I have another submission for my Christmas baking saga. I do apologize for the lack of photos. Seems in all the busyness of the holiday I did not snap as many pics as I normally would have. It's too bad because everything looked so good and I find recipes are more appealing with photos. However, you have to trust me on this one.
Sugar cookies are a Christmas staple around my house although I think they are awfully tedious for the end results. I have decided that picking one cookie cutter and sticking with it for the whole batch is sufficient. It eliminates the ultimate problem of keeping like sizes with like to avoid burning and then no one is fighting over who got the bigger cookie. So this year I made Maple Sugar Cookies and used a 3" snowflake cutter.
This recipe is one of the most delicious sugar cookies I have ever made. I do hesitate to use the word "Maple" in the title because, while there is both maple syrup and maple flavoring in the dough, neither came through all that much. There was a definite richness to the taste and I would say it is a cross between a sugar cookie and a Gingerbread cookie. When I opened the tin a week later, I was hit with the most amazing aroma.
One of my favorite features of the dough was how easily it rolled out. Even the third and fourth rolling of the scraps were no trouble at all. The tiny cracks, what few there were, easily rolled back together. I definitely doctored the amount of maple flavoring and the cinnamon. If you aren't a big cinnamon fan, I would consider cutting the amount in half again, although I already did quite significantly.
The one batch made 4 dozen which was plenty. They stayed soft for the first week and then were more on the crisp side. I loved them dunked in coffee and they definitely kept their flavor weeks later. This recipe is worthy of a card in my recipe box and is now a Christmas staple in my house. I hope it will be in yours as well.
Maple Sugar Cutout Cookies
2/3 cup softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 T. maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp maple flavoring
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
In a large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg, maple syrup and vanilla.
Blend in cinnamon, flour, baking powder and salt until well mixed.
Divide dough in half and chill for 1/2 hour.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease two large cookie sheets.
On a lightly floured surface, working with half the dough at a time, roll 1/8-inch thick. (Have some flour on hand to dip cookie cutter into.)
Dip cutter into flour and cut dough into shapes.
Using a metal spatula, place cookies 1/2-inch apart on cookie sheets.
Reroll trimmings and continue to roll into shapes.
Bake 8 minutes or until very lightly browned.
Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.