For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while you might know I have a sensitivity to cane sugar which exacerbates my Crohn's Disease. What you might not know is that I also detest chocolate. I know, I must have some sort of rare recessive gene. What woman hates chocolate? It actually makes me gag. I swear. So no heart-shaped box of chocolates for me on Valentine's Day!
I've had a little too many store-bought cookies and Swedish Fish over the past few weeks and it set off a nasty week-long Crohn's disease spell. Considering I'm 20 weeks pregnant I have my growing baby to think about now, so back to cane sugar-free eating for me. Which isn't as hard as you might think. Yes, cane sugar seems to make its way into just about every product on the shelves. But a little internet research, and a lot of home cooking and baking, and you can have your sweets and eat them too!
So on this Valentine's Day in lieu of nasty, sugary chocolate (Yuck!) I've made myself a sweet treat of my favorite maple cookies. Next to vanilla, maple is by far my favorite flavor. A warning: these are in no way a "diet" cookie. Just because they don't contain cane sugar, they do contain a whole cup of butter, YUM!
This recipe comes off an excellent website full of cookies and treats with cane sugar alternatives, I altered it slightly by using only one cup of maple sugar and replacing the extra half cup with maple syrup since it's slightly cheaper than maple sugar. Enjoy!
As autumn leaves fall, I love to make these maple cookies cut out with leaf-shaped cookie cutters. They are crisp and crunchy like an autumn leaf and are flavored and sweetened with maple syrup, which, as you know, is the sap of a tree.
They can also be used instead of graham crackers to make a flavorful cookie-crumb pie crust.
Makes about 4 dozen medium-sized cookies
NOTE: Dough needs to chill at least four hours, so don't make these at the last minute for a party. Make the dough ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. My dough was delicious after chilling for a week, and seems to improve with time.
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated maple sugar or unrefined cane sugar (such as Sucanat or Rapadura)*
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 cups unbleached white flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a medium bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer.
- Gradually add the sugar while you continue to beat.
- Add the eggs, vanilla extract, maple extract, and maple syrup, and beat until light and fluffy.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
- Bring the dough into a ball, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Chill at least four hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Roll the dough out 1/4-inch thick. Cut out cookies and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.