Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Leaf Lesson Cookies

After covering the patio with fall sidewalk chalk leaves yesterday, the girls were cold, hungry, and ready for a snack.  I figured they'd appreciate a plate of warm, fall scented cookies fresh from the oven, and so had slipped inside to mix up a quick batch of sugar cookie dough, with a fall twist.

I mixed together our usual 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 stick of butter, and two eggs, but left out the standard teaspoon of vanilla.  Instead, I divided the dough into fourths, and added a different flavor, and coloring to each portion of dough.

I chose baker's cocoa (about 2 tablespoons), maple pancake syrup (about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons) with red food coloring, and enough additional flour to offset the stickiness of the liquid, instant hot cider mix (about 2 teaspoons) with yellow food coloring, and pumpkin pie spice (about 1 teaspoon) with yellow and red food coloring to make orange.  To be honest, I didn't really measure the add-ins, but just added enough to make the dough smell good.

And, it did smell good - delicious in fact.

I gave the girls some of each color of dough to blend together, and roll out, along with a few freshly printed fall leaf identification sheets (from here and here) to use as guide for cutting leaf shapes from the dough with butter knives.

They didn't really try to match the appropriate colors to the shapes on the sheets, but did have fun discussing which type of leaf they were trying to copy.  And, thanks to a leaf anatomy sheet from the forestry section of

...they could name features, such as the midribs and veins, as they added them to their cookie creations.

The cookies smelled wonderful while baking (350°F for 13 minutes).  The children were skeptical about mixing the flavors together, but they blended nicely, and tasted as good as they smelled.

And, here we were thinking that with no trees in our new yard we'd be left without a leaf pile to dive into, this fall.  Problem solved.

Now, we just need to find a local fall foliage guide, so that as the leaves change around town, we can take a drive, and hopefully be able to identify some of the trees that are new to us, in this region of the country.


Karin Huber said...

I love cooking and baking with kids and your cookie-art project!

Dawn said...

You all always have the best projects. I love the cookies. They look scrumptious.
Blessings, Dawn

Phyllis said...

Where are you now?
The cookies are wonderfully beautiful and I bet they were yummy.

Debbie said...

Glad to see you getting settling in, I missed a few posts due to vacations. These cookies look so delicious.

Camie Madsen said...

What a fun and delicious way to study the fall leaves. Very cool.

Angelic Scalliwags said...

You might just be the coolest home school mum, ever!!

raventhreads said...

Wow! I love these. They're beautiful. I'm totally printing this out to do with Rose who really loves leaves :-)

Beth said...

What a great idea! So creative to change the colors and flavors!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Your cookies are really pretty!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your great ideas -- evening during moving & settling down!

Hope that everything will be well for your family.

Natalie PlanetSmartyPants said...

They look amazing! What a fun way to learn more about leaves.