Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cookie Favors

As you'll recall in my post Wednesday, I mentioned cookies. For what, you ask? Well, favors of course! I've had this idea banging around in my head for awhile, after being inspired from another wedding blog I read. How better to bring in our fall theme but with leaf-shaped maple flavored cookies?

First, the recipe. Good ol' Emeril Lagasse had a yummy sounding maple cookie recipe out on the Food Network website. Everything was going well on the shopping trip to get the ingredients until I got to the maple sugar. What the heck is maple sugar? None of the grocery stores have it...and trust me, I checked a few. After doing some investigation online, maple sugar seems to be strictly an east coast thing. Maple sugar is just maple syrup in a different form. You can read more about it here. So, I ordered some online and waited for the delivery to get here.

In the meantime, I found these maple cookie cutters online.

[image from]

They were meant to be favors, but I thought they'd be the perfect size for the cookies I wanted to make. So I ordered those too.

After I had everything I needed to get started, I began my trial run. I had made the cookie dough up a couple nights in advance, as the recipe states it needs to be in the refrigerator at least 4 hours prior to baking. And the cookie dough was super easy to whip up.

So then I began my process of rolling and cutting.

I rolled the dough out to 1/4-inch thick and cut enough cookies to fill up a cookie sheet. And the white substance in the small bowl is heavy cream. The instructions said to brush that on before baking, so that's what I did.

While the first batch of cookies were baking, I started on the maple glaze. This is where the maple sugar comes in. The glaze is just butter, powdered sugar, maple sugar and maple extract heated up on the stove.

It forms this brown colored glaze, which I thought I may be able to make orange. First, I tried equal parts yellow and red food coloring. I got red glaze.

So THAT didn't work. Then I ditched that batch of glaze and made another, this time only adding yellow food coloring. I thought the yellow and brown may mix to become a burnt orange color.

As you can see from the cookie in the bottom right, it is a little orange but nothing really noticable. And after I made two batches of the glaze, I determed what a pain in the hiney it really is. You have to keep it heated perfectly...just before boiling point, but it can't cool too much either. Way too many of my cookies came out with lumpy glaze. The glaze did add a bit more sweetness and maple flavor to the cookie, but I decided it wasn't worth the trouble (after having to eventually dump both my glaze attempts down the drain). So, I thought that maybe the cookies would be fine just on their own.

I was satisfied with the plain cookies--they still tasted fine. Granted not quite as good, but still good.

Then I decided to play with my packaging idea. I thought along with the cookies I could include the recipe. At first, I was thinking of putting the recipe on ivory paper. But with the un-iced cookies, this would be kind of blah. Then it hit me. My aunt actually had a whole bunch of extra copper paper left over from the invitations, as the first batch of paper was mistakenly scored in the wrong place and had to be re-ordered. And ironically, the paper was cut into 6-inch strips and scored in the middle at 3 inches. Three inches being the exact width of an index card. Can you say perfect?! Here's the un-iced cookies bagged with the copper paper (just imagine the recipe printed on it), tied with orange and brown ribbon with our monogram tag attached. And the tags were left over from our invitations too! Nothing is going to waste!!

What do you think?

I spoke to my mom later in the day after I had made these and I was telling her my maple glaze woes. She ended up finding a couple of other maple glaze recipes online for me to try. Here's the proof:

These were of a much better spreading consistency than the maple glaze in the recipe above, with no heating required. I immediately fell in love! The one on the left is sort of an ivory color...the one on the right a brown. The ivory colored icing was just too strong of a taste for's main ingredient was pure maple syrup. Have you ever tried that? Let's just say I stuck my finger the maple syrup and tried it after making this icing...and I won't be doing that again! lol The brown icing used maple extract instead of syrup. It was perfect! Perfect tasting and perfect looking! I think I've solved my un-iced cookie issue. Brown icing it is!



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