Fall Care Package: Chewy Maple Cookies

Alex Heyison ’15 was phenomenal both vocally and dramatically in the role of Charles Guiteau, performing with a manic, off-kilter energy that sent shivers down our spines.

— From the Wesleyan Argus‘s review of Assassins

One month, one play, one regatta, several midterms, and waaay too many streakers after Alex’s departure for college, I started to get this niggling feeling that his cookie supplies had dwindled. And it was fall and I was in a baking mood and my mom had given me socks to mail him, so I baked some cookies, made a CD, and sent Alex a care package!

Or, at least, attempted to. Because these cookies did not make it out of our kitchen. There’s a subtle genius to this recipe, one that you don’t see coming until you’ve dipped a fingertip into the batter and suddenly find you’ve devoured half of it. There are only a few ingredients, which, to my mind, meant the cookies would be pretty basic. But in this case, the toning down of any other spices allows the full flavor of the maple syrup and the perfectly chewy texture of the cookies to really stand out.

So as I said, batch one never made it out of our kitchen. Batch two, however, arrived safely (though a little smushed) this afternoon.

As a result of the recipe’s minimalist nature, the outcome of these cookies depends entirely on the quality of the maple syrup you use. So it’s worth investing in the good stuff — don’t even consider using Aunt Jemima’s. I used Brad’s Organic Maple Syrup, Grade B. Grade B has a much stronger flavor than Grade A, and it can be a bit much for pancakes, but you have to use Grade B syrup for baking or all the flavor will be lost. And while I initially felt funny about spending that much money on syrup, the results were absolutely worth the splurge.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup Grade B maple syrup

You will also need:

  • Saran wrap
  • Parchment paper
  • Electric mixer
  • Cookie sheets
  • A refrigerator

Step 1: Whisk together dry ingredients. So that’s the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.

Step 2: Cream together butter and brown sugar.

Step 3: Add egg and vanilla and combine. Pour in the maple syrup. Aww yeah.

Step 4: Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. DO NOT EAT THE BATTER it is a slippery slope, my friend.

Step 5: Cover bowl with saran wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. Do it! Or else your cookies will just melt into glop when you stick them in the oven.

Step 6: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Deposit tablespoon-sized blobs of dough onto the baking sheets. Be sure to leave plenty of space between your blobs, because they expand a lot.

Observe:

Bake for around 10 minutes, until edges turn a nice golden brown.

Step 7: Devour the cookies.

Sorry, bro. Couldn’t resist.

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