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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Spiced Brown Sugar Cut-Out Cookies Cooking View


Sugar cookies one of the things I make so often, I know the recipe by heart.  I love my favorite sugar cookie recipe so much that I find it difficult to even try new variations.  This weekend since I was working on Thanksgiving favors, I decided to try a fall-inspired variety that includes brown sugar and fall spices.  I am pleased to say, these taste absolutely wonderful.  They are a really nice seasonal change and this recipe is a keeper.


I was feeling pretty skeptical when mixing and rolling out the dough, as it was slightly drier than my usual recipe.  Thankfully, these cookies have a lovely texture when all is said and done and are definitely not dry.  Even though there is no maple flavoring included, my first taste of these conjured up the flavor of a maple glazed doughnut.


These cookie designs were inspired by the Operation: Give Thanks printables I found over at Hostess With the Mostess.  (I wanted to use the printables for my Thanksgiving but they are not cooperating for me, so I am just improvising.)  If you have never worked with royal icing before but would like to give it a try, see my royal icing tutorial for tips and tricks.

 

Spiced Brown Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cooking View

Directions

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium bowl; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, brown sugar and butter.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the egg and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Form the dough into a ball or disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Chill until firm, at least 30-60 minutes.

  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about ¼-inch thickness.  Use cookie cutters to form desired shapes and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheet a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Decorate as desired.

Source

  • Claire

    the piping is absolutely beautiful.

  • http://www.blueeyedbakers.com The Blue-Eyed Bakers

    Gorgeous! Love the idea of making spiced sugar cookies, so much more interesting than the standard white sugar cookie!

  • http://www.hezzi-dsbooksandcooks.blogspot.com Hezzi-D

    These are beautiful! Your cookies always look amazing!

  • http://mikaspantry.blogspot.com Mika Garnett

    Oh my gosh! Those are absolutely gorgeous!! Great job!!

  • http://keepitsweet.wordpress.com KeepItSweet

    these look so pretty! love this. i am not a big fan of sugar cookies but these do sound tasty

  • Carmen

    I am definitely going to give these a try. Beautiful job!

  • http://growingongettysburg.blogspot.com Sarah

    Seriously, these are amazing!

  • http://fromapples2zucchini.blogspot.com/ Pam

    These sound amazing! I wanted to find something less traditional than gingerbread to do and I think I may have just found them – thank you for sharing these beautiful cookies!

  • http://tryityoumightlikeit.wordpress.com tryityoumightlikeit

    Those are just awesome! Royal icing makes me nervous for some reason. I’ll have to break down and try it sometime soon.

  • HB

    This sounds delish! The penmanship is amazing! Just gorgeous! Love my scalloped edge cutters:).

  • http://www.d-lightfuldesigns.blogspot.com D

    Very pretty.

  • http://www.jennalaughs.com/ jenna laughs

    I adore these! Such beautiful piping. I love the addition of fall spices, especially allspice. Yum!

  • Emily

    These are absolutely gorgeous, Annie! I’m sure they are delicious, too.

  • Jennifer N.

    No kidding. Annie, you have absolutely outdone yourself on these. I don’t know where you get the energy!

  • http://theblissfulbaker.wordpress.com the blissful baker

    such pretty cookies! your decorating skills are so impressive!

  • http://www.cherrystainedlips.blogspot.com Anya

    Your piping skills are truly admirable! I am mortified to try icing my own cookies, but your cookies are inspirational and I’m dying to give it a shot myself!

  • http://happywhennothungry.wordpress.com happywhennothungry

    These look delicious and your piping is amazing! Thanks for sharing :-)

  • http://www.thesingledish.com Heather @ The Single Dish

    You need to start selling you sugar cookies, they are amazing! You have a true talent for this!

  • Kristen

    Hi Annie, I’ve made your ‘favorite sugar cookie recipe” several times (minus the vanilla bean). This weekend I found some cheaper beans so I added the seeds…YUM! Love the strong vanilla taste with the lemon!
    Happy Thanksgiving

  • http://www.lake-breeze.blogspot.com Tammi Marie

    very pretty

  • http://kelseysappleaday.blogspot.com Kelsey

    These are so cute, Annie. Your guests will absolutely love them!

  • Kelly

    Awesome! I love that you changed the flavor of the sugar cookies, I get bored with the basic recipe but I’ve always been too scared to mess with my recipe. Great job with the piping!

  • http://oliepants.wordpress.com OliePants

    I agree! This is such intricate work and you always make it look effortness – no mistake at all!

  • http://viaviands.com Megan

    I love the look of these cookies – gorgeous!

  • Steph

    These look cute and yummy! I wonder if you could glaze them with a maple icing! yum!

  • Tiffani

    These are beautiful! Amazing job. ;)

  • http://comfortofcooking.blogspot.com Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    You are so talented with sugar cookies, Annie. These look wonderful and full of fall flavor, and the recipe seems pretty easy! Thanks for sharing yet another of your beautiful cookie creations! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  • Jenny

    Annie, These look wonderful; better that the printables. Given your artistic talent and creativity you should always work with royal icing! Your desserts always look amazing.

  • http://www.moveablefeastscookbook.blogspot.com Barbara

    I am so impressed! You did a super job decorating. I wish I was better at it. Everyone’s going to love those on Thanksgiving!

  • http://fieryirishangel.wordpress.com Dani

    Annie, these are beautiful. I love the script on the Give Thanks cookies and the look of the trees, which immediately reminded me of the Mod Table Tree centerpiece on HWTM (http://www.hostessblog.com/2010/11/diy-tutorial-mod-table-tree-centerpiece/) , which I loved.

  • http://theavidappetite.com Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    These are just gorgeous! I have been dying to try royal icing!

  • http://www.myfindsonline.com/ Amanda

    Absolutely beautiful! I love the colors.

  • http://www.cuocicucidici.blogspot.com EliFla

    These cookie are very very nice…here in Italy is impossible to find brownsugar… :(

  • http://momsgooseberrypie.blogspot.com/ Nancy

    Beautiful cookies! I could only wish to make some as lovely as yours.

  • http://www.cakestory.blogspot.com CakeStory

    Finally – A sugar cookie that’s not so plain! I will definitely try these for the holidays. These are beautiful and seem to have held their shape wonderfully. Did you re-chill the cut-outs again before baking?

  • Annie

    No.

  • Annie

    I actually do sell them :)

  • http://www.jamiecooksitup.blogspot.com Jamie Cooks It Up!

    How darling! Love the design.

  • Jaime

    Wow, Seriously…Adorable, love these!!! I never made cookies like this and you make me want to try them.

  • Jamie Z

    These look great and delicious!!! I have a problem with my cookie dough spreading all over the place when I bake it. I even tried putting the cookies in the fridge before the oven to chill and firm the dough before cooking. They always balloon up and then out. My two inch circles turn into 4.5 inch circles. Any suggestions?

  • Erica

    Beautiful cookie! Very inspiring!! Are you planning on freezing your cookies until Thanksgiving, or do they usually keep at room temp?? I was wondering if you do freeze your cookies, how you go about it, so that they stay so nice when you go to serve them. Thanks :)

  • http://savour-fare.com Kate @ Savour Fare

    I’m just in awe of your piping skills! I don’t think my handwriting is that neat with a pen!

  • Annie

    I actually think it depends entirely on the recipe. Part of the reason I like this and my other sugar cookie recipe is that they keep their shape perfectly even after baking.

  • Annie

    They keep at room temp when packaged airtight. You shouldn’t freeze sugar cookies that have been decorated with royal icing because condensation can form during the thawing process and melt the icing.

  • http://theblogisthenewblack.wordpress.com Liz @ Blog is the New Black

    Simply gorgeous!

  • http://likemotherlikedaughters.com/ UrMomCooks

    These are delightful! Your guests are lucky indeed! And the dough sounds absolutely delicious! (would make awesome favors for any fall gathering…)

  • http://www.thecurvycarrot.com Shanon

    I am thankful for my friend Annie who is a freaking brilliant genius at baking….especially amazing royal icing cookies! Congrats on being featured on Hostess with the Mostess! Because you certainly are, my dear! :)

  • Erica

    Thanks!!

  • Ally

    Holy Cannoli Annie! These are amazing! So flawless, you are so talented!

  • Heather

    I wish you were my friend!!! Funny enough my husband and I have been following your blog for a couple months now, and I feel like you are my friend even though we have never met. We are so impressed and amazed by your talent. My husband is actually the “baker” in our home but I think I may give your “Give Thanks” cookies a try!!! They look so beautiful and DELICIOUS!!!! Thanks for sharing. and Thanks for blogging!!!

  • Katherine

    Hey Annie, I was wondering where you got the square crinkle cookie cutter?

  • Annie

    It’s just a basic scalloped square cutter, I’m sure you can find one like it in lots of places. I actually don’t remember where I got this one.

  • http://www.diaryofamadhausfrau.com/ Lora

    A eautiful, creative and unusual idea for Thanksgiving cookies. Wow.

  • Rachel

    I made this dough last night and baked off a couple of pans. These really are easy to whip up and so tasty–even without the icing. I’m going to try my hand at royal icing tonight–I’ve never done it before–and I’m so excited. If I make some cookies half as pretty as the picture, I’ll be satisfied! :-)

  • http://apinchofthisandadashofthat.blogspot.com CaSaundra

    Once again, amazing job! Each batch gets better and better :-)

  • Elise

    So beautiful! I can’t wait to make these. I’ve never tried flooding with royal icing and now I’m totally inspired to give it a go! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • http://www.skinnytaste.com Gina @ Skinnytaste

    I just saw this on the kitchn Annie! Congrats!

  • http://ameliagrazia.blogspot.com Amy

    wow. these are beautiful and they look delicious. i think i would feel guilty eating them, though!

  • Abby

    Are all the details completed with thicker icing? Or do you also pipe outlines for the details and then fill them in with thinned icing?

  • http://thedabble.com/blog/ thedabble

    These are adorable! Happy turkey time!

  • Mel

    Awesome website. Can I just ask how many cookies this recipe makes?

  • Annie

    That totally depends on the shape/size of cookie cutter you use.

  • Annie

    Please read the royal icing tutorial, these questions are addressed there.

  • Erin

    Gorgeous cookies! Tonight was my first try ever with Royal icing – I used this cookie recipe with it. Couple of questions – do you like the taste of royal icing? Do you think it “goes” with the flavor of these cookies or is it better on regular sugar cookies? I’m under the impression that royal icing is best for appearance/decorating, not necessarily for the way it tastes…what’s your opinion?

    I LOVE your blog, I’m so happy I found it! I’ve made several of your recipes in the past month, and all found rave reviews from my family and friends! =) Thanks for doing what you do!

  • Annie

    Royal icing is definitely for decorative purposes and not for taste. I don’t have anything against the taste but I’m never like, “Man, I could really go for some royal icing.”

  • http://gorgeousgourmet.blogspot.com/ Lisa

    As always these are SO beautiful! I always struggle with having enough royal icing made or knowing how much to make – especially when multiple colors are used…I’m sure that just comes with experience, but do you usually use any kind of guide to know how much royal icing you will need? Thanks! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Annie

    Lisa, unfortunately I have no good answer for that. I now nearly always start with a double batch (8 cups powdered sugar) because that way I’ll usually have more than enough icing. But sometimes, especially when I have a really large order, it’s hard to know and I frequently end up making extra. Thankfully it only takes a few minutes to whip up and requires only three ingredients, so that makes it easier.

  • http://www.confectionarydesigns.com Stephanie

    Wow! Really like the details on these cookies – very creative and nicely done.

  • Jessica

    Annie,
    Your cookies are beautiful and I decided to duplicate the recipe to use as place holders for my family on Thanksgiving. However, I noticed the dough was very crumbly putting it in the fridge as well as taking it out. I had to roll multiple times to achieve the correct consistency. Is there some other wet ingredient you add that you did not include in the recipe?

  • Annie

    No, I actually mentioned the dryness of the dough in my post. But, after rolling it out, mine worked just fine.

  • Maria

    Annie, a friend led me to your site a few days ago and I’ve been reading it nonstop. So excited to have found a useful site with gorgeous photos…very inspiring. You’ve motivated me to expand my baking skills. I tried the sugar cookies and royal icing almost immediately and LOVE the results…not hard at all. Of course, I kept it simple: white stars sprinkled with white sugar crystals–very sparkly and lovely. Thanks for the tutorials and the inspiration. I don’t know if you take recipes from those of us who email you, but I have an Oreo Cheesecake recipe I’ve been using for 27 years that is heavenly and an Chocolate Cupcake with Fudge Frosting that is to die for…would love to share them with you since you so graciously share with all your readers.

  • http://warmvanillasugar.wordpress.com Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I’ve only ever made white cut-out cookies. I will give these beauties a try as soon as I can!

  • Jennifer P

    Hi Annie! I made you sugar cookies last Christmas and they tasted just fabulous. I saw these and knew I had to make them for Thanksgiving. I ended up just cutting out rounds and making sandwiches with this maple cream filling http://www.morsefarm.com/pages/recipes/maplecremecookies.php They were rich and yummy and the flavors were perfect for fall. I can’t wait to make the sugar cookies again for Christmas!!

  • http://oneshotbeyond.com/ oneshotbeyond

    no…you didn’t?!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOA!!!

  • Amy

    Made these tonight and they taste amazing! I think I overbaked the first batch because they seemed a tad dry to me, but I think the next batch will be perfect! Or maybe they are supposed to be that way :)

  • :D

    Can you described the texture whether they are crispy or soft texture sugar cookies? I’ve tried many sugar cookie recipes, but I like the cookies to be more on the crispy like a shortbread.

    Also, how far in advance before Xmas can you make these?

  • Annie

    Not crispy. Close to shortbread, I guess. How far in advance – depends on if you plan to freeze them, decorate them, etc.

  • http://penniesonaplatter.com Nikki

    Using this recipe right now for Father’s Day cookies. Judging by the taste of the dough alone, I know they are going to be amazing. :)

  • http://christineskitchenchronicles.blogspot.com Christine @ Christine’s Kitchen Chronicles

    Thank you Annie for another great recipe! The cookie absolutely screams with Fall flavor and will be added to my rotation. I didn’t have time to do pretty decorations like you did so went with a simple maple syrup icing instead.

    http://christineskitchenchronicles.blogspot.com/2011/10/brown-sugar-spice-cutout-cookies-with.html

  • http://recipesremembered.wordpress.com anna maria

    Hi Annie!

    I’m going to make these for Thanksgiving this year. Do you remember what colors/tips you used for these? I think I’ll be able to approximate the colors just fine, but mostly wondering if you used a #2 or #3 tip to decorate?

    Thanks!

  • Annie

    I generally use a 2 for details and 1 for writing, but it has been a while so I can’t say that with certainty.

  • Kortney

    Thanks so much for this recipe and royal icing tutorial! I made these (not nearly as cute, but at least I attempted lol) for Thanksgiving and they were a big hit!! Will now be my go-to cookie recipe :-)

  • Elyssa

    These cookies taste amazing! I’ve made them more than once. Very dangerous to have around :S

  • Cara

    These cookies are absolutely amazing… a fab fall twist on the sugar cookie!! Thanks, again, for always posting reliable and delicious recipes