Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gingerbread Leaf Cookies: A Great Fall Dessert

fall dessert: gingerbread leaf cookies
Looking for fall cookie ideas? Grab your leaf cookie cutters and a gingerbread cookie recipe, and get started!
Cookie cutters have a stale reputation thanks to the humdrum sugar cookies they're often used to make at Christmas time. But behold the awesomeness of gingerbread leaves in autumnal shades! Oak leaves, maple leaves, ooh la la. All it takes are a gingerbread cookie recipe and some fun maple and oak leaf cookie cutters.

These gingerbread cookies can be made with any gingerbread cookie recipe. They make a great fall dessert!
These fall cookies were festive and fun. Any gingerbread cookie recipe will do!
Not only were they chewy and delicious, but the variety of colors these cookies sported also lent a festive air to the table. Edible decorations! Thanks to a liberal application of decorative sugar crystals, they sparkled, too. My friends were oh-so-happy to "rake them up" for me.
These fall cookies are a great hit. Use a gingerbread cookie recipe and leaf cookie cutters.
You can vary the "shade" of your leaf cookies by dividing your batter into thirds and adding varying amounts of cocoa powder to each batch.
I used a standard gingerbread cookie recipe designed for cookie cutters (gingerbread men, in fact) as a starting point, and varied the ingredients and proportions slightly to yield a variety of fall shades. This resulted in an exciting range of colors in the finished leaf cookies

How to Make Leaf Cookies in Varying Shades of Brown

In total, I made three batches of cookies: I added 5 ounces of melted bittersweet chocolate to one batch of dough and 3 ounces to the second batch (though the difference in color between the two was hard to detect). In the third batch, I reduced the molasses from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup, replaced brown sugar with white sugar, and added a little milk (a little less than 1/4 cup) to replace the moisture from the molasses that I removed.
These fall cookies are festive, and great for autumn. The leaf cookies can be made with any gingerbread cookie recipe.
These fall cookies were a delicious addition to the table.
It would have been easy to make an even lighter leaf cookie for a more distinct contrast across the leaves. Alas, I ran out of time.  A simple sugar cookie recipe with brown sugar substituted for white sugar and some fall spices tossed in (1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground nutmeg, and 1 to 2 tsp ground ginger) would have been the perfect addition.  Consider it a reader assignment. :)

Happy fall baking!