So, in the wake of our first sugar season, we have roughly 2 gallons of syrup. Much of it will be gifted, I’m sure- not even Matt can eat that many pancakes.
However, even after the barbecue last week, we have a bunch of syrup. Time to chip away at it. Brown sugar, brown butter, maple, bourbon cookies.
I found this recipe on Pinterest. It’s located here. Now, I can’t have most ice cream, and I really only wanted cookies anyhow, so that was the part of that recipe I made. I went with 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven (but perhaps mine runs hot)- the key to chewy cookies is to underbake them.
I also went with bourbon in place of vanilla. Really, my vanilla extract is just some vanilla beans chopped up in a jar of vodka anyway.
I took to Pinterest looking for something with some trepidation- most of the food there is dump cakes and poke cakes and spaghetti stabbed through chopped up hotdogs before being cooked, and other means of making boxed mixes and other stuff “taste more home made” (which is a direct quote from a pin caption I’ve seen). I’m a scratch baker- if I’m going to make myself some buttery, sugary goodness, I’m putting a hurdle in front of myself. Namely, measuring a bunch of ingredients and waiting for it to cook. Otherwise, I’m hopeless in the face of baked goods.
This recipe was a surprise. The dough itself was tasty, if a bit plain. Though I did discover that I can eat brown sugar whipped brown butter all by itself, something magic happens when you bake these cookies (make sure you get allll the little browned bits into the mixing bowl). They’ve got an excellent, rich flavor, and they’re really moist and chewy. However, I’ve come back to the same conclusion I’ve held for a while when it comes to baking with maple:
The flavor will never come through. It never will, it’s just not going to happen. The dominant flavor in this cookie is the browned butter (not a bad thing! brown butter is amazing). In other baked goods, maple flavor is lent by frosting or glaze. It works well as an alternative sweetener, and it’s hydrophilic, and will thus keep the goods moist for longer. But if you want maple flavor, you need more (way more) syrup, fewer other ingredients, and less cook time. Granola bars (the chewy kind), the no-bake protein/energy/snack balls you see all over the place, and other no-bake stuff.
I do, however, have my eye on a maple creme brulee. I think mixed into a custard at the end of the cooking process, but before allowing it to set could let it shine. Even more so if you mix maple syrup into the sugar you burn on the top.