So, the cool temperatures that have finally come halfway through September were enough to get me away from the sewing machine and baking. To be honest, as early as Labor day, the smells of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar were all lingering around the house, but today was the first Sugar Cookie batch. No ordinary cookie…but a spiced cookie and of course decorated; and I’d like to think they are healthier using half the normal amount of butter, and whole wheat flour. They have a light texture with a delicate crumb, and the hint of spice goes excellent with a cup of coffee.
Spiced sugar cookies with Glazed icing.
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup light vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup Splenda (or generic granulated artificial sweetener)
1 tablespoon molasses
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (finely ground)
1/4 cup regular all purpose flour (plus additional for rolling out dough)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
Blend butter, yogurt, vanilla, sugars and molasses until a creamed mixture. In a separate bowl combine other dry ingredients. Mix into the creamed mixture. Form into a ball and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350. Roll out dough on a floured surface about 1/4″ thick. Cut with desired cookie cutters. Place on baking sheet and bake just 8 minutes. Be careful not to over bake them, or they will be crispy. (I prefer a softer sugar cookie, so I do about 6-8 min and remove as soon as the bottoms look light brown. I leave on the sheet for an additional minute out of the oven to cool so they aren’t too limp.)
Allow to cool, then ice and decorate as desired.
Pumpkin Spiced Icing
2 cups Powdered sugar
About 1 tsp pumpkin extract (or use a concentrated Pumpkin syrup)
Pinch of Cinnamon
2-4 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
For this icing, it does require some practice to get the right consistency, I use water to liquefy the icing a bit. Being in a dry climate has helped because the water evaporates out and I end up with a glossy slightly hard/soft sugar cookie icing without the eggs whites or corn syrup.
In a large bowl, put your sugar. Add in the syrups and extract. Gradually add in water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is able to stir and will slowly drip off of the spoon, but not watery.
When at a thicker stage, you can put it into an icing bag and pipe icing around the edges of the cookie, then water the icing down a little more and spoon it to the center filling in the top. Or just leave a little thicker and spread with a knife.