And more cookies! We're going to need some rehabilitating, healthy themes come January. Look out: Salad Week! Lentils Week! I Ate Too Many Cookies Week! But that's January, for now we eat cookies! I love these maple leaf classics and not just because I've got a thing for retro Canadiana right now (although they do look great in my imaginary, snow-covered, rustic-chic lodge, don't they?). They're simple, buttery and you really do get a hit of maple because of the last little flourish that's brushed on at the end. These are from Martha Stewart and were easy peasy to make. They're not the ne plus ultra of Christmas cookies the way, say, glitzed up sugar cookies are (see today's other post) but don't you think Santa would be pleased to find a little plate of these waiting for him on Christmas eve?
photos by Maya Visnyei
Maple Leaf Cookies
Makes approximately 4 dozen depending on the size of your cookie cutter
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup maple syrup (plus a bit for brushing)
1/3 cup decorative sugar (sanding sugar or large grained brown like turbinado look great but brown would do in a pinch)
In a large bowl, mix flour and salt together well. Set aside.
In another large bowl, beat butter and regular and brown sugars together until the mixture is light and fluffy, at least 3 or 4 minutes. Now add your egg yolk and combine. Add the maple syrup and give it another good mix. Turn your mixer down a bit and shake in the flour mixture. Just mix it until it comes together as a dough. Split the dough in half and make two disc shapes, wrap it up in cling film (or some such) and pop it in the fridge. Chill it for at least 2 hours or overnight if that's more convenient.
When you're ready to make cookies, get the oven heated to 325 degrees. Take one of the discs out of the fridge and unwrap it. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it's about 1/4 inch thick. Cut your leaves out (or whatever shape you're rocking) and place each leaf on a parchment lined cookie sheet about an inch apart. Gather up the excess dough that's left over and roll it out again and keep cutting. Place the tray in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm them up.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes. I did two trays in the oven at once or I would have been at it all day, this makes a lot of cookies! Watch them closely, you don't want them getting dark and it will happen quickly! Don't forget that second disc of dough — you've got a lot of cookies to make here.
* Two things — Martha's recipe includes another trip to the freezer than I'm including. She says, roll out your dough, chill for 15 minutes. Take it out, cut the cookies then chill again. I just wasn't into it. And my shapes were nice and clean as you can see. The other thing is I used to not see the point of parchment paper and now I am completely sold on it. So much less clean up and few destroyed baked good because you're not prying them off a hot, metallic surface.
Carefully pick up your parchment and move the cookies to a rack to cool. Brush each cookie with a bit of syrup and sprinkle with the sugar of your choice. If you're going with straight up brown sugar, be sure to let your cookies cool completely so it doesn't just melt into a sugary puddle. Not that that sounds so bad.…