Maple Cut-Out Cookies

Even the scraps are art!

Even the scraps are art!

I’ve been itching to use the maple leaf cookie cutter I bought impulsively several months ago, but my attempts were thwarted first by a flooded toilet, then by competition from too many other sweets. I finally got the chance to make some simple sugar roll-out cookies with my niece and nephew last month, which was a lot of fun! But the cookies themselves didn’t taste like much and didn’t seem worthy of posting. They were cute though, autumn leaves sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

Today at last I got my Christmas baking done. This year’s cookies: maple leaf cut-outs, of course! I made two types, as an experiment. The first was a rich butter cookie with maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. They turned out exquisitely, though the maple flavor is quite subtle. I was planning to decorate them with colored sugar, but as it turned out we were all out of food coloring, and I’m staying far away from stores this close to Christmas. Maybe next time…

MapleCookieSheet

For the second batch, wanting to accentuate the maple flavor a bit more, I used only maple syrup for sweetener and mixed in some anise seed. I also cut back on the butter. I brushed half of the anise cookies with powdered sugar before baking, which resulted in a pretty sheen and the perfect level of sweetness. Those without were a tad bland. In the future, I would probably either glaze them all or use a bit more butter and syrup. I might also try adding some finely diced dates as another alternative. Definitely would love to try these again sometime — the anise complements the maple syrup wonderfully!

BakedMapleCookies

Maple Spice Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen large cookies

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened

1/2 cup sugar (I used brown)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 egg

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Cream butter and sugar, beat in egg, then stir in the maple syrup. In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, then mix all the ingredients together to form a firm ball of dough. It may be necessary to gently knead in flour at the end. Cover dough and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, until stiff enough to work with easily. Preheat oven to 350º and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into fourths or smaller pieces and roll each piece out one at a time. Best no thicker than 1/4″, as they will rise a fair amount while baking. Cut out cookies into desired shapes, decorate if desired, and place on baking sheet. Set aside scraps of dough until all the pieces have been rolled out and cut. Then combine the scraps together into a ball and repeat the process until as much dough as possible has been used. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until golden brown. They will still be soft until they cool, but should not be “mushy” or give under gentle pressure. Let cool on rack, then share the joy!

Maple Anise Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen large cookies

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened

2/3 cup maple syrup

1 egg

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon anise seeds

A few teaspoons powdered sugar, for glaze (optional)

Blend butter and syrup together, than beat in an egg. Proceed as with Maple Spice cookies above, mixing in seeds with dry ingredients. Don’t forget to dust with powdered sugar, if desired, before placing on baking sheets. Sophisticated and delicious!

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This entry was posted in Breads and Baked Goods, Holidays, Snacks and Sweets and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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