Sunday, November 6, 2011

Brown Sugar Maple Walnut Cut-Outs

     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.)
Maple frosting:
  • 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.)

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  1. These sound really different and great for Thanksgiving! I picked up maple extract a while ago and haven't done much with it-thanks:@)

  2. What a nice way to start a Sunday; your post spoke to my soul. Really enjoyed reading how you feel about a hand written letter; I hardly ever get any now. I was reading about your About me; I found out you are a teacher. I was one of those years ago and now I wonder how you do it. My son and his wife also teach;how it has changed since my days.
    Take good care.

  3. I love old recipes. These maple goodies look really tasty.

  4. Love cookies with frosting so I'm adding this to my collection. I also have maple extract I've never used so I'm ready to go.

    You volunteer at a thrift store, work full-time and keep up a blog? I'm impressed!

  5. Hopefully, Stephanie will stumble upon this post one day. What a wonderful find and delicious-looking cookie. It reminds me of a southern praline.

  6. Love how it looks like the walnut is tucked into the cookie by the yummy glaze.

  7. The kids are coming next weekend so it is time to fill the cookie jar.

  8. Oh, these are beautiful as well as delicious! What a treasure you found~

  9. Very fall, very warming, excellent recipe to share.

  10. What a great find. Hopefully Stephanie will find your post and track down her grandmother's recipe.

    I love getting hand-written mail too!

  11. What a beautiful recipe! Like you, I love handwritten letters and recipe cards. Thanks for sharing. These are too good for me not to try making my own. I hope you are having a wonderful day!

  12. These are really pretty cookies.

  13. What a lovely find...I so agree about hand written letters or notes :) And these cookies are wonderful, so beautiful for fall :)

  14. How wonderful to find such a treasure. What I'd give to find some of the recipes I use to make with my grandmother when I was a child. These are always the best ones. Cherish it.

  15. Love those cookies, those recipes reminded me of how my grand mother writes her own, it even looks like her hand writing.

  16. The frosting is probably only a bonus...cause, the cookie base seems to have all the right ingredients for a real treat.
    Betty, this recipe's writing is eerily close to my Nonna's hand writing.
    This brought back memories of when Mom and I looked through some of our own pass-me down recipes. We still have not managed to get through a quarter of the bag...papers are falling apart because of a mild fire she had in her apartment...a big loss for all of us.'re so right about the pleasures of getting a hand written note...I really miss them too. I do make it a point to still send B-day cards by snail mail ;o)

    Have a great week,

  17. I have all of my mom's handwritten recipe cards, always brings back memories of her and cooking with her. So glad I found your blog, I love the name of it. you inspire me. The cookies sounds wonderful and so pretty for the season. Keep doing all you do, because you do wonders. Have a great day Andi the wednesday baker

  18. Look at how yummy. enticing and irresistible. Seriously the adjectives that come to mind when i look at these cookies. I love them and prefect for fall and or christmas goodies!

  19. I love hand written recipe, although nowadays printing them it's so much easier.
    These cookies look great! I'm sure Stephanie's grandma will be pleased with the maple touch.
    Thanks for sharing, hope you're having a wonderful week.

  20. What wonderful kismet! It seems like you didn't find this recipe, but IT found YOU. Perfect for the season. I love all things maple!

  21. Handed down handwritten recipes are precious. This must be a delicious cookie with walnut and brown sugar maple! Wish I am having one with my tea right now.

  22. maple + coffee = heaven on earth. it's an unexpectedly delightful blend, and it must make the perfect glaze for these cute cookies--nice find!

  23. I had to stop in again to tell you, I love that you "practice" retirement in your off summers. Made me chuckle!

  24. I, too, love recipes like this one. They nourish the body and the soul. Thanks for sharing this one with us. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  25. Hand written anything is nearly obsolete! Unfortunately.
    What a find! To open a cookbook and have this lovely recipe fall into your hands. I am charmed. And the cookies look delicious.

  26. Your cookie looks wonderful! You are right about handwritten notes, they are truly special! What a lovely find, this recipe! All the more to treasure! Have a lovely day!

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  28. Thse cookies look like they would be great for someone with a big sweet tooth for sure. Richard

  29. It seems you found a hidden treasure. I love my dogeared, handwritten recipes. They are more than just something to eat, they are part of my past.

  30. What a special recipe! Those cookies look so inviting.

  31. mmmm, i just discovered your blog and i can't wait to try some of your yummy recipes. Also makes me think of my mom and how i miss her cooking. I need to find some of her old favorite recipes too. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Oh I am in love with the look of these! Perfect Fall treat!

  33. Those old hand written recipes are little treasures to protect and cherish. I have some of my mother's recipes from years ago and I love to look at them. They bring back so many memories. I do love maple frosting.

  34. Perfect for Thanksgiving - so lovely - love the old fashioned recipe ;)
    Mary x

  35. Betty...just a small hello and to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

    Ciao, Claudia


Thanks for stopping by scrambled hen fruit! I appreciate all of your comments and look forward to reading them.

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