Friday, 17 April 2009

Maple Sugar Cookies

I posted a recipe for maple sugar cookies a while back, when I was talking about The Canadian Farm Cook Book; one that looked very simple but appealing:
"MAPLE SUGAR COOKIES. - 2 large cups maple sugar, 2 eggs, 1 cup butter, 2 tablespoons sweet milk, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon soda, flour enough to roll soft. - Mrs Walter Edwards, Cookshire, Que."
I cut the recipe in half, and generally modernized it, and here's the result. I also have to admit to having been unduly influenced by those fake-flavoured commercial maple cookies, you know the ones; a pair of maple-leaf molded cookies glued together with icing. They're sort of nasty, but you can't help but think, "If only they were good! They'd be great!" and have another.


I don't really recommend cutting out leaf shapes though. This dough was very hard to work with. It didn't seem particularly soft when I was mixing it, but once it was out on the rolling board it quickly made it clear that it would take enormous quantities of flour to keep it from sticking to everything, and I was already afraid the flavour would be rather subtle. Consequently, I made only a few maple-shaped cookies, even though I had recently aquired a wonderful little maple leaf cookie cutter. It was just too much hassle.

The rest of the dough got molded into a cylinder, and chilled overnight. It was then sliced and baked, and the cookies sandwiched together. Not quite so pretty, but much, much faster and easier to make.

Maple cakes and cookies always seem a bit disappointing straight from the oven. I find with maple baked goods that if you can refrain from eating them for 24 hours or so, the maple flavour develops considerably, and what had seemed a bit of a dud at first becomes fabulous. I should mention that these are more cakey than crunchy.

36 single cookies
1 hour work time - plus chilling overnight

Maple Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup maple sugar
1 medium egg
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cups soft unbleached (pastry) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream the butter, and work in the maple sugar. Beat in the egg and the maple syrup. Mix the baking powder and salt into the flour, and work the flour into the maple mixture. Roll the dough into a tube on a piece of parchment or waxed paper, and roll it up.

Chill the dough for several hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the dough into thin slices, and lay them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Space them out well, as they expand a fair bit.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, depending on thickness, until dry on top and lightly browned at the edges. Let cool and remove from the trays.

Maple Filling:
1/3 cup dark maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons icing sugar

Put the maple syrup in a smallish pot. Bring to a boil and boil steadily for 2 minutes exactly. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Beat for 5 minutes with an electric mixer, then beat in the icing sugar.

Dip the bottom of one cookie into the filling, then press it gently onto the bottom of another cookie. Set aside, flat, until the icing sets. Continue with the rest of the cookies. By the end, you may need to scrape the filling out of the pot with a knife and spread it on.

Once the cookies are set, they can be stored in an airtight tin.

Last year at this time I made Lamb Meatballs Stewed with Chickpeas and Versatile Vegetable Patties with Apple Butter Chutney.


Kevin said...

I have been on a maple kick lately and these sound really good! I recently made some maple snickerdoodle cookies with maple sugar on top that I enjoyed. I am going to have to try that maple filling soon.

Joanne said...

I love maple flavored things. That filling sounds divine!

Ferdzy said...

Hey Kevin, did you ever get an electric mixer!? I'm going to clarify the recipe a little to make it clear that's how you are supposed to beat that filling.

Joanne, I'm hoping we can leave them long enough to reach their peak of flavour. But I hear them caaallllinggg...!