December 17 is National Maple Syrup Day! Maple syrup is a distinctly North American product. Native Americans were the first to harvest and boil the sap of the maple tree into a thick syrup during the 1600s.
Maple syrup and toasted, finely chopped pecans team up to create holiday-perfect cutout cookies. Rolling out cookie dough evenly is imperative to the appearance of these crispy treats.
You Will Need:
1/2-Cup butter, softened
1/2 Cup shortening
1-teaspoon baking powder
2-1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
3 tablespoons Maine Maple syrup
Maple sugar or raw sugar
Finely chopped pecans (optional)
In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
Add sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.
Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon.
Knead in the 1/2-cup nuts and the maple syrup.
If necessary, cover and chill dough 1 to 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time to a 1/4-inch thickness.
Using a 2-1/2×1-3/4-inch diamond-shape cookie cutter, cut out dough.
Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet; sprinkle with maple sugar and, if desired, additional nuts.
Bake in preheated oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. Makes about 72 cookies.
To Store: Place cookies in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.