November 16, 2009

Maple Pecan Cookies

So I had this idea to make cookies with maple syrup. After a few disappointing recipes, I hit on this gem.  The cookies are delicious plain, but topping them with maple icing and pecans turns them into something worth sharing.

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Buttery and rich but still delicate and crisp, these cookies are perfectly special. I passed a dozen on to some friends who needed cheering up and I packed a box full for Arnoud and his friends who are on their way down to Baja. They're driving down with Arnoud's motorcycle and our kitesurfing gear; I'm a little nervous about sending my sweetie off on that long drive without me, so these cookies are my little bit of protection and a sweet little kiss to carry him safely to his destination.

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Tomorrow Finn, Humphrey and I fly down to join the boys for a month-long vacation. It's Finn's first plane flight and first international trip (and Mama's first time traveling with a dog and a child -- thank heavens my Mama is coming with!) I'll be taking lots of Christmas knitting and my camera -- expect photo updates. Until then!

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Maple Pecan Cookies
adapted from Gourmet
Makes at least 5 dozen


for cookies:
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
for icing:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, softened
  • 4 Tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk
whole pecans to garnish

1. In a standing mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in maple syrup and egg yolk until mixture is combined well.
2. Sift together salt and flour over mixture and stir into maple mixture.
3. Roll dough into 12" log. Chill dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 2 hours. Dough may be made 4 days ahead and chilled.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut dough into 1/8 inch thick slices. Arrange cookies on buttered or parchment lined baking sheets.
4. Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven until edges are golden, about 12 minutes, and transfer to racks to cool.
5. While cookies are baking, make icing: sift powdered sugar into a bowl. Cream butter into sugar. Stir in maple syrup and vanilla. Add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until icing is the consistency of a thick glaze.
6. Spread a little bit of icing over each (cooled!) cookie and top with a whole pecan.

Cookies keep in airtight containers 1 week.

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