This is my first recipe post using our new embossed rolling pins! Fall is in full swing, so making maple cookies with the leaves pin was an easy choice. The maple buttercream in this recipe is so thick you have the option to roll it out and emboss it and put on top of cookies as patterned icing. It also makes a fabulous sandwich cookie stuffing.
Embossing is the process of engraving, carving, or stamping a design onto a surface so it stands out.
Since the pins are new, I’ve got some new techniques to show you. As you can see, these cookies are decorated more than one way. The undecorated rolled cookies let the leaf pattern speak for itself. Embossed cookies are wonderful because no decorating is required – they’re stunning all on their own!
Of course that doesn’t mean we can’t decorate them ;). For this post, I’ll show you how to finger paint these cookies as well as how to finger paint buttercream icing before rolling it. Both techniques are super easy and require no special skills. Luster dust makes it all simple and look gorgeous.
At the end I preview a sneak peek of finger painted snowflake cookies!
Let’s bake & decorate!
Maple Embossed Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (not melted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup, also known as “pancake syrup”. Natural maple syrup is runnier and waters down the dough. If you do try natural instead, use less to compensate for the extra liquid.
1 teaspoon imitation maple flavor
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add the sugar and cream together very well, until it is light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup, then the vanilla, and the egg, re-creaming the mixture after each addition. Add the flour mixture slowly, mixing on a slow speed until a workable dough forms. Make sure all of the flour is incorporated evenly. Knead it a bit by hand to make sure it is uniformly smooth and mixed. Perfect rolling dough has a clay-like, workable texture that is not too sticky or too stiff. If it feels difficult to knead, it is probably too stiff. Add a little water or vanilla extract a teaspoon at a time until you achieve a workable texture. If it is too easy to knead or is sticking to your fingers, it is probably too soft. Add flour a tablespoon at a time until it is workable like clay.
You can also refrigerate the dough for 10 to 15 minutes if you’re working in warm conditions. This dough does not generally require any refrigerating. You should only need to on a hot day or in a particularly hot kitchen. Re-knead the dough making sure the temperature is even throughout so that it rolls and impresses evenly.
Divide your dough into balls a little bigger than your fist. Work with one portion at a time to keep it manageable. Cover the unused portion to keep it from drying out.
Use a regular rolling pin (preferably one with thickness spacer rings to make a perfect thickness, picture of ours at bottom of post) to roll your dough on to a silicone baking mat, parchment paper, glass cooktop, or lightly floured surface. Roll to a 1/4” thickness, and wide enough to accommodate the designed pin. Create a long rectangular slab of dough. The patterns on the embossed pins are designed to repeat, so you will be rolling a long rectangle of patterned dough.
Oil your embossed pin with canola (or similar) oil before rolling. Make sure to get it down into the engraved areas. Wipe off any excess with a paper towel. Oil should be down in the patterns, but not pooling in them! You can use a pastry brush or apply by hand, gently squeezing the pin to get oil into the shapes, and rubbing the surface to coat.
Roll with your embossed pin, pressing down with a steady pressure that leaves a deep impression in the dough. The designs should be as raised up on the dough as deep as they are in the pin. If the pattern is not deep enough it will disappear as the cookies bake and puff. As this dough is not cold or stiff, you do not have to press terribly hard! Just an even pressure.
Here’s a quick video clip of me rolling this dough.
Once rolled, use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Remove any excess dough around the edges. Keep your spatula/lifter flat, dust the end with a little flour, and lift the shapes, beginning by lifting one edge slightly first, then sliding the spatula/scraper under the whole shape. Transfer them to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them at least an inch apart. The rolling pin with thickness rings, bench/dough scraper and cookie cutters I’m using here are available at our website and Etsy shops. Links at bottom!
Bake at 400°F for 6-10 minutes, checking at 6 minutes and every minute after as cookies brown quickly. They are done when the edges are barely, slightly brown. Cookies harden significantly the longer they bake, so bake just a few cookies first to test timing for desired doneness and hardness.
Move to a cooling rack after 5 minutes.
If you are making sandwich cookies, make sure to roll out some dough without embossing, as bottom cookies don’t need to be fancy. Cut them out in even numbers of sizes and shapes as your patterned cookies so you can match them up.
If you’re just doing plain embossed cookies then that’s it – you’re done!
If you’re doing the buttercream, keep reading!
Super Thick Maple Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 teaspoons imitation maple flavor
Cream the butter, then add the cream and maple flavor and mix thoroughly. Add powdered sugar a little at a time. Do not be alarmed or surprised! This mixture will be very dry and crumbly, so finish kneading by hand until a smooth clay-like dough forms. Add cream to an overly stiff mixture, or powdered sugar to a soft sticky mixture, as needed to get a workable clay-like consistency. It will be fun to knead when it’s the right texture.
Oil your pin and roll the buttercream out as described above for the cookie dough. Same process. Again here’s a quick video clip of me rolling it.
If you are making sandwich cookies roll the buttercream flat with a regular (preferably thickness spacer) pin and cut out shapes that fit in between your matched cookies. Use powdered sugar the same way you use flour to lift cookie dough. It keeps your spatula/lifter from sticking. You can roll this at 1/8″ for a regular sandwich or go thick and make 1/4″ stuffing!
Lift your shapes onto plain cookies, slightly wetting the bottom of the embossed buttercream to help it stick.
Now to make those gorgeous colorful cookies!
First here’s how to get those amazing tie-dye colors on the embossed maple buttercream.
Luster dust is what makes this beautiful presentation possible. I use it so often in my cookie press posts that this year (2022) we’ve started selling it on our website and Etsy shop! We chose to partner with an American company, Bakell, that makes dusts here in the USA. They make gorgeous dusts that are silky, vibrant, and a joy to work with. Their 4 gram jars last and last. A little goes a long way!
Start with a ball of the maple buttercream a little bigger than your fist. Roll it out flat, do not emboss it yet. Gather the colors you want and put small piles of dust on a plate. Now finger paint the surface of the buttercream by smearing the dust around! Make a pretty pattern of whatever colors you want by smearing the dust and very gently rubbing it in. The surface becomes dry and smooth.
Oil your pin but make sure to dab up any oil pooled in the engraved areas. You don’t want it to stick to and remove any dust. Put the bench scraper at the end and roll. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Lift and place on cookies. You can scoop up the leftovers and paint and cut again until you use it all up.
Here’s a video clip of the process, start to finish.
The last technique is finger painting luster dust onto the embossed cookies. This is a “wet” technique, using vodka as the paint base. The alcohol evaporates quickly and dries with no taste!
Here’s a video clip of this last easy process, start to finish. It’s much easier to show than explain in writing. 😉
Here’s one more look at the finished yummies!
Store these cookies loosely covered for freshness.
Oh and here’s the sneak peek at the snowflakes recipe post I’m working on! This is finger painting on Vanilla-Honey cookies embossed with the Snowflakes & Trees pin, and tie-dye finger painting on white vanilla fondant embossed with the Snowflakes pin!
Happy Fall and Happy Baking!
Disk Designer/Co-Owner at Impress! Bakeware, LLC
Our website has all of our 200+ disk shapes, cookie press, embossed rolling pins, luster dusts, baking accessories plus more about our Women/Family Owned company! impressbakeware.com
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If you’re not familiar with rolling pins with thickness rings, here’s ours: