Switching gears from some of my Easter baking to another Springtime ritual here in New England: Maple Syrup. Seriously one of the best things on the planet. And no, not the fake stuff that is made from corn syrup but the real maple syrup that comes from trees and all. Last weekend was Maine Maple Sunday (always the 4th Sunday in March, right around when the trees should be tapped) and many of the producers had open houses. No, I don’t live in Maine, but close enough (not to mention family lives there, and many friends) so I got to thinking that I should commemorate this year’s “harvest” somehow. These lovely, crispy, nutty, maple-y cookies did the trick. Enjoy!
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons maple extract (substitute vanilla extract if you don’t have maple)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, one softened to room temperature
2 extra large eggs
1 cup chopped pecans
48 or so pecan halves
for the glaze
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup maple syrup (not fake stuff)
1 cup powder sugar
Melt the cold stick (not the room temperature stick) of butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk the melted butter until brown specks appear at the bottom. Watch closely and be careful not to burn. It should be a light brown color and have a nutty aroma. This should take about 5 minutes. Place brown butter in a large heat-proof bowl and whisk in an ice cube. Let cool for another few minutes,
In the work bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the softened butter, brown sugar and maple extract. Add in the browned butter and then the eggs, scraping the sides as needed. Add flour, baking soda, salt, oats and pecans. Mix for about a minute, but do not over-mix. Everything should be just combined. Place batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, create balls of the chilled batter. Flatten slightly onto the prepared baking sheets and press a pecan half onto each cookie. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
For the glaze
Melt 2 tablespoons butter and maple syrup over medium low heat until fully incorporated. Remove from heat and add 1 cup powder sugar. Drizzle (with a small bottle, piping bag/tip or spoon) over the cooled cookies.