Maple Sandwich Cookies

It’s maple season. Yes, I know – pumpkin spice is all the rage in October. I have absolutely nothing against it, but it’s not the only fall flavor, right? Maple is one of my favorite flavors regardless of the month, especially when paired with pecans. But for a while I’ve been meaning to make a maple sandwich cookie, so here we are.

Mike’s colleagues loved these, but truth be told, I think they’re just a bit too sweet. I know! Me, thinking something is too sweet…but on occasion, it does happen. The cookies themselves are absolutely delicious, as is the maple cream filling. I think you could leave the cookies plain, and perhaps pair the filling with a different, slightly saltier cookie. Ah well. As long as someone enjoyed them, that’s all that matters.

Ingredients

Maple Cookies

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour

Maple Cream Filling

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar on high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of your bowl a few times. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla, then beat in flour.

Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop dough into balls and drop about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until edges are light brown. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make maple cream filling, beat butter on medium speed for about 1 minute; add maple syrup, 1 tablespoon heavy cream, and 1 cup powdered sugar and beat to combine completely. Add remaining powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and maple extract and beat until smooth.

To assemble, flip cookies over and spread filling on half the cookies, then top with the remaining cookies to make sandwiches. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. Makes 24 sandwiches.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkin cupcakePumpkin baking continues! This weekend I made some pumpkin chocolate chip bread and I had a little more than a cup of pumpkin left over, so I wanted to try something new. I found this recipe online and first thought it was more muffin-like than cupcake-like, but the end results are definitely in the cupcake family. They have an excellent texture, likely due to the combination of pumpkin puree and vegetable oil, and just enough spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg.

These cupcakes pair well with maple cream cheese frosting, which is one of my favorites ever. Just make sure you use real maple syrup – the pure stuff – rather than maple flavoring for this frosting; while you could probably use maple flavoring, I doubt it would be the same.┬áIf you’re lacking in pure maple syrup, you could certainly frost these with plain cream cheese frosting or cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners; my recipe yielded 14 cupcakes.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a large glass measuring cup, combine pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix well, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Stir until well-combined and smooth.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, fill cupcake wells about 3/4 full.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven; immediately remove from tins and place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preparation

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese for 2-3 minutes, until very fluffy.

Add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until well-combined; add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and beat until well-combined. Add remaining powdered sugar and maple syrup, beating until very well-combined.

Frost cupcakes using an offset spatula. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

spice cupcakesThis frosting is one of my favorites ever. It has a smooth texture and delightful maple flavor that can, I promise, only be achieved if you’re using real maple syrup. Please, please, please don’t use maple flavoring or, heaven forbid, pancake syrup…it will just not be the same. Trust me.

I originally created this frosting based on a few other recipes that I saw online, then tweaked it reach the consistency and flavor that I wanted. It is an excellent complement to spice cupcakes, but could also pair well with pumpkin or cinnamon cake or cupcakes; I can also imagine it as a nice pairing with brown sugar bundt or pound cake.

The recipe below yields a fairly large quantity, enough for 24 regular-sized cupcakes and 16 miniature cupcakes.

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preparation

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese for 2-3 minutes, until very smooth and well-blended.

Add one cup powdered sugar, beating until combined, followed by 2 tablespoons maple syrup, again beating until well-combined. Add additional cups powdered sugar and remaining tablespoons of maple syrup alternatively, beating until frosting is very smooth.

Transfer frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Store in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving.