Cookies and Brownies, Elaine Walker

Maple Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Dough:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple flavor
1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

Filling:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup, Grade B preferred
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon maple flavor, optional
1 tablespoon milk (optional – only if necessary to make a spreadable filling)

To make the dough:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, salt, sugars, and maple flavor.
  2. Add the flour and mix just until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. (The dough can chill longer than 30 minutes, but if it does, allow about 15 minutes for it to warm a bit and soften before rolling it out.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough about 1/8″ thick.
  5. Use a cutter to cut the dough into shapes — leaves, stars, hearts, circles, your choice. (To make the thicker stamped cookies, see “tips,” below.) Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re beginning to brown a bit. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pan.

To make the filling:
Mix together all of the filling ingredients except the milk, stirring until smooth. If the filling isn’t spreadable, add a bit of the milk to soften its texture.

To assemble the cookies:
Spread the bottom of half the cookies with filling; if you have a scale, about 14g (1/2 ounce) is a good amount for each. Top with the remaining cookies.

Tips
An easy way to dress up these cookies is to use cookie stamps (available from King Arthur Flour) We recommend doubling the ingredients for the cookies (since you’ll need more dough to make a thicker sandwiches with the stamps) and adding 3/4 cup almond flour to the double batch to achieve a better imprint in the baked cookies.
Here are some other tips for cookie-stamp success:

  1. Chill your dough for a full 2 hours before starting the stamping process.
  2. Scoop tablespoon-sized portions of dough, rounding them into balls if necessary. Lightly dip one side in flour, and place them flour-side up onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  3. Dip each stamp in flour before pressing it onto the dough; repeat before each use.
  4. Firmly tap the stamp against the baking sheet if the dough happens to stick to the stamp. If the dough sticks really badly, clean out the stamp, reroll the dough into a ball, dust the dough and the stamp with flour, and try again!
  5. Remove excess dough around the stamped pattern before or after baking.
  6. Remember, you’re making sandwich cookies: be sure to make an equal amount of each stamp pattern.
  7. Stamp cookies may take a few minutes longer to bake because of their thickness. Aim for 23 to 28 minutes.

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