Pumpkin Patch Buttercream No Spread Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Stacks
These delicious almond cream cheese cut out cookies have a beautiful, light, and chewy texture and won't spread out or lose shape in the oven. Topped with a fun cherry buttercream, you can serve these cookies flat or stack them into fun, 3-D pumpkins.
20-25dropsspiced cherry bitters, to taste (found in cocktail section)
2tbsproom temperature heavy cream (you may not need it/all of it)
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, corn starch, and salt. Corn starch softens the proteins of the flour, giving you a more tender cookie.
Cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar together for 4-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Then, with the mixer still running, add the eggs one at a time. Finally, add the vanilla and almond extracts.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and combine with a spatula until a dough starts to form.
Split the dough into four equal amounts. Set out three pieces of plastic wrap on your workspace. Place each section of dough onto a piece of plastic, but on one of the plastics, place TWO of the four "sections" of dough. Knead the dough slightly between the plastic until it comes together in a log form. Roll and shape the two smaller cylinders of dough until they have an approximate cross-section diameter of 1½ and 2½ inches. Then, the last, larger quantity of dough, should measure about 2 inches in diameter. (See photo for size illustration.) The measurements don't have to be exact, but to create a round, 3-D pumpkin shape, you need to stack cookies of varying diameters/sizes. Place each of the logs into the freezer to chill for about 45 minutes.
Once the dough feels firm to the touch, remove and unwrap each log. Cut off ½-¾ of an inch from each edge to create sharp, clean lines. Place this leftover dough into a pile for later. Then, slice the longest log (the middle measurement in diameter) in half once, lengthwise, to create two, shorter logs. Then, cut each of the four logs of dough you now have into eight cookies each.
On three parchment papered baking sheets, lay the cookies, organized by size. Bake them in an oven preheated to 375°F for 8-11 minutes, depending on the size. If you don't have three cookie sheets, you can bake them one size at a time, keeping the other cookies on a plate in the refrigerator until they are ready to go in. The smallest cookies will take the least amount of time. Watch carefully for the cookies to look firmed up and smooth on the top. They won't spread, and they will not brown too much either. If you're unsure, tap the top of the cookie with your finger. If it feels solid, remove them from the oven. They bake quickly, so err on the side of taking them out too early rather than too late. Let them cool fully at room temperature before stacking.
Knead the remaining dough into a ball and flatten with a rolling pin. Then, using a paring knife, cut out your welcome sign shape. I used a rectangle to trace the actual "sign" part, and then freehanded what would become the "post" of the sign (skinny rectangles) at the base and top. You should be able to make two signs with the remaining dough. Bake these pieces for about 9 minutes.
In the meantime, cream your butter for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Then, cup by cup, add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the bowl between each addition. Then, add the vanilla and cherry bitters. Mix again. If your buttercream is too thick, you can add a little bit of the heavy cream to thin it out just slightly. Set some buttercream aside for detail work, and color the rest orange.
To assemble your cookie stacks, fit a piping bag with Wilton's small star tip (21) and fill it with orange buttercream. Place one of the medium-sized cookies down first and pipe stars around the border and then in the middle. Then, gently set a large cookie on top, and pipe the stars again. Top that with another medium-sized circle, more buttercream, and, then, with the smallest-sized cookie. Pipe some neat, finishing stars on top. Now you have one cookie stack pumpkin. Repeat. Once all of the pumpkins are stacked, use an open circle tip and some brown buttercream to add a stem. Then, use a small circle tip to add a curly green vine.
To decorate your welcome sign, fit a piping bag with the Wilton basketweave tip (47 or 48) and fill with brown buttercream. Pipe horizontally along sign, with the textured side of the tip facing up. Then, pipe vertically on the post sections. Use a toothpick to "roughen" some of the edges and create an authentic, natural woodgrain look. Then, use a small circle tip to add some grass detail and words. I liked the phrases "welcome" and "the pumpkin patch."
These cookies will keep covered at room temperature for 3-4 days.
Pumpkin Patch Buttercream No Spread Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Stacks https://lexisrose.com/pumpkin-patch-buttercream-no-spread-cut-out-sugar-cookie-stacks/