Perfect for a sweet autumn treat or a Thanksgiving dessert table spread, these beautiful cookies were created by Jacinda Harper, CC user Alissweettooth! We wanted to know how she created these fancy fall creations, so she put together these autumn cookie tutorials to help show Cake Central users the process behind each cookie.
Interested in more tutorials by Jacinda? Check out her beautiful How to Make a Sequined Dress Cookie tutorial to learn how to make her exquisite dress cookies that were featured in Volume 4, Issue 9 of Cake Central Magazine.
Fall cutters or a paring knife
Piping consistency royal icing in dark brown with a #1.5 tip and deep green with a leaf tip and a #1.5 tip for details.
Flood (thinned) royal icing in yellow, red, orange, light brown and green. (All colors can be achieved by mixing a small amount of any brown food coloring to your primary colors. If you can mix these the night before, the color will deepen with time.)
Food safe paint brushes
Gold luster dust mixed with vodka or extract
Brown luster dust or food coloring for details
(optional) edible gold glitter
The nice thing about making Fall cookies is, the vary in size in nature and can be hand cut without worry about the difference in sizes and shapes. You can buy fall cutters at most craft store, but if you don’t have them, a knife and a little creativity will do. You can also print images of fall leaves found online and make templates from disposable cutting boards. I found the standard leaf to be the easiest to create.
You take your knife and cut two small lines. You do not have to press the edges in for a clean look because the serrated looking edge makes a perfect template for a natural looking leaf. I also used the pumpkin cutter for the apples.
Once your cookies are baked and cooled, I like to outline them all in my thick, brown icing and let them set up for a few minutes prior to flooding. This helps to prevent your icing from falling off the cookie, and gives you a guideline for flooding. Each cookie is done differently, but can’t be done wrong. You use a lot of your imagination with these.
When working on the sunflower cookie, you can use any small lid to make a circle template so they are all uniform in size and easy to follow. I trace the lid with a food safe marker. If you don’t have markers, you can grind the lid into the cookie and brush off any crumbs.
For the leaves, you can do those in solid colors, or use a wet on wet method. I used actual fall leaves as my inspiration. You can take any combination of your flood icing and fill your cookie.
Once you have your cookie filled, you will want to work fast and take your toothpick to drag the colors into one another. You can’t do this wrong and will find they really come together once you add your details later. Rather than let the icing set up completely, I like to add my details while it’s still soft enough to almost sink. This prevents the icing from falling off the cookies, and gives it a more natural look. You don’t want your icing to be too soft, or the detail will sink and the gold will not show up as well.
Using your thick, brown icing, you want to add veins to your leaves. Again, this is an organic look and you can do as much, or as little as you would like. This is also where I add detail to the apple by outlining the leaf and stem. For the acorn, you can add some lines or dots on the top and outline if you like that look. For the sunflower, you would want to add your dots to the center and try to keep them spaced apart so they don’t blend together while drying.
For the Apples, I pipe a leaf in the center and flood the green first. I let that set up for about fifteen minutes before adding another color so they don’t blend together. The same method is used for the pumpkin, sunflower, and acorn. You flood sections, alternating so the icing doesn’t blend together. Once a crust is formed, you add your other colors and set them aside to dry. This is a method of tufting and can be used for several cookie styles.
Next you would want to use your thick green to accent your pumpkin cookie. I use my small tip to make swirls that come down the cookie. I find that rolling your wrist to the right while piping really helps get the vine look. You then want to add your leaf tip. Any leaf tip will do. I like to add mine to the top, just under the stem. At this point, you will want to let your cookies dry for a few hours. Overnight is not needed, and I have found a small fan will help to set them up in about an hour.
You will want to mix your gold luster dust with alcohol or an extract at this time. I like to keep mine thicker for painting. I use a food safe paintbrush that has been cut short so that it will not touch the cookie, but only the detail you are wanting to add your gold to. I find holding the brush flat and on it’s side really helps. I wouldn’t spend too much time trying to cover your brown detail. I like to add a little gold to the edges of the cookie as well. You really can’t do this wrong and it looks good as an accent as well.
For your brown food coloring, or luster dust, you will want a fine tipped paintbrush and a paper towel to dab it on before adding details to your cookies. I use it to add some lines to the sunflowers and pumpkins. This is optional. Now would also be the time to add a small amount of edible glitter if you have it. I find dipping a clean paintbrush into the glitter pot and lightly tapping it will leave a thin layer that gives just the right amount of sparkle.
I hope I have helped you to create your own fall platter. These cookies have so many possibilities and can be done in any way you’d like. As easy or hard as you want them to be. Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you so much for viewing my tutorial.
Ali’s Sweet Tooth
Beautiful cookies & a great tutorial; thank you for sharing your expertise!