If you make a list… people will ask you to bake.
In December, like many bakers around the world, I make a complete list of the cookies I want to bake. Even though we are only two this year, the list was made and I began to collect the ingredients. “Collect” may sound strange, but it fits this type of shopping activity: organic chocolate, yeast, and cream from the grocery store, eggs from the market, lemons, oranges, and sugar from the organic foods shop, flour from the flour mill not far from here, pumpkins from the local vegetable farmer, butter from a farm in the north of France – stashed in my freezer, apples and walnuts from my husband’s parent’s garden…
The list had just barely been scribbled up when I was asked to bake something for a lunch. My kitchen was still eggless, reducing my choice of cookie to two.
I present the first cookies in this year’s line-up.
These delectable sandies are from my copy of “In the Sweet Kitchen” by Regan Daley, Canadian pastry chef. It’s the kind of recipe that seems downright exotic here in France. Most people have never tasted maple syrup. Pecans are pretty rare fare as well. They are great winter cookies, and love to join a display of mixed holiday treats, or pile up in tins.
You can use walnuts or hazelnuts instead of pecans, but pecans are just divine with maple.
One last cookie
recipe for maple pecan buttons:ingredients: 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature 1/2 cup and another cup of confectioners’ sugar 1 1/2 cups finely ground fresh pecans (I use a coffee grinder) 3 tbsp pure maple syrup grade B or C 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1/4 tsp salt 2 cups flour, sifted
Cream the butter until fluffy in a large bowl. Use a paddle attachment if you have one.
Sift 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar over the butter and cream until light and fluffy.
Add the ground nuts, maple syrup, and vanilla and stir until well blended.
Add the salt and flour and stir until well mixed. You can finish by mixing with your hands.
Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Roll pieces of dough into 1 inch balls and place about 1 inch about on two non-stick baking sheets. Place each sheet in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm up the dough, then bake one sheet at a time for 18 to 20 minutes, until the tops are just firm, and the undersides are golden.
Set the baking sheets on a wire rack to cool for 3 minutes, then roll each cookie in the rest of the confectioners’ sugar. Allow to cool completely, then roll once more in the confectioners’ sugar.
Share with any cookie monsters in your vicinity.