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Sweet, maple cookies are a warming relief

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Maple Cream Sandwich Cookies

Cookies: 2

1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons maple extract

Filling:

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), at room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

4 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon maple extract1 tablespoon half-and-half or heavy cream

For the cookies, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and maple extract and beat at medium until combined. Add the dry ingredients in parts and beat on low until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Divide dough in half, flatten each half into a disk, and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator onto a lightly floured surface.

Roll the dough out on the floured surface to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use a maple leaf cookie cutter or another cutter to cut out cookies, and carefully move each cookie to prepared baking sheet.

Bake cookies 8-10 minutes, or until edges begin to turn slightly brown.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature before assembling.

For the filling, cream the butter with an electric mixer. Slowly add in the powdered sugar until combined. Beat in the maple syrup and maple extract. Add the half-and-half or cream and beat until smooth.

Spread generously on back of one cookie and top firmly with another cookie. Repeat until all sandwich cookies have been assembled. Serve cookies with cinnamon tea.

Updated: March 3, 2014 1:14PM



Transitioning from the childhood cookies-and-milk phase into something adult-like doesn’t require very much of an adjustment, if any at all. The craving for something sweet and filling, warming and comforting is ever-present.

And now, as the long stretch of winter steps in without any sign of recess, that craving is bigger than ever.

But instead of tossing back a cold glass of milk and a handful of chocolate chip cookies, a more fitting duo for the cold weather comes with a steaming hot beverage and a seasonally-flavored confection.

Lately, my craving has taken form in a maple cream sandwich cookie and a cup of cinnamon tea. Perhaps it’s an adult upgrade, but it may just be a winter inclination.

It’s the duo of the maple and the cinnamon — the sweet and the heat — that gives a lift to an afternoon or bedtime snack and makes it seem very appropriate when the weather outside is so bitter cold.

These maple cream cookies exude real maple flavor in both the cookie and the cream filling. Maple extract is used in the cookie dough for a bolder flavor, while pure maple syrup sweetens the buttercream filling.

Like the maple cookies sold in the bulk section of the grocery store, these get nice and crisp. Lather on heaps of the maple cream filling for a richer sandwich cookie, which happens to agree nicely with a cup of hot cinnamon tea.

If you’re not one for rich cookies, spread just a smattering of the cream filling between two cookies. Drying into almost a royal icing consistency, the minimal filling will provide just the right amount of maple cream flavoring.

A basic round cutter — or even the lip of a drinking glass — makes these cookies dainty and practical for any occasion.

But there is one non-negotiable: don’t miss out on the delicious combination of serving these crunchy sandwich cookies with a steaming cup of spicy cinnamon tea.



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