The Falling Leaves...

"The falling leaves, drift by my window, the autumn leaves, of red and gold...."  I have had that song stuck in my head all day long!  We have been doing all sorts of autumn leaves-related projects around here, and when I found this cookie cutter at Michael's I knew I wanted to make "Falling Leaves" sugar cookies.  I don't normally do anything too strenuous around Thanksgiving food- or decor-wise.  Until about 4 years ago, we really had no family to celebrate with and honestly just enjoyed it as a long weekend, maybe visiting with some friends from home.  We also didn't eat turkey until recently!  But now that we are our own little family, it seems appropriate to make a little more effort.  (That, and I am Suzy Homemaker now, professionally-speaking.) :)

The boys love helping out in the kitchen anyway, so it wasn't difficult to talk them into it.  Just look at those eager beavers...  The little guy was of course covered in flour before we were two minutes in...

I made a glaze icing (using corn syrup instead of butter) since they seem to yield brighter colours.  I went with green, red, yellow, orange and brown.  With the differently-coloured bowls, icing, and spoons it made for a LOT of colour... I will put the recipe at the end of the post.
Then we had fun painting.  We mixed colours with spoons and tooth picks and I must say the boys made some really beautiful cookies!

The cookie recipe I used came with the cookie cutter:
Roll-Out Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 3/4 cups all-pupose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Preheat over to 400F.  In mixer bowl (or if you are old-school like me, with a hand mixer) cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and extracts.  Mix flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.  Divide dough into 2 balls.  On a floured surface, roll each ball into a circle approx. 1/8 inch thick.  Dip cookie cutter in flour before each use.  Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 6-7 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

The icing recipe I adapted from one online:
Sugar Cookie Glaze Icing
1 cup confectioners sugar  (adding more to desired consistency)
1 tbsp light corn syrup
2 tbsp water
food colouring
Because some colours needed more drops of food colouring than others, I added more sugar to keep them on the thick side - if they were too runny they would run off the cookie and on to the tray.

So what are your Thanksgiving traditions and recipes?  I definitely need to add to my repertoire.  Style at Home has a ridiculous array of ideas for food and decor - this recipe looks especially yummy.  House and Home also has come great decorating ideas that I may attempt, but I am going to try to stick with projects the boys can help out with.  Here are some awesome ideas my friend Blake wrote about for Canadian Parent, including gratitude rolls - genius and delicious.  Most of the American design sites aren't as crammed with suggestions yet, I guess don't have the same deadline looming this weekend!

I leave you with this, so you can hum along with me  - for the next few days at least:

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