Sugar cookies are great because they are so versatile. Using different cookie cutters and icing techniques the possibilities of what you can create are endless. Allowing sugar cookies to work for every occasion. This year, I was looking for a fun fall twist to add to my sugar cookies. I wanted to go beyond just changing the shape and decorations. I wanted them to not only look like fall but taste like fall as well. Since the craze of the PSL it seems like there is now pumpkin spice EVERYTHING. So I figured why not cookies? These sugar cookies have a hint of that pumpkin spice flavour and a delicious maple royal icing. Since I added the flavour of fall into the cookies themselves, I decided to keep the decorating simple. I will share the tutorial later this week on how to decorate these beautiful white gilded pumpkins and leaves.
I not only wanted a cookie that tasted like pumpkin spice but it was really important to me that it held its shape. I wanted the cookie to be firm on the outside but still soft and chewy on the inside. You will notice that there is no baking powder or baking soda in this cookie - I did that on purpose to ensure that it doesn't spread while baking.
I was a bit nervous to add brown sugar to the recipe as I know it can make cookies spread while baking due to its higher water content then regular sugar but I really wanted to add it for the flavour profile it brings. I decided to go with a 1/4 c of brown sugar and it seemed to be the perfect amount in terms of flavour and reduced cookie spread.
You will notice that I added a small amount of black pepper to the dough. This is inspired by Sally's Baking Addiction pumpkin pie recipe - which is one of my absolute favourite pie recipes. The black pepper helps to bring out the pumpkin flavour along with the other spices.
In order to ensure the cookie holds its shape while baking it is important that you allow it to chill in the fridge for a minimum of an hour before rolling it out. Once you cut your shapes allow the cut cookies to chill for an additional 10-15minutes before you bake them
The Royal Icing
I wanted to develop a royal icing flavour that would compliment the pumpkin spice cookie and pack some additional fall flavour. I knew that Maple Syrup would be the perfect addition to the flavour profile of these cookies. Be sure to use a high quality pure maple syrup when creating this royal icing. It will make all the difference in terms of flavour. The icing recipe as written produces a fairly stiff frosting - more along the lines of a pipping consistency for sure. To achieve a flooding consistency slowly add additional water until your desired consistency is reached. I usually add water 1/2 a teaspoon at a time, making sure to mix throughly between each addition. You don't want to add too much water - super thin icing can be a nightmare to work with. There are many great tutorials on achieving the perfect icing consistency, personally I love Sweetopia's.