Maple Syrup Season

Maple Syrup often conjures up thoughts of apples, butternut squash, roast pork and all flavors that arrive upon our fall tables come October.  But Maple Syrup is really a product of early spring.  Growing up, as the snow began to melt and it was warm enough to be outside without 400 layers of clothing on, my childhood friend Molly and I would hop on our bikes to go explore the neighborhood and see what had been going on while were were hibernating for the past 5 months.  All along Mountain Road we would see the sap buckets hung on every Maple Tree that lined this picturesque, New England road.  We would lift the lids and peak in, seeing the clear water like liquid, daring each other to taste it…slightly sweet but without much taste we went on our way unimpressed.  Only after the sap has been boiled into that familiar golden syrup we all know and love, do I really indulge 🙂

In honor of the season I opted for some maple syrup cookies (well, I also made cupcakes, they can be found here).  I adapted the following recipe from one that I found on the blog Apron Archives.  They are really nice, while the maple flavor is not quite as pronounced as I had hoped they have a lovely caramel flavor and they keep really well!

Spring Maple Syrup Chocolate Chip Cookies

yield = 4 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room tempurature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup black strap molasses
1 cup grade B maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven for 350 degrees.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Whisk together flour, salt, b.s. and b.p.
Add molasses and maple syrup.  Mix till combined and make sure to scrape the bowl and beater.
Add vanilla and eggs (one at a time). Mix well, it will look slightly curdled.
Add dry ingredients and mix till just combined, scrape and add the nuts and chocolate.  Mix completly.
Shape into golf ball size portions and flatten slightly when they have been placed on a parchment lines sheet pan.
Bake for 8 minutes, rotate pan and bake another few minutes till bottoms are browned and top looks “dry” not raw.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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