How to Make Fall Leaf Cookies

Because sugar cookies aren't just for Christmas.

Though we love a pumpkin pie just as much as the next person, there are times when eating dessert seems like an impossibility following a Thanksgiving meal loaded with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing — you get the point. Though most people associate sugar cookies with Santa Claus and Christmas, the buttery rounds make the perfect grab-and-go sweet treat when a decadent sit-down dessert just isn’t in the cards. That’s exactly why you should add a plate of these mesmerizing leaf cookies to your Thanksgiving feast. Colorful, cute and oh-so-fun to decorate, they’re also a great way to include kiddos big and small in on the holiday prep.

To start started, make a batch of Food Network Magazine's Sugar Cookies and a cup of Royal Icing.

When it comes to working with royal icing, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  • For outlining, icing should be thick and pipable.
  • For flooding (filling inside the lines), icing should be the consistency of runny yogurt.
  • If you find your icing not matching the consistency you desire, thin it with water.

Now all that's left for you to do is decorate!

Painted Leaves

Step One

Using a resealable plastic bag or a piping bag, pipe an outline on each cookie with red, orange or yellow icing. Let set 10 minutes. Fill inside the line, using thinner icing of the same color. Let set completely, at least 1 hour.

Step Two

Put a dab of red, orange and/or yellow gel food coloring in separate small bowls; add a drop of water to each. Use a small brush to paint the color on the cookies in small brush strokes.

Marbled Leaves

Step One

Using a resealable plastic bag or a piping bag, pipe an outline on each cookie with red, orange or yellow icing. Let set 10 minutes. Pipe pools of icing inside the line, using thinner icing of each color.

Step Two

While the icing is still wet, use a small brush to marble the colors together. Let set completely, at least 1 hour.

Sugared Leaves

Step One

Using a resealable plastic bag or a piping bag, pipe an outline on each cookie with red, orange or yellow icing. Let set 10 minutes. Fill inside the line, using thinner icing of the same color.

Step Two

While the icing is still wet, sprinkle red, orange, yellow and gold sanding sugar in small sections on the cookie, letting the colors mix slightly. Let set completely, at least 1 hour.

Feathered Leaves

Step One

Using a resealable plastic bag or a piping bag, pipe an outline on each cookie with red, orange or yellow icing. Let set 10 minutes. Fill inside the line, using thinner icing of the same color. While the icing is still wet, pipe a line or dots with icing of another color.

Step Two

While the icing is still wet, drag a toothpick through the different colors to create feathered designs. Let set completely, at least 1 hour.

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