Spiced Brown Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

I love the holidays, don’t you?

Although I’d like to think I’m a pretty giving person, this is the time I pull out all the stops.

Like the holiday potluck I threw last night. I decided to throw it together a week ago at the last minute.

I decided I’d make a pot roast for the first time.

And I’d finally make little giveaway frosted sugar cookies for the first time.

And I’d make homemade caramel for the first time.

And I’d make three different types of mini-cupcakes so everyone could finally taste them instead of just me and Boy.

Lofty goals.

But it somehow all came together despite the busy of everyday life and my next few posts will be dedicated to all the treats I managed to pull out of my kitchen this past week, starting with these sugar cookies!

I’ve wanted to make these for a long time, especially since Annie is essentially my idol and she makes cute ones all the time.

So I went out hunting for cute cookie cutters and came home with everything I needed to make little snowmen and snowflake cookie packages.

The process takes quite a bit of time (took me a whole day) when you’re starting out. I presume that as I get better and better at piping things will go much more smoothly. If you’re starting out too and are aiming for perfection, I definitely suggest setting aside a good chunk of time to do everything.

These spiced brown sugar cookies are perfect if you’re looking for something different and unexpected for the holiday season. Adding the spices and the brown sugar to the mix definitely make these cookies feel warm and comfy. I also loved how this recipe didn’t require you to refrigerate the dough (though you could if you wanted to) so the whole baking process went by pretty quickly.

For frosting, I used this tutorial which I find to be extremely helpful. I finished things off with a little bit of decorative sugar, wrapped them up with snowmen/snowflake treat bags, and placed them all in a snowman/snowflake decorated tin. As guests left the party, they could either pick one up at the door or I’d hand it to them. Such a nice way to say, “Thank you for coming!” (And to show off your skills.)

Spiced Brown Sugar Cut-Out Cookies
adapted from Bake at 350, seen on Annie’s Eats

Ingredients
3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand mixer cream together butter and both sugars on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Turn dough out onto work surface and knead slightly if it is too crumbly. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out shapes as desired. Place shapes on baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 9-12 minutes. Allow to cool for several minutes on the sheet prior to moving them to a cooling rack.

Note: Dough can be refrigerated as a ball/disk prior to rolling it out or as already cut-out shapes for at least several hours provided it is covered tightly in plastic wrap in either scenario.

Royal Icing
adapted from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp meringue powder
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 4 c powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions
Combine ingredients in a large bowl fitted to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 7-10 minutes or until the sheen has disappeared and the icing is matte.

Transfer to an airtight container. Add water, mixing thoroughly by hand, a little bit at a time until the consistency is appropriate for piping, meaning liquid enough to pipe but stiff enough that it won’t spread. Divide into various airtight containers depending on how many colors you want to use. Color icing using gel coloring (if using liquid, you will need to cut back on water or add powdered sugar). Transfer some of the icing into piping bags fitted with an appropriate tip (I use Wilton #2 and #3 tips) and cover the remaining icing. Pipe around the edges of each cookie and allow to dry for at least an hour. Then, water down the remaining icing a bit more until it is appropriate for flooding, meaning able to spread but not so thin that it will take forever to dry. Using squeeze bottles, fill the cookies. Allow to set and then decorate with the piping bags.

See the tutorial that I used on decorating cookies at Annie’s Eats here!

What are you bringing to the holiday parties you’re attending this season?

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9 Comments »

  1. Xiaolu Said:

    These are sooo adorable! I love the scarf on the snowman. Masterful decorating :). I’m bringing peppermint Oreo fudge brownies to Christmas dinner. Hope to have the post up before new years :).

  2. Peggy Said:

    Those snowmen and snowflakes are definitely adorable! Great job on the icing!

  3. Cute! Love the snowy theme!

  4. GrammaSusan Said:

    What a wonderful Chritmas gift idea! Thanks so much!!

  5. What a great recipe! My grandmother used to make brown sugar cookies, but they were not roll out ones.

  6. You did so good! Such cute cookies. I’ve just started getting into decorating as well, and you’re right – it takes forever!!

  7. ++MIRA++ Said:

    really cool sugar cookies

  8. briarrose Said:

    Wonderful job on these. I love the cookie base you used…I’m so used to seeing a straight sugar cookie that spiced cookie would be a lovely surprise.

    Truffles have been my go to treat for taking to gatherings this year. I went the easy but pretty route this year. 😉

  9. Joanne Said:

    Haha you and I are oh so very similar! Taking on all sorts of ridiculous things in the name of parties and food and delicious decorated cookies! I am gonna decorate cookies for the first time this year also. and I’m kind of scared. Gulp. These are so adorable! Fantastic in every way. (And where did you find meringue powder??)


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