I have a terrible memory. Tonight I found a box of dark brown sugar I brought home two weeks ago. Somehow it made it in from the car in a bag of used books I bought at the library. Sure could have used that last week!
But sometimes having a bad memory pays off, like tonight. In addition to finding the lost box of brown sugar in a bag of books in my bedroom, I also found a tin of Maple Shortbread cookies I baked on Friday.
Fresh out of the oven they were tasty, a bit heavy on the butter. At the time I was not sure if this was the maple cookie I was ready to commit to. I packaged the best looking ones in the boxes of goodies to out on Sunday, holding back a few that were over baked. I figured I would probably throw them away, but instead stashed them in a tin and forgot them.
Five days later they were like a whole new cookie. They were crisp, not crumbly and the maple flavor had mellowed nicely and overtaken the butter as primary flavor. Even almost burnt they were delish! Mr. Sugar Mamma and my girl Tea have declared the Maple Shortbread to be their new favorite cookie.
So round up those now empty Christmas cookie tins that you never know what to do with, fill them with Maple Shortbread cookies and forget about them for a couple of days. Warning: unless you have a horrible memory, this might be hard to do. Totally ignore that fresh baked cookie smell as they come out of the oven. It will be totally worth it to allow these cookies to sit un-eaten for a few days. Trust me! Sugar Mamma Rating: Solid: Make them now, impress the ones you love (in a few days).
Maple Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup pure maple sugar (I was not able to find in the grocery store so bought online)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour or corn starch (substitute all purpose flour if you do not have on hand)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment
Add sugars, flours and salt to the bowl of your food processor. Pulse once to mix ingredients. Add pieces of butter and pulse until all butter is cut into dry ingredients. Add vanilla and pulse a few seconds to incorporate. Dough will be dry and sandy.
Transfer to another bowl or the counter and use your hands to work the dough into a ball. It should come together easily.
You can chill the dough for an hour before rolling, but I had no problem rolling it right from the mixer.
Sprinkle dough and counter lightly with flour and roll to ¼ inch thick.
Cut with cookie cutter
Place cookies on sheet and sprinkle with a little maple sugar
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until just lightly brown. Watch carefully so that any smaller/thinner cookies don’t burn. Underdone is better than over done.
Let sit on the baking sheet a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container, and avoid any temptation to eat them before they have sat for at least one day. Really. Worth. The. Wait.
Note: The original King Arthur recipe involves creaming the sugar and butter first. My experience with this method results in puffy cookies, which I don’t really like in a shortbread. I will probably try out the original recipe at some point in the future, just to test if there is a difference.