Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Maple Leaf Cookies

I love maple and wanted to create a recipe that incorporates this flavor and celebrates the season. I found these cookie cutters at my mom's house this past weekend and decided to make maple flavored cookies in the shape of maple leaves. I used brown sugar in the recipe to enrich the maple flavor. You can also add a little maple syrup instead of maple extract, although this won't have as intense of a flavor.

I iced the cookies with a simple recipe, flavored with the maple extract. I use a little bit of corn syrup in the icing to ensure the cookies have a nice glossy shine to them. The cookies will stay shiny and beautiful and they taste amazing.

The dough can be made ahead and kept in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.

Maple Leaf Cookies

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons maple extract
1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)

1. In mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in maple syrup, extract and egg yolk until mixture is well combined.
3. Sift together salt and flour. Mix into dough until just incorporated (do not overmix).
4. Chill dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. Dough may also be made ahead and frozen.

5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
6. Divide dough in half. Keeping one half chilled, lightly flour other half and on a lightly floured surface gently pound with a rolling pin to soften. Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick and with a maple-leaf cookie cutter cut out cookies. Continue with rest of dough.
7.Arrange cookies on baking sheets lined with parchment.
8. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes until edges begin to brown. Allow to cool completely before decorating.

Maple Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons maple extract

Mix all ingredients adding more corn syrup if too thick. Spread over cookies and allow icing to fully set. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

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