Jessie Oleson (aka Cakespy) drops by every Monday to share a delicious dessert recipe. —The Mgmt.
When it comes to baking with maple, Grade C (or sometimes Grade B; see note, below) is anything but average.
It's is the deepest, darkest, most assertively maple-flavored grade of syrup you can get; while it can be a bit strong for, say, topping your pancakes (that's Grade A territory), the higher-octane stuff lends a rich, almost caramel-like maple flavor to baked goods. These simple drop cookies, adapted from a recipe I discovered in a vintage Vermont baking pamphlet at the Maple Museum of New England, are an ideal recipe to let the maple flavor shine.
They're great on their own, or if you want to double your pleasure, sandwich two with a smear of buttercream.
Note: As I learned on this website, Grade C Maple Syrup is no longer used by USDA. Grade C Maple Syrup is now designated USDA Grade B Maple Syrup. However, while in Vermont last week, I still saw a lot of maple labeled Grade C. If you can't locate Grade C maple syrup, simply choose the darkest Grade B variety you can find.
About the author: Jessie Oleson is a Seattle-based writer, illustrator, gallery owner, and cake anthropologist who runs Cakespy, an award-winning dessert website. She is currently at work on her first book.
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup frosting of your choice, to form sandwiches (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set to the side.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, once again mixing until smooth and light.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add it in 2-3 increments, alternating by adding the maple syrup (begin and end with the flour mixture), stirring after each addition. Between additions, pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto your prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2 inches around each cookie to allow for spreading.
Bake 8-10 minutes, or until golden around the edges and with a dull finish on top. If desired (do it) sandwich two cookies with frosting of your choice in the middle to serve.