Call me a sentimentalist. I love getting letters. The real ones, I mean, written on paper with a pencil or pen. Some of my favorite notes of recent have been painstakingly drawn with crayons on scraps of crumpled notebook paper. In these days of email and texts, a handwritten note carries with it an air of warmth and care.
Handwritten recipes are like that too. I have a box full of recipes that my friends and family have shared with me, most of them handwritten on recipe cards, notebook paper, index cards- whatever was handy at the time. Going through my recipe box is like a trip down memory lane, recalling special people and special times.
When this handwritten recipe card fluttered to the floor out of a book I was shelving at the thrift store where I volunteer, I knew at once that it had also been special to someone. Lovingly handwritten (by a Grandma, no less),worn and stained, it had all of the earmarks of a well loved recipe- one that would feel right at home in my recipe box.
I changed very little of the recipe, adding some maple flavoring and topping it off with a walnut half and a divine maple glaze. (I had to resist the temptation to eat it by the spoonful.) These brown sugar beauties were perfectly chewy with crisp edges and a rich, buttery maple flavor. I'm pretty sure Stephanie's Grandma would approve.
Brown Sugar Maple Walnut Cut-Outs
"Receipt" adapted from Stephanie's Grandma
2 2/3 cups brown sugar, lightly packed (sift to prevent lumps)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb. soft butter or oleo
2 eggs, not too small
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Walnut halves or pieces (Toasting the walnuts slightly brings out their flavor.)
Maple Frosting ingredients
1/2 stick butter
2 cups confectioners sugar (sifted, to prevent lumps)
1/2 tsp. maple flavoring
1-2 Tblsp. brewed coffee, hot
Directions for making cookies:
- Cream together sugar, salt and butter.
- Beat eggs, maple flavor and vanilla extract together. Add to sugar and butter mixture.
- Sift dry ingredients together and gradually blend into above mixture.
- Chill well. Roll out on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Cut with cookie cutters (I used leaf shapes, but a circle would be just as nice) and bake on parchment for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are brown around edges. (Actual baking time will depend on the thickness and diameter of your cookies.)
- Cool on wire rack. Yield depends on thickness of dough and size of your cookie cutters.
- Use frosting (recipe follows) to attach a walnut half to each cookie. Drizzle frosting over cookie and walnut. (Or frost cookies and scatter chopped walnuts on top.)
- Melt butter in skillet. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in flavoring and confectioners sugar.
- Thin with hot coffee. Whisk until smooth and of drizzling consistency. (Thin with more coffee if needed.)