This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
Until relatively recently, cutout cookies really intimidated me. Now, they’ve become one of my favorite kitchen projects.
I think my breakthrough was being able to let go of the expectation of perfect. I adore those perfectly-frosted cookies, but that’s just not in my wheelhouse right now. Luckily, these cookies taste just as good and are just as fun without a perfect icing job.
This post is sponsored in conjunction with AppleWeek . I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
Guys, I have been chomping at the bit to share these adorable cookies with you! These are such a fun treat for the season – not only do they look like apples, they’re also loaded up with apple cider flavor! I added apple cider mix to the cookie dough, and apple cider to the icing, so you get a nice apple bite all the way through.
Also, even though these look impressive, they’re really easy to decorate – a great first project if you’re new to royal icing!
I portioned out just a little icing for the leaves and stems, then colored the rest red. After outlining all of the apples, I thinned the icing a little to flood the outlined area. Squeezed on a little stem and some leaves and voila! Apples.
The face and highlights were added with a food-safe marker (an easy way to add some extra decoration without making more icing colors)!
These were the perfect use for the sugar Imperial Sugar sent us, too! To get the depth of flavor, the cookies use both white and brown sugar, and the icing uses powdered sugar, too!
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used Imperial Sugar)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used Imperial Sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 packets hot apple cider mix
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. meringue powder
2½ cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. apple cider
3 Tbsp. water
In a stand mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, baking powder, and cider mix and beat until well incorporated.
Mix in flour, one cupful at a time. If the dough is sticky after all the flour is well incorporated, add additional flour, 2 Tbsp. at a time, until no longer sticky.
Sandwich the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out until 1/4″ thick. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. Once the dough is hard to the touch, cut out shapes and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. You want to remove them before the edges start to brown. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.
When the cookies are fully cooled, make the icing:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the meringue powder, powdered sugar, cider and water. Mix until thick and glossy – about 7 minutes.
Remove 1/3 cup of the icing – tint half brown and half green. Tint the remaining icing red.
Using a piping bag, outline the cookies with the red icing, then add 1 Tbsp. cider to the remaining red and use it to flood the outlined cookies, spreading the frosting gently when needed.
Pip the stem and leaves on using the brown and green icing.
Let dry for several hours or overnight. Store in an airtight container.
Disclaimer: Thank youAppleWeek Sponsors: Swiss Diamond, Nordic Ware, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, The Spice House, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan’s Irish Oats and Nairn’s for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. TheAppleWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. TheAppleWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the AppleWeek posts or entry.