– Submitted by Barbara Gardner
Growing up in a small town with all of my aunts, uncles and cousins, our family celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve at my aunt and uncle’s ranch house. My mom would always make huge platters of candy (toffee, rocky road, chocolate peanut clusters, divinity (yuck), and various other treats) and my Aunt Weezee would make huge platters of every kind of cookie imaginable.
Christmas Eve at the ranch was childhood magic. When we moved away and had no family close to us, I carried on my family’s tradition and combined my mom’s candy making and my aunt’s cookie making into one platter for local friends at Christmastime. This adapted recipe for Weezee’s maple thumbprint has become a family favorite.
Cookie – Makes about 60 thumbprints:
1.5 cups unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract
3.5 cups Cairnspring Mills Edison T85 all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 egg whisked thoroughly with 2 tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoon water
3 cups finely chopped pecans – toasted
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 Tablespoons Milk
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon maple extract
Preheat the oven to 325°.
Toast pecans lightly on a sheet tray before finely chopping.
Cream butter and two sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and maple extracts and blend thoroughly. Add flour and salt and mix until the mixture forms into a stiff dough.
Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Dip balls into egg mixture. Roll in crushed pecans and press a small indentation with your thumb or forefinger.
Place on parchment or silicone mat on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can also freeze and store to bake later; just make sure to thaw them before popping them in the oven!
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
For the buttercream, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, adding milk as needed. Then add maple extract and salt and beat until fully combined.
Once the cookies have cooled, pipe buttercream into the center using a star tip.