And the Winner Is.....
Chewy Maple Cookies. Mmmmm.
Congratulations to Jamie Seiffer, localvore baker extraordinaire and winner of the 2011 We ♥ Local Food dessert recipe competition. Jamie stole the hearts and tastebuds of the sampling crowd at this Saturday’s winter farmers’ market with his Chewy Maple Cookies.
Sampling Local Sweets at the Farmers' Market
One of the things that set Jamie's recipe apart from the pack as we reviewed the recipes submitted for the competition was his ode to maple syrup. Jamie writes, "I find the taste of maple syrup comforting. Its caramel sweetness and amber tone are like being wrapped up in a blanket in front of a warm fire. Maple syrup is just so much of what is right in the world. Placing it in a cookie can only make it more so." I have to say, I heartily agree.
I'm not a cookie maker by nature - while other bakers produce satisfyingly soft cookies that last perfectly for week oozing their buttery sweet goodness, mine always seem to be hard as a rock within 2 minutes of escaping the oven and after a day are utterly unappealing.
I’ve made Jamie's cookies twice now and both times they've ended up as absolutely the best cookies I've ever made.
The recipe says to reduce the maple syrup by 2/3rds by boiling it down. While the first time I stopped the syrup from boiling at the right time, the second time I accidentally took the maple past the 250º mark and ended up with something more like maple candy. I cooled the chunky maple down, added the egg, baking powder, and vanilla and attempted to break down the maple sugar lumps as much as possible. While the two batches ended up very different, both are delicious. While the first batch had the maple evenly distributed throughout the cookie, the second had small specks of maple candy in each bite. If you don’t have yet have a handy candy thermometer, we sell them at City Market for a few bucks.
Separately I want to say a big Thank You to everyone who bought hearts to support the awesome work of The Intervale Center. We raised $507 and I’m loving the green hearts decorating the front end. Your generosity allows our local food system to grow.
Chewy Maple Cookies
Submitted by Jamie Seiffer
Makes 35-45 small cookies
- 2 Cups Maple Syrup
- ½ Cup Butter
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Egg
- 2 Cups Red Hen White Flour
Boil the maple syrup down to 1/3 the amount in a large pot. The syrup will foam up so keep a close eye on it to avoid a sticky mess! Using a candy thermometer, make sure the temperature doesn't exceed 250° and cool to 212° before stirring in the butter. If the melted butter just pools on the top of the syrup, heat the whole mixture up stirring constantly until the butter is incorporated. Cool again until the temperature is below 120º and add the vanilla, baking powder, and egg (make sure the temperature is below 120º or the egg will cook!). Add the flour and mix until combined. Chill until thick enough to scoop out solid-ish balls of dough.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Using a small scoop, scoop chestnut sized balls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes until pale gold. They will be soft when they come out so carefully transfer them to a cooling rack and make sure to let them cool. They get better the longer you cool them (no joke).