These Maple Leaf Cookies are bursting with maple flavor: the combination of the sablé cookies with the irresistible maple butter filling makes them melt in the mouth. Just dreamy!
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If you’ve ever traveled to Canada, you’ve most likely seen displays of maple leaf cookie boxes in airport duty-free stores and souvenir shops. They sure look like a gimmick, given the steep price at which they are sold and the fact that they bring together two of Canada’s conspicuous icons: the maple leaf, and maple syrup. It may surprise you to learn that we actually grew up eating them! You see, boxes of maple leaf cookies (made with real maple syrup!) were also sold at grocery stores for a fraction of the souvenir shop price, so those addictive treats were no more an indulgence than say, Oreo cookies. At home when I was a kid, biscuits feuille d’érable were on heavy rotation in the lineup of cookies that took up a whole shelf in our pantry, and they were always my first choice when they did make an appearance.
While I know my parents still buy maple leaf cookies from time to time, I almost never get them from the store anymore. Instead, I make them at home! No surprise—homemade maple leaf cookies are even better than the store-bought treat. Not only is the creamy maple butter frosting bursting with maple flavor (I may or may not have eaten some by the spoonful), but the cookies, which are made with maple sugar instead of regular granulated sugar, have an incredibly appealing sablé texture that melts in the mouth.
Maple leaf cookies are not cheap cookies to make: the recipe does require a nice quantity of maple products (sugar, syrup, and butter), but the yield is impressive, especially if you make the cookies in a smaller size. Plus, I swear the result is better than any maple-flavored store-bought cookie you’ll ever buy!
Of course, you can make these cookies even if you don’t have a maple leaf-shaped cookie cutter and use any other cookie cutter you have on hand. But to me, the maple leaf shape just adds to the charm!
BONUS QUÉBEC TRAVEL TIP! If you come to Québec and want to buy maple products, skip the souvenir shop and head to a local grocery store. Most carry maple syrup and maple butter year-round, as well as maple leaf cookies too, of course (in the regular cookie aisle). They may not come in decorative containers or boxes, but you’ll get much more for your buck. You can also search for a Quebec maple producer that ships worldwide.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To make the cookies:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer, beat the butter with the granulated maple sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the maple syrup and beat until the mixture is creamy.
In a second bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the maple mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Using your hands, gather the dough into a ball and cut it into 4 portions. Keep one portion out and wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap.
On a generously floured surface, roll the maple dough to a 1/8-in (0.3-cm) thickness. Using a maple leaf cookie cutter (or another shape of your choosing), cut out as many cookies as possible, gently transferring them to the parchment paper-lined baking sheet as you go. (An offset spatula is very useful to transfer the cookies.) The cookies can be placed close to one another on the baking sheet because they won’t spread out while baking.
If using a maple leaf cookie cutter, you can use the dull side of a knife to trace shallow lines over each cookie in order to create a maple leaf pattern. Lightly brush each cookie with milk. Bake until the cookies are lightly golden on the edges. Depending on the size of the cookie cutter used, this could take between 6 and10 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. Repeat the rolling and baking process to bake all the cookies.
To make the maple butter frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer, beatthe maple butter with the softened butter until fully incorporated and smooth.Add the powdered sugar and whisk on low speed until the sugar is mixed in, thenincrease the speed to medium-high. Beat until the maple butter frosting islight and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Transfer the frosting to an airtightcontainer and keep it at room temperature until you’re ready to assemble thecookies.
To assemble the maple leaf cookies:
Spread agenerous layer of cream filling on one cookie, then cover with a second cookie.Repeat to assemble all cookies. Eat any remaining maple butter filling by thespoonful!
STORAGE: The assembled cookies will keep in an airtight containerat room temperature for up to 4 days. The maple leaf cookies will be crispy ontheir first day, and then soften a bit upon resting. Both textures aredelightful, but I find the cookies to be at their very best after a 24-hour rest.
CLEVER TIP: Prepare the components of these cookies ahead of time! You can freeze the raw cookie dough carefully wrapped in plastic for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then bring back to room temperature 1 hourbefore rolling.You can also make the frosting in advance andrefrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 1 month. Thaw overnightand bring back to room temperature 1 hour before using. Give the frosting anenergetic stir before using it to fill the cookies.
Did you make this?
Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.
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