There are certain cookies we make for the delicious tastes of the season and there are other certain cookies we make to celebrate the themes of the season. Christmas is an easy example. Gingerbread is for taste, sugar cookies for decorative fun. But now consider Hallow’s Eve. Sure, there are cookie cutouts and images aplenty, but there’s little left for taste other than the spices behind the now cult favorite Pumpkin Spice everything.
In the spirit of both taste and decoration, we’ve combined the two here with a simple swap of ingredients. Bitters are much like vanilla extract in that the flavors of a raw ingredient are extracted into an alcohol based solution over a long period of time. When used in baking, the alcohol evaporates and leaves behind the ghost of its place presence in the form of those extracted flavors. While sugar cookies are often a blank canvas for spooky cookie cutters and sweet icings, seasonal bitters are an invaluable resource to also breathe some flavor into what was once just a fun cookie to look at and never sink your teeth into.
Instead of a recipe, here’s the pro-tip for tip top tasty treats. Substitute equal amount of bitters for vanilla extract and take a taste. Add more flavor if needed, but the same amount should do the trick.
During my lunch date with Gia and Frankie, both our sugar cookies and royal icing had Workhorse Rye’s Pumpkin bitters in place of vanilla extract. There’s just a hint of spice in both, but nothing too potent to change the place a sugar cookie serves. They’re tasty and almost as adorable as these two little ladies, but now with a hint that fall flavor we love so dearly.
Have you made the switch to bitters in any of your recipes? What’s been your favorite?!