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these are a few of our favorite things

October 24, 2010

Time to bake for the shelter again.  I was trying to focus on maple, but my brain kept getting distracted by the pile of pumpkins that was slowly growing on the dining room table, waiting to be put up for the winter.  Maple.  Pumpkin.  Maple.  Pumpkin.  Hmm.  Determined to ignore the gourds, I pulled out the maple syrup cookbook.  Yes, she has one.  We’ve discussed her addiction before.   Anyway.

We first spotted the Maple Syrup Cookbook by Ken Haedrich last year while we were poking around a bookstore in Vermont.  It contains many delightful recipes for everything from maple butter to maple coffee cake to crispy maple spare ribs.  Yum.  Not wanting to make yet another impulse cookbook purchase, mrslovey took a picture of it and kept browsing.  We figured we’d put it on a wish list when we got home, and decide at a later date if we really wanted it.  Fast forward a year or so, and we’re in a different bookstore, different town, in Vermont.  Suddenly from halfway across the store I hear “This is the one!”  Confused, I hurry over to mrslovey, to see her with cookbook in hand.  She’s convinced that it’s the same one she wanted a year earlier, but to be honest, I’m skeptical.  You’re going to remember this glanced at and passed by item for that long?  Eager to prove me wrong, she pulls out her phone, skims through the photos, and I’ll be damned, it’s the same book.  Since we’ve now encountered and been interested in it twice, we decided it was a safe buy.

So what to bake this time?  I wanted something that made a decent quantity, was easy to transport, and wasn’t too messy to eat.  Suddenly, I found it.  “This is the one!”, I hollered.  On page 104 was a recipe for Maple. Pumpkin. Cookies.  Freaking brilliant.  And to make it even better, there were some apples in them, too!  Time to get to work.

The cookies smelled like autumn as they baked – noseful of pumpkin, whiff of spice, hint of maple.  The house was full of gorgeous fall scents, and mrslovey sat sadly on the couch, unable to smell them due to a head cold.  “Do they smell good?  Do they smell good?”, she asked several times.  Yes, they smell just wonderful.  And after the first batch cooled sufficiently, I learned that they tasted pretty decent, too.  Like the last batch of pumpkin-based cookies, they had a slightly moist, cakey texture, but the apples and pecans gave them a little more body.  Another bonus was that the recipe said it made about 3 dozen, but I got over 4 dozen nicely sized cookies out of it.  My only real complaint was that it got the stand mixer, food processor, and mixing bowls dirty, but then again I’m not in charge of doing the dishes, so that didn’t bother me all *too* much.

 

MAPLE PUMPKIN COOKIES

1 cup maple syrup

1 cup pumpkin puree, canned, or freshly cooked and cooled

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 chopped pecans

1 cup peeled, grated apple

  • Heat oven to 350F.  Grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment.
  • Combine the syrup, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla in the food processor and process until smooth.  Cream the butter with an electric mixer (or in a stand mixer) then stir in half of the pumpkin puree.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • Add the flour mixture and the pumpkin mixture alternately to the butter mixture, stirring after each addition just until blended in (loveysnote:  it looks disgusting, but don’t let that scare you). Fold in the pecans and apples.
  • Spoon heaping tablespoons of the batter, 2 inches apart, onto the baking sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bottom edges just start to brown.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.

 

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