Happy New Year ya’ll! Hope it has gotten off to a great start for everyone. How are those resolutions going so far? Well I’m here to tempt you with a fantastic recipe for Vermont Maple Shortbread! Who doesn’t love the decadent taste of buttery shortbread? And this shortbread adds the irresistible flavor of maple into the mix. Yup it is just bursting with maple goodness! Maple sugar has replaced regular granulated sugar in this recipe and the finished cookies are also brushed with a slick of maple syrup once they are hot out of the oven for good measure. Maple lovers will go wild I tell you!
And this shortbread doesn’t only taste amazing, it isn’t too hard on the eyes either. How adorable are these little snowflakes?
Now I had hoped to share this recipe with you before Christmas. I actually made several batches of this shortbread with my usual round of Christmas cookies. Alas time got away from me, so I figured it would be better to go ahead and share it right now, you know when folks were trying to lay off the sweets. I just want to see how strong your dieting commitments are. Just kidding! Although I often bake this shortbread around Christmas, it is delicious year round. I usually bake it in an adorable Nordic Ware snowflake pan (check out the links below – King Arthur Baking has a big sale on this pan right now!), but you can also simply bake it in a 8″ round cake pan. It won’t have the fancy embossed snowflakes on it, but it will taste just as good. So without further ado, here you go!
Vermont Maple Shortbread
recipe from: King Arthur Baking Company
- 16 Tablespoons (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature, at least 65°F
- 3/4 cup (117 grams) maple sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon maple flavor, optional, for enhanced flavor
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla-butternut flavor, optional, for enhanced flavor
- 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) All-purpose flour
- 1 cup (113 grams) chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
- scant 2 tablespoons (28 grams) maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Melt a tablespoon of butter and brush it onto the bottom and sides of a shortbread pan. Alternatively rub soft butter onto the bottom and sides of an 8″ round pan.
Beat together the remaining 15 tablespoons butter, maple sugar, salt, and flavors until well blended.
Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix in the flour to form a smooth, cohesive dough. The dough will be crumbly at first, but will come together as it’s mixed.
Fold in the chopped nuts.
Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic and set aside. Press the second half into the prepared pan.
Use a fork to prick the dough all over; this allows any steam to escape, and prevents the shortbread from bubbling as it bakes.
Bake the shortbread for 25 to 30 minutes, until the surface is a light golden brown, and the edges are a darker golden brown.
Remove the shortbread from the oven, and immediately turn it out onto a clean work surface. Gently brush the shortbread with the maple syrup (you want to be careful not to brush away the pattern if you used a shortbread pan).
Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the shortbread while still warm into 8 equal wedges and transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
Repeat the bake with the remaining half of dough.
Store the shortbread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.
Links for helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Vermont Maple Shortbread: