The Signature of All Things / Spiced Leaf Cookies

One of my favorite pandemic activities has been going for walks in the historic Woodlands Cemetery in my neighborhood. It may sound a bit morbid, but it is actually quite lovely and has lots of walking/running trails, a community garden, and plenty of room to be socially distant. While researching some of the more notable graves, I discovered that the Woodlands inspired the setting for the Elizabeth Gilbert novel, The Signature of All Things. Naturally, I had to read it.

As a recent transplant from the south, I am still in awe of the changing seasons and how colorful the leaves get here in the fall. The Woodlands is particularly beautiful and inspired me to make these Spiced Leaf Cookies.

Spiced Leaf Cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg white mixed with 1 teaspoon water
  • Powdered sugar


Combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt in a bowl until well blended.

Beat butter and sugar in a bowl until creamy.  Mix in egg and vanilla.  Gradually add flour mixture.

Flatten dough into a disc.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Roll dough about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness on a well-floured surface.  Cut out cookies with cookie cutters that have been dipped in flour.  Place cookies on ungreased baking sheet, preferably covered with parchment paper, and brush with the eggs white mixture.

Reroll scraps and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until just browning on edges.  Cool on wire racks.  Store covered.

Before serving, sprinkle them with powdered sugar.

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