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Bring Autumn Colors to Spiced Sweets

10/03/2016 01:31 ● Published by Family Features

Cooler temperatures, beautiful changing leaves and the familiar scent of pumpkin pie spice are all signs of fall. Whether you’re hosting a pumpkin carving party or decorating sweet treats with family, celebrate the season with maple-flavored leaf-shaped cookies, pumpkin patch cupcakes and hot apple cider.

“The crisp air seems to inspire us all to start baking again,” said McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter. “Create an autumn frosting palate with our new Color from Nature Food Colors, which are made from ingredients such as beets and turmeric. You can combine the trio of starter colors – berry, sunflower and sky blue – to make everything from a maroon glaze for an Autumn Leaf Cookie to orange frosting for a Pumpkin Patch Cupcake.”

The Color from Nature Food Colors can be used in icing, beverages and other no-bake recipes for best results. For more tips and recipes for the fall and Halloween season, visit McCormick.com or look for McCormick Spice on Pinterest and Facebook.

Glazed Autumn Leaf Cookies
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Maple Extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and maple extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.
  2. Roll dough on generously floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out leaves with 2- to 3-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutters. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
  4. Prepare desired colors of glazes. Decorate cooled cookies with glazes.

Glaze Variations: For the variations below, dissolve the designated amount of the Color from Nature Food Colors with water in small bowl. Stir in any remaining ingredients until smooth.

To glaze cookies, hold a cookie by its edge and dip the top into the glaze. (Or spoon the glaze onto cookies using a teaspoon.) Place iced cookies on wire rack set over foil-covered baking sheet to dry. (The foil-covered baking sheet will catch drips.) Let stand until glaze is set.

Maroon Cookie Glaze: Use 1/2 teaspoon Berry color from McCormick Color from Nature - Assorted Food Colors, 3 tablespoons water (plus additional to dissolve color), 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.

Forest Green Cookie Glaze: Use 1/2 teaspoon Sky Blue color and 1/4 teaspoon Sunflower color from McCormick Color from Nature - Assorted Food Colors, 3 tablespoons water (plus additional to dissolve color), 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.

Pumpkin Cookie Glaze: Use 1 teaspoon Sunflower color and 1/4 teaspoon Berry color from McCormick Color from Nature - Assorted Food Colors, 3 tablespoons water (plus additional to dissolve color) and 2 cups confectioners’ sugar.

Test Kitchen Tips:

  • Use glaze soon after preparing. Do not refrigerate glaze, as it will begin to harden.
  • Allow glaze to dry before storing cookies in airtight containers.

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes
Prep time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes

  • 2          cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
  • 4          teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2          boxes (16 ounces each) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3          tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons Sunflower color from McCormick Color from Nature - Assorted Food Colors, divided
  • 1/4       teaspoon Berry color from McCormick Color from Nature - Assorted Food Colors
  • 1          teaspoon Sky Blue color from McCormick Color from Nature - Assorted Food Colors
  • 24        unfrosted cupcakes
  • 12        regular marshmallows, halved crosswise
  • 12        small chocolate flavored taffy rolls (Tootsie Roll), halved crosswise
  1. Beat butter and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Remove 2 cups of the frosting into medium microwavable bowl. Tint frosting orange using 1 teaspoon Sunflower color and 1/4 teaspoon Berry color. Set aside.
  3. Tint remaining frosting green using 1 teaspoon Sky Blue color and remaining 1/2 teaspoon Sunflower color. Spread top of cupcakes with green frosting. Using a fork, gently touch frosting in different directions to resemble grass spikes.
  4. To make the pumpkins, microwave the orange frosting on HIGH 10 to 20 seconds or until runny. Using a fork, dip marshmallow halves into frosting mixture, then place on top of frosted cupcakes. Let stand until pumpkin frosting has dried. Press a tootsie roll half in center of each pumpkin for the stem. Decorate leaves and vines with remaining green frosting, if desired.

Spiced Caramel Apple Cider
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 cup caramel topping
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Apple Pie Spice
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  1. Bring apple cider, caramel topping and apple pie spice to simmer in medium saucepan. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Pour into serving cups. Serve topped with whipped cream, additional
    caramel topping and apple pie spice, if desired.

Flavor Variations: For the variations below, use the following extract in place of the vanilla:

Spiced Caramel Orange Cider: Use 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Pure Orange Extract.

Spiced Caramel Maple Cider: Use 3/4 teaspoon McCormick Maple Extract.

Spiced Caramel Rum Cider: Use 3/4 teaspoon McCormick Rum Extract.

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