My mom was in the city the other day and we went to my new favorite store: Fishs Eddy. They have the coolest plates, bakeware, and cookware. They also have lots of cookie cutters and I don't have any. I wanted to make maple cookies for the fall and thought it would be fun to cut them into squirrels and leaves. The leaves look a little more like Christmas trees when held upright like in the picture below, but I like to think they're leaves.
When making this recipe I used pure Grade A maple syrup. There's some debate as to whether or not you should use Grade A or Grade B and, after making these cookies, I have to say Grade B is the way to go. Grade B is mostly used for cooking and baking because it has a very strong maple flavor and a darker color. I had Grade A on hand so the cookies have a very subtle maple flavor even though I brushed them with additional maple syrup after baking. Next time I will definitely go with Grade B and trim down the amount added to the recipe by a little bit.
This recipe is adapted from one I found on Martha Stewart's website. I'm reading this book called BakeWise right now by Shirley O. Corriher and am learning about different ingredients and what constitutes a good recipe, so I will be doing more and more adapting in the future. For right now, though, I pretty much stuck to the ingredients and amounts listed, but changed up the method a little bit. Oh and I definitely suggest cutting the recipe in half because the cookies only hold for up to 2 days.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup maple syrup (preferably grade A)- They suggest A, but B will give a more pronounced flavor
More sugar for dusting
1- Sift flour and salt into a medium bowl
2- Beat butter, granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes
3- Reduce speed to medium-low, and add yolk, then 1/2 cup maple syrup, beating well after each addition
4- Add flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated
5- Shape into 2 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days)
6- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
7- Roll out 1 disk of dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on baking sheet. Freeze until firm (It's important to freeze because this makes the dough easier to handle)
8- Spray baking sheets with non-stick spray
9- Remove dough from freezer and cut shapes. Roll and cut scraps one time more. Any leftover scraps can be made into circular cookies
10- Bake until edges turn brown (about 10 mins). While first batch are in the oven, repeat steps 7-9 with second disk
11- Remove cookies from oven and let cool on a wire rack before brushing with maple syrup and dusting with sugar.
You can find this and other recipes at: Maple Leaf Cookies - Martha Stewart Recipes