Pools made of maple butter must exist in the Canadian countryside because the first time I bit into a mass-produced, “made-in-Canada” maple leaf cookie, I imagined myself swimming in one. “Canada is amazing!” I shouted. “How do they do this?” Any other store-bought cookie is dry and crumbly, leaving me with a generic, processed, flour-coated feeling on the roof of my mouth. Milk doesn’t cut it, though a Moosehead lager might do the trick. In any case, I spent every weekend driving to the grocery store and buying packages of maple leaf cookies some years ago when I lived in Ohio. However, one day the grocery store stopped carrying the stuff I loved. So, I went to a different grocery store chain. No maple leaf cookies. I panicked. I ripped open packages of wafer creams only to feel so empty.
Then, a devilish thought popped into my head: If left to my own devices, could I make a maple cream just as good as the store bought? And, if I did develop my own recipe, who would confirm that they tasted as good as the store bought? At the time, I didn’t know any Canadians, but I did have (and still have) an extremely honest husband (Nate). He was the one who drove me to my maple madness obsession by introducing me to these cookies in the first place. My good-hearted husband would definitely tell me the truth, but I wanted more opinions, so I decided to enter my cookies in the county fair in Springfield, Ohio in 2005.
After much trial and error, I had a sample of three cookies I could drop off at the fair. Then, I worked up the nerve to visit the baked goods section and search for my entry several days later. Not only had I won a blue ribbon, but I had also won a blue rosette “best of show” ribbon—my first and only so far. My husband stared at the ribbon and then stopped a judge who happened to be walking by.
“My wife won the rosette?” he asked.
“Yes,” the judge replied.
“It was a good cookie, but it won over the others?”
“It won over some of the cakes and pies, too.”
“Again,” my husband continued, “it was a good cookie, but …”
“But the flavors were just right,” the judge explained.
Indeed. They were just right. I’m not sure if they’re really as good as the store-bought. I don’t possess the magic passed down from generation to generation in the hollow of a Keebler tree. But I do know how to fully appreciate a few things bearing the image of a maple leaf: these cookies and a bottle of Molson Canadian. Cheers, eh?
Maple Leaf Cookie Recipe:
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 cup softened butter
1 ½ teaspoons pure maple extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup softened butter
1½ cups powdered sugar
3 teaspoons imitation maple extract
Place the softened butter into a large mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar and cream the butter and sugar together. Next, add the maple extract and the egg. Mix well. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Add the flour mixture in thirds to the butter mixture in the large bowl. Refrigerate the dough for a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 °. Next, roll out the dough and cut it into shapes using a small maple leaf cookie cutter. Place the shapes onto a cookie sheet, lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes. This mixture should yield around 5 dozen leaf shapes.
On the bottom of one half of a leaf-shaped cookie, spread a teaspoon or so of filling. (Directions for the filling are below.) Top with another cookie. Repeat for the remaining cookies. Yield: 50-60 cookies.
Directions for the Filling:
Mix all of the ingredients for the filling together. Make sure the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Full Disclosure: “From Hammers To Ales While Breaking Some Nails: One Mom’s DIY Journey,” on Blogspot, was perhaps the least successful blog in history and it belonged to me. I’d post with hopeful anticipation, only to hear the sound of crickets in response. In the 1-2 years that I kept that blog, there were no followers and no one left any comments. I couldn’t even get spam to visit my site. Now I have over 200 follows and lots of comments—thanks to all of you! The cookie recipe and post above came from my previously less successful blog and I’m “re-blogging” it here as a kind of redemption. I’m turning over a new leaf so to speak with these maple leaf cookies here in the Pacific Northwest. The leaves and the salmon are changing colors. I’ve made my fall batch for the year and I’ve decided that this recipe needs to be “resurrected” from its tomb of silence. (It’s the Halloween season after all.) Enjoy!
Your Turn: What is your favorite store bought or homemade cookie? Share here! Also, if you have a favorite cookie recipe on your blog, please feel free to add a link to that post in the comments section. Cheers!