Spiced Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies

The dough for these spiced autumn cookies is easily made in a food processor, much like pie dough, but with softened butter. We pulse the[ sugar first to finely grind it, which gives the cookies their tender and crunchy texture. Have fun with decorating-make fall leaves or turkeys using halved candy corns or pecans for the tail feathers.]

Total Time:
2 hr 30 min
Prep:
10 min
Inactive:
1 hr 30 min
Cook:
50 min

Yield:
About 2 1/2 dozen cookies and 2 cups icing
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • For the Cookies:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Fine salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Royal Icing:
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • One 1-pound box confectioners' sugar (3 3/4 to 4 cups)
  • Food coloring, as desired
  • Decorating Suggestions:
  • Candy corns, pecans and sanding sugar
Directions

For the cookies: Put the sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to finely grind. Add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pulse just to combine.

Add the butter and pulse until all of the butter is incorporated into the flour and the mixture is sandy. Add the egg and vanilla and pulse until the mixture comes together in big clumps.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead a few times to form a ball. Divide the dough in half, pat into 2 discs about 1/4-inch thick, wrap in HYPERLINK "http://www.foodterms.com/encyclopedia/plastic-wrap/index.html" plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Let the dough sit at room temperature for a few minutes to make rolling easier. Put 1 disc of dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out with desired cookie cutters and arrange on one of the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake until the bottom of the cookies are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet until firm enough to transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. Gently gather any scraps into a ball and press into another disc. Chill the disc until firm enough to roll and cut out as many cookies as possible.

For the icing: Sift the meringue powder and confectioners' sugar together in a large bowl and add 6 tablespoons water. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high until the mixture is glossy and soft peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Add food coloring if using or divide into several batches and color with different shades of food coloring. Decorate cookies as desired. The cookies can be store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Copyright 2014 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)


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    This recipe is featured in:

    Thanksgiving Desserts: Pies and Beyond