Farmers Market Meals: Maple Sugar Cookies

Every month the locavore chefs at Cuisine en Locale whip up a special recipe for Somerville Beat readers focusing on local, seasonal ingredients. Below you’ll find what’s cooking in December.

Maple Sugar Cookies

Nothing says the holidays like a plate full of cookies straight out of the oven. Try our recipe using all-local ingredients such as Four Star Farms flour and North Hadley Sugar Shack maple sugar for a buttery rich cookie with a little something special. Use this recipe for slice and bake cookies, roll-out cookies and snickerdoodles. This dough freezes beautifully: either pre-shape it for roll-out cookies or slice and bake cookies and wrap in a double layer of plastic. Dough will keep frozen for up to two months.

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) Cabot unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup North Hadley Sugar Shack maple sugar
½-1 tsp. Maine sea salt (for a finely ground sea salt use ½ tsp., for a coarser sea salt use 1 tsp)
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
2¼ cups Four Star Farms pastry flour

Instructions:
1. Cut butter into small chunks.
2. Combine butter and maple sugar. Cream until light and fluffy either with an electric mixer or with a wooden spoon.
3. Beat in salt. Then add egg yolks one at a time, scraping bowl after each addition.
4. Add flour in gradually, scraping down bowl frequently and stirring until just combined. You want to avoid overworking the dough once you add the flour.
5. Shape*, chill and bake dough.

*See following instructions for variations.

Maple Sugar Cookie Illustration

Roll-out cookies:
1. Divide dough in half and pat into two round disks and wrap in plastic. Place dough in refrigerator for about a half-hour to make the dough easier to work with.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Lightly flour your work service. Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator at a time and roll out to an even ¼-inch thickness. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Scraps can be gathered up and placed back into the fridge to roll out again or can be turned into snickerdoodles (instructions below). Repeat with remaining dough.
4. Bake 7-10 minutes or until lightly brown. Allow to cool on pans for 1 minute and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Slice and bake cookies:
1. Divide dough into three equal portions. Shape dough into 1½-inch logs and wrap in plastic. Place in refrigerator until firm, about two hours.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Slice dough into ¼-inch disks with a sharp knife and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake 7-10 minutes or until lightly brown. Allow to cool on pans for 1 minute and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Snickerdoodles:
1. Place dough in refrigerator for a half-hour to make the dough easier to work with.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Combine a ¼ cup maple sugar with 1 tablespoon cinnamon and a ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg in a small bowl.
4. Portion doughs into 1½ inch balls either with a cookie scoop or by hand. Roll balls of dough in cinnamon maple sugar mixture. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten slightly.
5. Bake 7-10 minutes or until lightly brown. Allow to cool on pans for 1 minute and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

P.S. Like this recipe? Then get in touch to sign up for a subscription to ‘zine en Locale. Each issue is filled with recipes, stories and tips. 

Illustration by Cuisine en Locale’s Jack Schneider.

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