Brown sugar, a hint of cinnamon, and a delicate maple glaze perfectly compliment the nutty undertones of the whole wheat flour in this lightened up, wholesome cutout cookie.
This cookie, friends, this cookie was my white whale. I cannot tell you how long I have searched for that perfect cutout cookie recipe. The problem I’ve encountered is that I want a cookie that is whole wheat, low fat and low sugar. I also want it to be lightly crunchy but not dense or hard. I basically want a healthy cookie that doesn’t taste like cardboard. Is that asking too much? For awhile I thought it was, but I am so excited to share with you my newest (successful) cookie experiment. There are so many things to love about this cookie and a few important things to make note of before beginning, that I thought I’d do my go-to move and make a list.
1) This cookie is not overly sweet on its own. The brown sugar provides just enough. Without the glaze, I’d say it has the sweetness of a graham cracker. It’s nice but not overwhelming which is perfect once you brush on a thin layer of my easy maple glaze.
2) Being a huge cinnamon fan, I opted to add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the batter. When combined with the very subtle undertones of molasses provided by the brown sugar, the nutty undertones that the whole wheat flour brings to the party, and of course the sweet maple glaze….. Well the cinnamon just brings it all together in a beautiful symphony of flavor. So yes, the cinnamon is optional but no, please don’t leave it out!!!
3)Chilling. Yes, unfortunately chilling the dough is very necessary. I love cookie recipes that don’t require chilling. Make, bake, and um… Devour. That’s basically my motto. But for cutout cookies, the colder the dough, the better your cookie will retain it’s shape and not spread. SO, I chilled mine overnight and then set the dough out for a few minutes before rolling. If you can’t wait that long, chill 3-4 hours. If you find your pre-baked cookies are sitting and warming up while waiting for their turn in the oven, stick them in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
4) The maple glaze. This is my favorite part. This glaze hardens fairly quickly once applied to the cookies and makes enough for the entire batch to be covered in a thin layer. If you’re having a fun cookie decorating party (am I the only one who does those? Sigh, dorky mom alert, yes it’s true. I am THAT mom) but if you’re making a lot of different colors, then I suggest making a double batch just to make sure there’s enough to go around and enough for all the fun colors. I opted to use a tiny drop of maple extract in the glaze to really compliment the cinnamon in the cookies and maple just seemed appropriate with leaf cookies:) If you aren’t a fan of maple, you could definitely substitute vanilla.
5) When decorating cookies with my mess loving kiddos, I have found that using small thin paintbrushes work really well. Plastic knives can be hard for little hands to control plus the brushes make the prettiest tie dye effect. I found that it worked best to paint a cookie one solid color and then carefully swirl a few contrasting colors on top. Done and done.
What are you’re favorite cutouts to make?
Whole Wheat Cutout Cookies
Yield: 20 medium cookies
Prep Time: 4 1/2 hours
Cook Time: 9 minutes
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons salted butter (softened)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons 2% milk (any milk is fine)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1-2 tablespoon 2% milk (any milk is fine)
1/8 teaspoon maple extract
Assorted food dye color
In a small bowl, combine flours, baking powder, and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, beat butter, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract until well combined.
Add flour mixture and continue beating until smooth.
Beat in 1-2 tablespoons of milk (I used 2) if dough is too dry.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap or place dough in a plastic zip bag and refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.
Once dough is properly chilled, set out on the counter for 10-15 minutes.
While dough is softening, preheat oven to 350F
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough in between 2 sheets of parchment paper until 3-4 millimeters thick. (The paper will help cut down on the mess and any sticky dough issues)
Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake for 8-9 minutes or until lightly brown on the bottom. Be aware that the cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your cookies.
Allow to cool completely before icing.
In a small bowl, whisk sugar, syrup, milk, and extract until smooth. Begin with 1 tablespoon of milk and increase to 2 tablespoons until you reach the desired consistency.
Divide glaze into 3-4 different small containers.
Stir in the food color dye to make whatever colors you prefer. (I made orange, yellow, and red)
Using small paintbrushes, paint glaze onto cookies.
Allow 10-15 to dry completely.
Nutrition Facts Servings 20. Amount Per Serving ( 1 cookie) Calories 98 Total Fat 4g Saturated Fat 2g Monounsaturated Fat 1g Polyunsaturated Fat 0g Trans Fat 0g Cholesterol 20mg Sodium 32mg Potassium 26mg Total Carbohydrate 14g Dietary Fiber 1g Sugars 5g Protein 2g
Nutrition Facts Servings 20. Amount Per Serving (1/20) Calories 27 Total Fat 0g Saturated Fat 0g Monounsaturated Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 0g Trans Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 1mg Potassium 2mg Total Carbohydrate 7g Dietary Fiber 0g Sugars 7g Protein 0g