When I saw the photo for Carole Walter's "Glazed Maple-Pecan Cookies," I didn't think they looked particularly impressive, but I figured that a maple cookie was perfect for fall. And I love a slice-and-bake cookie that can be prepped in advance.
This recipe requires both a food processor and a mixer. You use the food processor to blend together white sugar, dark brown sugar, and maple flavoring (I get mine from Beanilla). Then you switch to the mixer: you beat softened butter until creamy and gradually add the maple sugar; add an egg, maple syrup, and vanilla; incorporate flour, salt, and baking soda; and mix in chopped toasted pecans. You form the dough into logs and chill them until firm. I left my dough in the fridge for 24 hours.
However, all of the cookies tasted fantastic and their understated appearance undersells how delicious they are. The cookies were packed full of maple flavor, and the combination of maple and pecans was so natural and lovely. I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan of maple, but I couldn't get enough of the maple in these cookies. The cookie was satisfyingly firm, and the glaze added a nice punch of additional sweet maple flavor. The cookies also kept very well for days. I liked these cookies so much that I made them again for my holiday cookie boxes. (And I learned my lesson -- I baked multiple batches of the cookies for my holiday boxes, but I made only one batch of maple glaze at a time so that it wouldn't harden before I could brush it onto the cookies.)
There are probably the most maple-centric dessert I've ever tasted. I definitely think it's worth it to get some good maple flavoring if you make this recipe, because I know from experience that it can be difficult to get a strong maple flavor with just maple syrup alone. I'm guessing that these cookies could make a maple fan out of anyone.
Recipe: "Glazed Maple-Pecan Cookies" by Carole Walter, from Fine Cooking.