We made Nutmeg Maple Butter Cookies from Smitten Kitchen, and iced them with Amanda's Awesome Icing, from I Am Baker
We decided on the Maple Nutmeg cookie. Turned out to be a good choice, yum!
I went on the scant side of the 1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg, fearing it would be too strong. I also used Grade A Dark Amber maple, because I didn't find a Grade B in time. I did not add maple flavor because, well, I'd rather use the real thing. I used imported butter, and for the flour, 1/2 Whitle Lily, 1/2 King Arthur All Purpose
|Flour, salt, and nutmeg, just mixed in|
|Butter, sugar, egg yolk, and maple syrup, fluffed|
|Dough wrapped up and patted smooth, ready to chill.|
|Dough gently collected into a ball.|
|Baked longer, much tastier, crunchier.|
|Pulled out too early, and my oven was running too cool.|
I divided the dough in two, and rolled half at a time on a lightly floured silicon mat. It was pretty easy to work with. I retired my really large cookie cutters; I've found that smaller cutters make tastier cookies. These also hold an impression. In the right-hand photo above, you may be able to make out the impression on the Tardis cookie (yes, that's the space ship/time machine from Dr. Who).
I just got an oven thermometer, and found that it was running under temperature, as I suspected. I pulled the first tray out too early. They were tasty, but too soft, no crunch at all. I ended up putting them back in the oven later, which improved them a lot. The second tray cooked longer, at a higher heat. The more golden color also brings the richness of toasted butter flavor, making them so much more delicious! I don't mind golden cookies at all.
Obviously Santa requires decorated cookies. I made Amanda's icing, flavored with vanilla and almond, rather than the lemon called for. I made it thin, so the kids could dip the cookies in it and have the sprinkles stick. This is a great deal simpler than using multiple colors and piping bags, and prevents extreme over-icing, as kids will tend to do. They can be quite creative with the sprinkles.