Spiced Apple Cut Out Cookie Recipe and Fall Cookie Decorating Tutorial (Video)

Happy fall! I’ve gotten back into the swing of baking and have a new favorite cookie recipe to share with you. Lovely for autumn or any time, they are a perfect, keep-its shape, slightly crispy and so delicious – Spiced Apple Cut Out Cookies.

A little twist on the usual roll out cookie, they pair nicely with vanilla royal icing and are ideal for decorating and gifting (not to mention just snacking!).

You can find my go-to royal icing recipe HEREand if you’re feeling like adding a little chocolate, you can find my chocolate royal icing recipe HERE.

I’ll be sharing a little how-to video for the fall cookies near the end of the post as well, where you can find decorating links to all the tools you’ll need, as well as some tips and tricks.

The cookie cutters I used from Williams Sonoma are so adorable and some are actually originally designed as pie punches (to cut out pie crust shapes for a decorative edge).

The plunger cutter style made the raw cookie dough so easy to work with! If you’re not familiar with them, the plunger mechanism is used to easily push the dough out of the cutter, and can also be used to emboss the cookie with lines if you choose (if you don’t want them don’t push on the plunger while cutting your cookie shape out). Such clean lines every time, I love these! One tip to note is that I do lightly dip my cutters in flour before cutting the cookies out, it helps make sure the cookies just drop right out.

You could leave your undecorated cookies and still have that little added touch with the embossed details.

I used three different sets to make up this compilation of cookies; you can find them linked below:

Cookie Cutters

Cookie cutters used were the Fall Harvest Impression Cookie Cutter Kit and the Fall Pie Punches & Impression Cookie Cutters from Williams Sonoma.

The Apple, Turkey, Flower, Pumpkin and Heart Cookie Cutters are also from Williams Sonoma, from the Cookie of the Month Baking Kit.

Besides the adorable cookie cutters I was thrilled to be sponsored and receive some gorgeous items, pictured in this post, from Williams Sonoma. It’s hands-down one of my favorite places to shop, so of course am so excited to be sharing some of their things with you. Williams Sonoma sells such beautiful bakeware, cookware, kitchen and home related items, it’s my go-to home related place to shop.

The Traditionaltouch Cookie Sheet is perfect for baking rollout cookies. The commercial-quality pan distributes heat evenly for perfect browning.

The angled side provides an easy way to grip the pan, and the longer sides are flat, so that when the cookies are cooled, you could slide them right off. You can find the cookie sheet HERE.

I don’t know about you, but I love beautiful dish towels in the kitchen. If you’ve noticed the classic pink and yellow striped ones in this post, it’s again thanks to Williams Sonoma. You can find them HERE.

The elegant white Pillivuyt cake stand is also from Williams Sonoma. You can find it HERE.

Not just pretty to look at, the Boos Edge-Grain Rectangular Maple Cutting Board pictured above is an exceptionally hard cutting board which provides a stable work surface and also helps protect finely honed blades. You can find it from Williams Sonoma, HERE.

About the cookie shapes, they’re beautiful on their own or decorated with icing – these sweet shapes are perfect for fall, Thanksgiving or any time really. More on decorating later, first the recipe:

A few quick notes:

I used apple flavoring and spiced apple cider drink mixes to help get that apple flavor. in The photo below, the packet at the top is from Amazon, and the packet pictured below from my local grocery store. They come in a variety of boxes. (I use 5 packs for approximately 60 cookies, the recipe will list the amounts etc.) I found that both brands tasted delicious and were interchangeable.

Not necessary for the recipe, but it does add a bit more of an apple punch, is this apple flavor extract I bought on Amazon.

Spiced Apple Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

Servings: 35 average sized cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 packs spiced apple powder drink mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp natural apple flavoring *optional
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed. (Use the paddle attachment). Mix until thoroughly incorporated – for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more. Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough. If you’d like a light and fluffy cookie, that’s ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you’d like the cookie to hold its shape.

  • Add the spiced apple powder and mix.

  • Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.

  • Add the flour in 2 or 3 stages to the bowl and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, and observe the dough mixing. When it starts to come together and the dough clumps around the paddle attachment and peels away from the sides of the mixer, it should be the right texture. A quick note – To see if your dough is ready, you can test the dough by pinching it between your thumb and index finger. If it’s soft but not sticky, it’s just right. If it’s too sticky when you pinch it between your fingers, add flour, ¼ cup at a time, and mix until you’re happy with the texture.
  • Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge or freezer for a minimum of 1 hour.

  • Cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Re-roll scraps and repeat. If the dough gets too soft to work with, place in the fridge or freezer periodically to firm up again.

  • Once all cut out, put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again. They will then hold their shape better when baked.

  • Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. The baking time will depend on the size and thickness of your cookie.

  • Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate if you like! If you’re new to decorating cookies, I have basic cookie decorating tutorials with everything you’ll need to know to begin on my blog. Have fun!

A few other notes about the recipe, especially handy if you’re new to cut out cookies:

Notes

The key to these cookies keeping their shape lies not only in the combination of ingredients (exact measurement in baking is important) and omission of the leavening agent (ie baking powder), but in some crucial points in the process. You can find a whole post dedicated to cookies keeping their shape here.

Use the best quality butter you can find. Higher quality butter has less water content, and therefore spreads less during baking. When creaming your butter and sugars, mix only until just incorporated. Traditionally, creaming the butter and sugar means whipping it until it becomes light and fluffy, but doing this will incorporate too much air for this cut-out cookie… perfect for cakes and cupcakes though. Also chill your cookie shapes to almost the frozen point (even frozen works if you have the time) before baking.

These cookies will be frozen to keep them as fresh as possible for Thanksgiving. Find a post on freezing cookies here.

If you’re baking a little closer to Thanksgiving than I am, here’s a post for you on the shalf life of cookies.

Such a simple recipe to make and the perfect palette for sweet cookie designs. You can find the icing recipe, tips and tools I used below, if you’d like to make them too.

Video – Fall Decorated Cookies

Click HERE if you can’t see the video.

Cookie Decorating Basics

Here are some posts which take you through cookie decorating basics:

{Video} Cookie Decorating Tools & How to Fill a Piping Bag

{Video} How to Outline and Flood Cookies with Royal Icing

{Video} How to Dry Cookies Decorated with Royal Icing

Royal Icing

You can find my favorite royal icing recipe here. The consistency of icing is key for easy decorating. Click here to see a YouTube video on finding the right icing thickness.

Complete Guide to Royal Icing PDF

You can also find my Complete Guide to Royal Icing Consistency here.

Decorating Items

What you’ll need (These are Amazon affiliate links):

Cookie Designs Icing Consistency

All the icing consistencies are medium, unless mentioned otherwise. You can find my Complete Guide to Royal Icing Consistency here.

Such a simple recipe to make and the perfect palette for sweet cookie designs – have fun making these too! Please feel free to reach out with questions or comments in the comment section below, or you can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter.

Happy baking!

x

Marian

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