We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cookie Recipe #47 - Maple Leaf Cookies

In coordination with the Winter Olympics taking place in Canada, today's cookie reflects the Canadian Maple Leaf. The maple syrup used in the cookies comes from my father-in-law's farm in Michigan where every March for over 50 years he, his wife and a couple of friends have made maple syrup. We had the opportunity to be there last March and help with the process-it's something to see!
Ingredients: 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 3/4 cup maple syrup, 1 egg, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour. Icing: 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar, 1/2 teaspoon maple extract, 3-4 tablespoon heavy cream.
Instructions: Cream butter until fluffy in medium mixing bowl. Gradually blend in maple syrup and egg. Fold in flour and mix completely. Chill for 1 hour in refrigerator (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
Roll dough out on well-floured board about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out maple leaf shapes with a cookie cutter dipped in flour. Bake about 8 minutes or until cookies are just starting to brown around edges. Allow cookies to cool for a minute on baking sheets before transferring to cooling racks.
Make icing as follows: cream butter with sugar in small bowl; add maple extract and combine.
Add cream, a little at a time, until icing is of spreading consistency.
Spread icing onto half of cookies; then top with remaining half of cookies to make sandwiches.
Have a couple while you watch the Olympics tonight!
(The Ultimate Cookie Book, published by Tormont Publications, Inc., Montreal, Canada, in 1997).
Cookies Rule!!!

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