Five Days of Cookies: Maple Walnut Rounds


Cookies bring  people together.

And bloggers.

Without further ado, here is another yummy recipe for Maple Walnut Rounds sent in by fellow blogger and friend, Pam.

Pam is a fabulous women.

I want to be more like Pam.

9 out of 10 doctors recommend Pam.

Take it away, Pam!!

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Hi! I’m Pam from A Walk in the Park.  When I saw Leilani’s post on Christmas cookies, it reminded me of my favorite cookie to make this time of year.  I’m so glad she wanted me to share it with you!

Thanks for letting me guest post, Leilani.  Can’t wait for the crazy cookie party!

About a hundred years ago, I went to a function with my mom. I think it was around Christmastime.  Not sure. I don’t even remember what the subject matter was.  It seems like maybe it was a cooking class, but I could be wrong. The only thing that has even kept that event tucked in the most remote, dusty corner of my memory is that when I walked in, a lady welcomed me and handed me a ticket for a door prize giveaway that would be held later that evening. And, sure enough, when that drawing was held, my ticket was drawn, and I received a lovely prize. That prize was this book…

When Mr Park first started to do freelance illustration, we weren’t sure how things were going to turn out, but God took care of us and thanks to some very good clients, we had some pretty successful years. Armed with this book, Mr Park and I got the idea to make Christmas gift baskets as a thank you to his biggest clients for putting food on our table. We filled them with all kinds of yummy goodies and sent them off. As you can imagine, they were very appreciated.

Out of that gift basket making experience, I discovered what would become my all-time favorite holiday cookie recipe.

Enter Maple Walnut Rounds:

Maple Walnut Rounds are a shortbread type of cookie (my favorite type) with walnuts and maple flavoring. They don’t have that many ingredients and are super easy to make.

I even let my kids help me…occasionally. 😉

Here’s the cast of characters:

Walnuts, brown sugar, unsalted butter, maple flavoring, salt and flour.

The first thing we’ll be doing is chopping the walnuts in a food processor. You could use a blender or chopper to do this, just make sure the nuts are coarsely chopped.

Next, add 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Process until finely chopped and then set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, the rest of the brown sugar, maple extract and salt. Turn your mixer on high and let it go until the butter mixture is “light and fluffy.” Next, turn your mixer to low and add the flour and the nut mixture.

This next shot is a completely gratuitous shot of my Kitchen Aid mixer as I add the flour to the batter. As PW would say, I wasn’t paid to say this, in fact, Kitchen Aid doesn’t even know I exist, but I love their mixers. I got mine 14 years ago and it has more than earned its permanent spot on my kitchen counter.

Mix only until all the ingredients are incorporated and this is what you should have.

A giant ball of cookie dough. It’ll be really easy to scrape it off the mixing blade and into the bowl so you can start making cookies!

Roll the dough into little 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Now comes the fun part!

Take your bag of walnut halves and spread them out on the counter so you can see them.

You’re going to want to pick out the halves that aren’t broken. Of course this is just an aesthetic thing, but it really does look nice. Eventually, if you’re making several batches of these cookies, you’ll run out of perfect halves and you’ll be content to use any old piece that fits.

Save those for your family. ;).

Now you’re going to press a walnut half into each ball of dough. Like this.

Here they are, ready to go into the oven.

By the way, the oven setting for this recipe is 350 not 400. If you accidentally set your oven to 400, your cookies will be a little darker than you anticipated. But that’s okay, you can just give those to your kids. Believe me, they’ll eat them.

Here’s what they look like, fresh from the oven.

I love how the outline of the walnut spreads out as the cookie bakes. I think they’re just beautiful. And they’re yummy, too!

I didn’t get a picture of them all nicely arranged on a Christmas platter so I’ll just let you see the picture that’s in the cookbook again.

No go forth and make these easy cookies! Just be careful as they’re extremely addicting.

I know this from experience. 😉

Here’s the recipe all typed out if you want to print it.

Maple Walnut Rounds

Makes about 3 dozen

1 cup walnuts
3/4 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp maple extract or flavoring
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
about 3 dozen walnut halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade or in a blender, place the 1 cup walnuts and process coarsely. Add 1/4 cup of the brown sugar and process finely; set aside.
Combine the butter, the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, maple extract and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat until light and fluffy. Reduce speed  to low, add the flour and the nut mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Roll pieces of the dough between your palms to form 1-inch balls. Arrange on ungreased baking sheets, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart. Press a walnut half into the center of each.
Bake the cookies until brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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