Maple Walnut Cookies

One of my favorite things is having breakfast for dinner.   Chocolate chip pancakes with real maple syrup and a side of thick cut crispy bacon.   I know, I’m a child but who cares – I may be getting older but I’m not getting more mature.   Those kind of things make me happy.

So, whenever I get the chance to use maple syrup as a main ingredient I go for it.   It’s a great, very distinct flavor, plus it smells delicious.    Below it’s both in the batter and in the frosting.   One thing, though:   please, please, please use real maple syrup.   You’ll notice on some things I write about I’m pretty liberal about substitutions….basically, if you like it and it makes you happy then it’s probably going to be a good ingredient.

However in this case there is a HUGE difference between real maple syrup and the artificial “maple flavor” syrups that are loaded with corn sugar.   Don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge fan of sugar – but when you have the choice of real versus “flavored”, go with the real every time.

There’s a reason a lot of restaurants charge more for real maple syrup (“add $1 for real maple syrup”).   It’s a little more expensive but, like in those restaurants, it’s worth paying a little more.   Sometimes you do get what you pay for.

NOTE:   For these cookies, you can make the cookie part (without frosting) ahead of time and freeze them – they’ll be good for about a month.   When you’re ready to frost them, take them out and let them get to room temperature and you’ll be good to go.

Ingredients

Cookies

·        1 ½ cups flour

·        ½ t baking soda

·        ½ t ground ginger

·        ½ t cinnamon

·        ¼ t salt

·        1/8 t ground nutmeg

·        1/8 t ground cloves

·        ¾ cup dark brown sugar

·        ¼ cup butter, softened to room temperature

·        2 T maple syrup

·        1 large egg

Frosting

·        1 cup powdered sugar

·        2 T maple syrup  (if you go a little overboard, I’m good with that)

·        1 T milk

·        2 t butter, softened to room temperature

·        ½ cup chopped walnuts 

Directions

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves.   Put it to the side.

In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to mix the brown sugar and butter, for about 3 minutes….until it’s kinda fluffy and light.

IMG_5504Add in the maple syrup (yum) and the egg and mix until everything is well blended.  Feel free to lick the spoon – I did.

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Next, add in the flour mixture, beating at your lowest speed, a little at a time until everything is blended.

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Heat the oven to 350° and drop tablespoon-sized balls onto the baking sheets lined with parchment paper and cook for about 14 minutes.

IMG_5517As always, check as they’re cooking – you want them just starting to get a little brown on the bottom.

Cool on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes, then move to a cooling rack until they’re completely cool.

For the frosting, mix the first four icing ingredients (powdered sugar, maple syrup, milk and butter) – beat on low or you’ll have powdered sugar flying all over everything.   Actually, you should probably mix with a wooden spoon first until the powdered sugar is kind mixed with everything…then use the mixer.   Ice each one of the cookies, and when you’re done sprinkle the nuts over them before the icing starts to harden.

These are moist and maple-y and just damn good!

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