ended up slightly softer, but still sturdy enough for decorating.


If you're making cookies for Thanksgiving, these are perfect!

Brown Sugar and Spice Cookies

3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 c granulated sugar (I use sugar that I've stored vanilla beans in)
1/2 c light brown sugar (packed)
2 sticks butter
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and spices, set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix until well-blended.

Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom. (The dough will be quite thick...you may need to knead in stray bits of flour from the bottom of the bowl by hand.)

Roll on a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on the size of your cutter. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.



To decorate these cookies, I used pale green, ivory and light orange for the pumpkins. After being outlined and filled, they dried completely overnight.


For the sparkly accents, mix a small amount of meringue powder with water. With a child's paintbrush, paint the area you would like to be sparkle-d (that's a word, right?).


Then, shake on sanding sugar all over the cookie. Turn the cookie upside down and shake off the excess. (I do this over a basket coffee filter and use that to funnel the extra back into the container.)

These are waiting in the freezer to be donated on Thanksgiving for Drop In & Decorate. Are you making some, too? If so, I'd love to have pictures and details of where and how many cookies you donated by December 10th. Thank you!


OH...and did you guess? I have 221 cookie cutters. :)


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92 comments:

  1. <3 i love them. i love them even more that you are donating them.

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  2. How pretty are these?! I will most definitely be trying these out!

    Ally @ High Heels & Aprons

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  3. These are beautiful! I love the addition of all the wonderful warm Fall spices.

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  4. Holy smokes! Does your hubby know? LOL!

    Thanks for the sparkle tip!

    I'm not terribly crazy about the taste of sugar cookies so these are really calling to me.
    ~ingrid

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  5. Lovely colors, Bridget! That recipe sounds good, so I'll try it soon :)

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  6. Those are beautiful! Sorry I missed the guessing on the cookie cutters....

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  7. 221 that's a bunch!!! Love the pumpkins in the pastels!

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  8. what cute cookies! Ideally for fall. I love the fact that you spiced them up :) Very nicely decorated.

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  9. Those look yummy! Will definitely try!

    And I was pretty close with the cutters!

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  10. Such beautiful cookies! I have let's see...6 I think. Maybe less. Haha!

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  11. BEAUTIFUL!
    ONCE AGAIN, THANK YOU!!

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  12. I think I'm in love. Those are amazing colors you used on the pumpkins! What a great change from the usual bright orange, green, and deep brown. The sparkles are a lovely touch. Where do you come up with these ideas?!?!?!

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  13. So pretty! What a great idea to add all the seasonal spices! I'll have to check out the "drop in and decorate" link:)

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  14. P.S. Wow, that's a lot of cookie cutters! How do you store them?

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  15. So pretty! I love adding the "pumpkin flavors" to cookies really feels like fall. What pretty colors they look great!

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  16. Bridget...Bridget...Bridget! I am so tickled that you posted about these spiced iced cookies! They are LOVELY! You are just so good at what you do! Sure wish you could fly into Seattle...ferry over to Bainbridge...come into my kitchen and make cookies with me!

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  17. Oh! Now I want to make these for Thanksgiving! Thanks!!

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  18. great idea! I never thought to add brown sugar to the mix, I bet they will be perfect for this time of year!

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  19. Hey Bridget! Just checking in on your wonderful creations! I am still alive, just taking a break from blogging. I am doing some baking today and making fudge. Take care and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  20. Yay on the success! Adorable decorating as always.

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  21. Those are completely adorable! And those pale colors are beautiful. Thanks for the tip about adding sparkle.

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  22. these looks amazing and the recipe sounds fantastic!

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  23. Oh, I love these! I can see those lovely spices in the unfrosted cookie, and they look amazing. Yum!

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  24. I accidentally came across your blog about 2 weeks ago. Ever since then I've been wanting to try to make decorated cookies. I tried my first batch last night and I'm in love. I made several mistakes, but I managed to overcome them. Like using too much red coloring and having to throw it all out (yuck!) or making the piping way too dry at first. But all in all I'm hooked and now I can't wait to try these spice cookies for Thanksgiving. Thanks for this great blog. I do have one question and maybe you have answered this before, but .. If I want to have a slight gloss to the icing, how do I do that?

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  25. These cookies are beautiful! I'm going to make (attempt to make) turkey cookies today we'll see how the final result turns out!

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  26. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I'm going to make them today!

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  27. These are absolutely gorgeous! Where do you typically find meringue powder?

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  28. These are beautiful! Can't wait to try the cookie recipe!

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  29. Gorgeous cookies! I am totally making these now!

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  30. Beautiful! I'm going to add these to my to bake list!
    blessings
    ~*~

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  31. Joanna from ColoradoNovember 19, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    That sanding sugar technique would be SOOO cute on snowmen and snowflakes too!

    I LOVE that you do step-by-step pictures (not that I could EVER make cookies that look half as nice as yours). :)

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  32. I think they need to add "sparkle-d" to the dictionary!
    How'd I miss the # of cookie cutters guess?
    How do you organize them?
    Have a great day! Looks like a lovely day for the park! :-)

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  33. Megan....you can find it at craft stores or event the craft section of WalMart. I prefer the one sold at Williams Sonoma or Ateco brand which is sold online.

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  34. These are so beautiful! The colors and the addition of the sparkle - perfect!

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  35. Unbelievably gorgeous. I am just so motivated by your beautiful work. I think I've read every inch of your blog, but wanted to clarify something you said in this post. You said the cookies would be waiting in the freezer for your drop in and decorate. I read your post about freezing un-decorated cookies. Are these in your freezer decorated?

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  36. What a great idea to add holiday spices to a stand by cut out cookie recipe! It seems simple enough but I've honestly never seen it done. I LOVE your sugar decoration - so beautiful and elegant!

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  37. Anonymous...yes, you can freeze cookies decorated with royal icing as well! :)

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  38. LOVE LOVE LOVE! so cute. I need lessons!

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  39. Love the addition of the spices! Can almost smell them from here!I,also, have my favorite cut out recipe, but looks like it's time to try some additions like yours! Thanks! Beautiful cookies- as usual!

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  40. oh wow! these look great! i think i see some of these cookies in my near future. as in thanksgiving future... along with those awsome pumpkin whoopie pies!!!

    one of these days i'm going to have to master the whole decorating thing again. i can't get my cookies to look nice like yours.

    maybe could you re-visit that in another post sometime soon?

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  41. thanks so much for sharing this recipe- they look so sturdy for decorating! I love the pale colors on the pumpkins too, they are so beautiful!

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  42. The spice combination sounds delicious - thanks for sharing!

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  43. Woah - you can freeze them??? I am baking decorated sugar cookies like these for a bridal shower on Sunday. Had no idea freezing them was an option! That is GREAT news!!!! Otherwise I fear I woiuld've been up until 2 a.m. Sunday morning making Royal Icing and decorating cookies:(

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  44. These are so cute!! I wanted to make something semi-fancy for Thanksgiving, so I think I'm going to try these! The problem I usually have when cutting the cookies into shapes is that the cookies spread alot while they're baking and kinda lose their shape, and end up really big cookies. Any tips to help prevent spreading while they're baking? I think my first problem was trying to use the pre-made dough... So I'm hoping that using this recipe will make a difference too. Thanks so much for your ideas!!

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  45. Ashley G...Here is a link that might help:

    http://bakeat350.blogspot.com/2009/02/helping-cookies-keep-their-shapeworks.html

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  46. so, so, so cute! I'll be baking a bunch of turkey cookies and dropping them off at our local homeless shelter, does that count?

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  47. Yes, Mandy...absolutely, that counts! :) Let me know the details.

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  48. These cookies taste amazing! I have never strayed from my plain-Jane sugar cookie recipe, but I had to give these a try. I made turkeys, and so the icing was mostly brown = chocolate. The chocolate icing together with the spiced cookie was awesome! Thanks for a great recipe!

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  49. We are one of those families that has benefited from the local soup kitchen often. Actually, we are going to a Christmas party there this year, and I was hoping to make a kazillion of these to donate for that event, but I can't figure out how to make the lovely icing,...royal icing,..maybe? Thank you for the recipe--AND the inspiration!!! God Bless!

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  50. Hi Barbara...if you click on the "recipe index" up top, you'll find a recipe for Royal Icing. Thank you!!!

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  51. You have no idea how much I've been searching for exactly this kind of cookie! bless you! Can you share with me how you made the frosting?
    I'd sure love to make these and you can bet I'll blog about them when I do.

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  52. A Feast for the Eyes......if you click on the "recipe index" up top, you'll find a recipe for Royal Icing.

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  53. Ouch. I was WAY off on my cookie cutter estimate...I guessed over 400, lol. Sooo, you better buy some more girl! ;)

    These cookies are PERFECT!! I want to make these!! Oh, actually it would be fun to do these with that technique to make Christmas ornament ball cookies....
    I can't believe how gorgeous these are. Wow. You are so talented. I just posted a Fall cookie post and wanted to let you know so you could take a peek since you're the queen of cookies! I used maple extract instead of almond for the fall flavors. I do so love your idea though of the spices you added!

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  54. I love the colors! Beautiful cookies.
    Mimi

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  55. YUM!!! I really need some fall cookie cutters!!

    and I KNEW it!! I guessed you had over 200!! LOL

    ~TidyMom

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  56. Gorgeous Bridget!!! I LOVE the sparkles... now I am feeling I MUST go out and decorate something with sparkles!!

    Blessings-
    Amanda

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  57. Your cookie making, icing and sprinkling skills are all so good - very envious here! These look so delicious :)

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  58. I just found your site! I love it! Welcome to my favorites!

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  59. This looks much like a recipe I found from Domino Sugar website called Brown Sugar and Spice cookies. I always cut them into star shapes at Christmas. They are my favorites and they keep very well. These are beautifully decorated

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  60. marzipanmom...how funny that we call them the exact same thing. I'm loving that I am on the same wavelength as Domino Sugar. ;)

    Just went to their website. Here is a similar recipe from Domino...
    http://www.dominosugar.com/Recipe.aspx?id=568

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  61. I can't believe how beautiful these are!! You're amazing!

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  62. I made these on Wednesday night for Thanksgiving and they were great. The spices were great for this time of year and they smelled soooo good when they were baking! I had to make another batch today because I didn't even get to try one yesterday before they were gone. Thanks for sharing! And congrats on your new little nephew!

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  63. Ok, I want to decorate ornament cookies using your info here. Is that royal icing? Do you have a recipe for the frosting? Where can I buy meringue powder? Thank you!! <3

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  64. L...yes, click on the recipe index at the top and you'll find the royal icing recipe. You can get meringue powder online or at Williams-Sonoma. You'll also find Wilton brand at craft stores.

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  65. Thank you so much! I'll let you know when I try this. <3

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  66. Did you make a thicker frosting for the pumpkin stems? I like their texture.

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  67. These look amazing! I am excited to make them for a pumpkin carving party tomorrow. I was wondering what icing you used? Thank you!

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  68. I came across your blog while searching for my usual spice cookie recipe, and I definitely want to try yours now! I usually use my leaf shaped cookie cutters. I will have to look for your frosting recipe next...I assume you make your own...
    These look so yummy!
    When we were trying to sell our last house/condo, I baked spice cookies before showings which created a wonderful aroma, and I think it must have helped make a quick sell!

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  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  70. Oooh those look so yummy- thanks!

    Question- do you store fresh vanilla beans in sugar then use them for something else, or do you store the vanilla bean pods you used for something else in the sugar? TY!!

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  71. This looks absolutely fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

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  72. I am not a big sugar cookie fan..frankly, I don't have much use for cookies that don't include chocolate! But I made these cookies for a baby girl shower - GRACIOUS! These are awesome. So, so yummy! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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  73. I am making fall leaf and acorn cookies this weekend (like the ones Callye made recently) and I think this recipe would be perfect for them. Even though it's going to be close to 100 degrees here in L.A., fall flavors are calling me!

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  74. Hi!

    Thanks for sharing such amazing recipes and ideas!

    My sisters birthday is coming up and Im going to make some frog sugar cookies, using this spice recipe.

    I just wanted to ask before baking, in case you knew...I only have the dry granulated style brown sugar. None of that pretty moist, pack it in brown sugar. Do you think the lack of moister in the brown sugar will effect the cookie recipe negativly?

    Thanks very much
    Cate

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  75. I went ahead and made 1/2 a batch of this recipe with the dry brown sugar that I had and they turned out PERFECT! :)

    Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe.

    Cate

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  76. Omg. I just made these for my coworkers for tomorrow and they're so amazing. I don't typically like making my own cut out cookie dough (bad, bad, bad experience with it when I was in seventh grade. Horribly traumatized.) but I thought I would conquer my fears today with this recipe since the store-bought dough never seems tasty enough.

    They came out perfectly. Not only did they roll-out easier for me, but they baked up nicer and they taste amazing. The only change I made was that I didn't have Ginger, so I used cloves instead. Still very tasty.

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  77. my dough my a bit sticky after mixing everything up. should i add more flour or refrigerate?

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  78. I love this!! How many grams is a stick of butter?? Please

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  79. This is now my go-to cookie recipe - they also make an amazing base for lemon cheesecake :)

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  80. How do you know how much spices to add to a sugar cookie recipe? How does it work?

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  81. I have a sugar cookie recipe that I really like, but I wanted to experiment by adding lemon extract or other spices, but how do I go about figuring out how much to add. What determines the amount of spices I add to the recipe? I am new to cookie decorating and have never taken a baking class. I have searched the web for more information, but I am not able to find answers. I appreciate any help/guidance you can provide. Thank you.

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  82. Love this recipe! Will be linking back to this in my upcoming post :)

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  83. Could you tell me approximately how many cookies this recipe makes? Thanks! :)

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    1. Danae...well, it depends on the size of your cutter, but for a 3.5" to 4" cookie, you'll probably get 12-15 cookies. :)

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  84. I used your recipe to make multi-colored fall leaf cookies, and I loved them! This is a fantastic dough. I will definitely use it again and again. Thanks. You are awesome!

    Here is a link if you want to see them: http://noemptychairs.me/2012/10/02/autumn-spiced-fall-leaf-cookies/

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  85. Bridget, Do you use cold, salted butter for this recipe as you do with your vanilla-almond cookies? I'm an unsalted, room temp butter kind of gal, and I don't want to end up with a sticky mess on my hands! Thank you for the recipe!

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