Turn classic cookies into a platter of autumn leaves. Make them in solid colors, or combine pieces of tinted dough for a multicolored effect. — Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Red, green, orange and yellow paste food coloring
- 1-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 5 to 7 teaspoons warm water
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
- Divide dough into four portions; tint one red, one green, one orange and one yellow. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll.
- Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-in. leaf-shaped cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
- Bake 14-17 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, water, meringue powder and almond extract; beat on low speed just until blended. Pipe or drizzle on cookies as desired. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 dozen.
Originally published as Autumn Leaf Cutouts in Taste of Home November 2013
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