If there is one thing that the people in my family love even more than fish and chips, it has to be Maple Syrup. We are all crazy about the flavor of Maple. My son even taps his own Maple trees and is really proud of the gallon or so of syrup he gets from them every year.
When we were children we loved to go and visit my father's mother in Northern Quebec. This was real Maple Country and we got to enjoy real Maple treats, such as Maple Candy and fudge.
We also used to get these little cone things, that were like small stale ice cream cones but they were filled with a really thick maple syrup and topped with maple fudge icing.
We did not care that the cones always tasted stale. We just loved the maple.
I wanted to bake a treat for my father and so I decided to bake him this buttery chewy maple walnut cookies recipe from out of my Big Blue Binder. I knew they would go down a real treat with him.
If there is anything that he loves even more than maple, it is when maple is combined with walnuts. It is his favorite flavor of ice cream (mine too!) He love LOVES maple walnut anything.
The Big Blue Binder is a blue vinyl recipe folder which has travelled all around the world with me since I was a very young woman. It is filled with recipes that I have gleaned through the years from family and friends, magazines, books etc.
In the days before the computer, these recipes were laboriously written down by hand. They are my tried and trues and the best of the bests. You know that if someone cares to share a recipe with you, it is probably one of their best.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE BUTTERY WALNUT COOKIES
You don't need anything extraordinary to make and bake these cookies. There is nothing fancy or off the wall required, unless you consider Maple syrup to be an unusual ingredient!
You just need the usual cast of characters, butter, egg, brown sugar, flavorings, flour, soda, baking powder, flour, salt and walnuts.
At the risk of repeating myself and for those who are just discovering me, I want to say. Always toast your nuts before baking with them. Toasting your nuts always makes them taste nuttier.
It doesn't take much of an effort and you will note a real difference. About 8 to 10 minutes on a baking sheet in a moderate oven usually does the trick sufficiently. You will know they are done because you will smell their nutty fragrance permeating the air!
Of course you will need to let them cool down before using them to bake with. That's why I always do mine a large bag at a time and then store them in an airtight container in the freezer, ready to scoop out and use for anything I might be baking/cooking.
I do this with all my nuts. They taste better. It saves time. They keep longer and never go rancid.
HOW DO YOU MAKE BUTTERY MAPLE WALNUT COOKIES
You start by beating together brown sugar and room temperature butter until it is light and fluffy. Once that has been achieved you can beat in the egg and flavorings. The mixture may look split or curdled, but don't worry, it will come back together as soon as you add the flour.
I always sift my flour, baking powder and soda together with the salt. This ensures even distribution of the soda and baking powder, so you don't end up with it in only one area of the dough. There is nothing worse than biting into a baked good that tastes overwhelmingly of baking powder or baking soda.
Next you need to stir the flour into the creamed mixture. This is done alternately with the maple syrup, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. The batter will be nice and light and fluffy.
Finally you stir in the toasted nuts. Of course you can use more if you wish. I sometimes do. 1/2 cup is only a suggestion. You can also add things like raisins or chocolate chips if you really want to go whole hog.
Today I contemplated adding chopped cooked bacon, but then didn't because they are for my dad and he likes things simple. But think bacon, wow!
Anyways, once everything is combined it is as simple as scooping the dough by double tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets and baking. I do top with a few extra walnuts. Make sure you leave at least 2 inches in between each cooking for spreading.
I also use my cookie scoop for scooping them out.
You can of course also make a delicious drizzle icing to flick over the top of these if you want. Just begin by sifting a cup of icing sugar into a bowl.
Whisk in a few drops of maple flavoring and enough milk to give you a thin drizzle icing. Spoon or flick it over your cookies and then let them sit until the drizzle is set. Delicious!
You can also sandwich them together in pairs with maple butter or a maple buttercream, or even (dare I say it) nutella. That turns them into a deliciously maple version of the Whoopie Pie.
As you can see Maple lends itself to all sorts of applications, both savory and sweet.