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Glazed Maple-Pecan Cookies

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Yields about 6 dozen 2-inch cookies.

For the dough:
  • 11-1/4 oz. (2-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup very firmly packed, very  fresh dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. maple flavoring (available in supermarkets)
  • 6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. (2 cups) toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
Tip:
For the best results, measure your flour by weight instead of volume. (1 cup of all-purpose flour equals 4-1/2 oz.) If you don’t have a scale, be sure to use the proper technique when filling your measuring cups.
For the glaze:
  • 3/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, warmed
  • Hot water as needed for thinning
Mix the dough:

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. In a food processor, pulse the granulated and brown sugars to blend and then add the maple flavoring. Pulse five or six times and then process for 15  seconds. Scrape the bowl to be sure all of the flavoring has been incorporated.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-low speed until very smooth, about 2 min. Add the sugar mixture in three additions. Mix until lightened in color, about another 3  min. Add the egg and then the maple syrup and vanilla, mixing just until blended. Scrape the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, and then add the pecans and mix just until  blended.

Shape the dough:

Have ready three 15-inch sheets of plastic wrap. Portion the dough into three equal pieces and roll each piece back and forth until it forms a log about 10 inches long. (You needn’t flour the rolling surface.) Position each log on a sheet of plastic wrap, centering it at the edge closest to you. Roll tightly, twisting the ends firmly to seal. With your hands on either end, push the log firmly toward the center to compact the dough. The finished log should measure about 9  inches long and about 1-1/2  inches thick. Refrigerate the logs until firm enough to slice, 2 to 3 hours, or freeze for up to three months.

Bake the cookies:
Tip:
Meanwhile, make the glaze:

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Working with one log at a time, use a tomato knife or other small serrated knife to cut the dough into 1/4-inch rounds using a gentle sawing motion. Set the rounds 1 inch apart on the prepared pans and bake until the cookies are lightly browned, about 18 minutes, rotating the pans as needed for even browning.

Whisk the confecctioners’ sugar and maple syrup until smooth and pourable.

Remove the sheets from the oven and let rest on the baking sheets for 2 min. While the cookies are still hot, use a pastry brush to brush a thin layer of the glaze on top of each cookie. (If the glaze becomes too thick as it stands, thin it with a few drops of  hot water.) Transfer the cookies to a rack; the glaze will become firm within minutes. 

Store the cookies, layered between sheets of waxed paper, in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze for up to three months.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Best cookies I have ever made and ate. Delicious!!!!!!!!!

I made these cookies tonight and they were very easy and quite yummy. My local grocers didn't have maple extract so I didn't use it but with maple syrup in the dough and the maple syrup based glaze; I didn't think it was lacking in maple flavor without the maple extract. I mixed up a double batch of the cookie dough before dinner and let them chill for a couple of hours in the fridge. They sliced up easy using a serrated knife as directed and baked in exactly 18 minutes. They barely color and they do not spread at all so I was able to fit more on the 2nd and 3rd rounds of baking. The glaze is necessary and if it thickens, a quick stir with the fork makes it smooth without the need for adding hot water. Really easy and delicious. These are definitely a keeper and great to do ahead and have on hand for unexpected company or for a weekend.

Oh my...these are good. And tasted even better, if that were possible, after sitting overnight. The recipe calls for maple flavoring which wasn't clear to me what exactly that is. I ended up using pure maple liquid extract as opposed to artificial extract or maple granules. Excellent results. Also easy to make and keep very well.

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