Crisp, sugar-dusted leaves and acorns celebrate the fall season.
- Yield: Makes 4 dozen
Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2004
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup dark unsulfured molasses
- 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
- Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Whisk together flour, cocoa, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg, molasses, and grated ginger; mix until combined. Add flour mixture; mix on low speed until just combined.
Halve dough; flatten into two disks. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour. Transfer disks, one at a time, to a lightly floured surface; roll out to 1/4 inch thick. (If dough gets soft, freeze until firm.) Use 3-inch acorn or leaf cookie cutters to make shapes; place 1 inch apart on sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
Score designs with a knife; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are firm, 11 to 13 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.