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:: Autumn Cookies ::

Maple and Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies

3 sticks butter (1 1/2 cups), softened
1/2 cup maple sugar 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars just until combined. 
Add the vanilla and maple flavoring, and mix. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and salt, 
then add to butter mixture. Mix on low just until dough comes together. 

Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a flat disk. 
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. 

Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/2 inch and cut into individual cookies. 
I used a 2-3″ maple leaf-shaped cookie cutter, but any 2-3″ cookie cutter would work. 

Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 18 minutes, 
or until the edges just begin to turn golden. Remove from oven and cool before serving.

Using your favorite sugar cookie recipe, then
decorate in amazing and beautiful ways!

Pumpkin-Pecan Spice Cookies

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch ground cardamom
1 1/3 cups finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup white vanilla baking chips
4 oz vanilla-flavored almond bark, chopped

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray, 
or line with cooking parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
In large bowl, beat brown sugar, butter, eggs, pumpkin and vanilla 
with electric mixer on medium speed. Stir in flour, baking powder and spices. 
Stir in pecans and baking chips. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. 
Remove to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Place candy coating in small resealable freezer plastic bag; seal bag. 
Microwave on High about 1 minute or until softened. 
Gently squeeze bag until coating is smooth; cut off tiny corner of bag. 
Squeeze bag to drizzle coating over cookies. Let stand until set.


Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat
in egg and vanilla. Add pumpkin; mix well. Combine the flour,
cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder; gradually add to
creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in walnuts.

Just to name a few. These are the ones I made for the neighborhood block party. It is so much fun!
The weather is so pleasant, the nights so cool for fires... I can never get enough of this.
Not ever. Truly, this is my favorite time of the year.

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