So to Christmas. As I see it you have two choices. Spend a horrendous couple of days battling stressed-out shoppers in search of over-priced (and inevitably under-appreciated) gifts, or take a couple of hours one evening to bake. Cookies are fast, easy to make in large quantities and require very little concentration in their preparation – allowing you listen to a podcast, watch TV, or drink a glass of wine at the same time as solving all your present problems. You can’t do that in the small appliances section of a department store.
These butter cookies are simple, yet – with the addition of freshly grated nutmeg and golden maple syrup - luxurious. While you can make them in any shape you like, I think they look especially sweet cut to resemble leaves. Package them up prettily with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of thought: click here, here or here for some great ideas. Happy holidays.
Nutmeg Maple Butter Cookies
From Smitten Kitchen
1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (118 ml) maple syrup
1 large egg yolk
3 cups (375 grams) flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. With mixer running, add yolk and slowly drizzle in maple syrup. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, nutmeg and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. The dough will be in loose clumps. Gather them together into a tight packet with a large piece of plastic wrap and chill dough for at least two hours (and up to four days) until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper. On a floured counter, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into desired shapes.
Arrange cookies on baking sheets and bake for 8 to 11 minutes each, or until lightly golden at the edges. Transfer to racks to cool.