For all of the Fall lovers out there, these sugar cookies will bring the beauty of fall foliage into your kitchen. Shaped like a maple leaf, these sugar cookies are flavored with maple extract and topped with red, orange, and yellow sugars. A plate of these delicious cookies is a festive addition to any fall table.
Sugar Cookie Dough
This sugar cookie dough is really easy to work with. It isn’t sticky or tacky and it rolls out well. This dough does require chilling, so you will need to plan ahead for that. Chilling for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours helps to prevent spreading during baking. The use of shortening and the omission of baking soda and baking powder also helps the cookies keep their shape. The addition of cornstarch results in a very tender crumb.
I typically use vanilla extract in this recipe, but given that I was making maple leaf cookies, I thought maple extract would be a nice seasonal twist.
Whether you make cut-out sugar cookies frequently or only at Christmastime, this cookie dough is perfect. This recipe is ideal for any time of year, any occasion. Simply use your favorite seasonal cookie cutter.
Maple Leaf Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup shortening, butter flavored preferably
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon maple extract or vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup cornstarch, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- assorted colored sanding sugars
- Preheat oven to 385 degrees.
- Cream together shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Mix in the extract.
- Sift together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add to the creamed shortening and sugar mixture. Mix until combined and dough pulls together into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-1/4 inch thickness. Cut out desired shapes and carefully transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar.
- Bake at 385 degrees for 6 1/2 - 7 minutes, or until cookies just start to brown around the edges. Let cool on pan briefly before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.