There is something timeless about life in New England. Despite that there are many high-tech industries in Vermont and New Hampshire, often housed in greying farm houses or old mill buildings, to walk and investigate here is to come upon living history and ingenuity.
Cans to collect sap are peppered through the woods on ancient maple trees.
The neighbor's sugar house awakens after a winter of hibernation, as it has done seemingly for centuries, to transform the fresh sap into sweet maple syrup for all the world to enjoy.
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, perhaps with tea and cookies, gathering flavors soon.
RISPY OATMEAL COOKIES
Yield: 36 Cookies
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups oatmeal
- 1 cup chips (chocolate, white chocolate or butterscotch) or 1 cup dried fruit
- 3 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper
- Sea salt
* 12 to 24 hours before you want to bake these cookies, prepare the cookie dough as follows:
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and ½ teaspoon of salt in a medium-sized bowl.
- In a large bowl, either by hand or in an electric mixer, cream together the butter, maple syrup and granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until they are fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract. Beat again.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the ingredients in the large bowl, stirring just to combine. Add the oatmeal, stir to combine. Add the chips or dried fruit. Stir to combine one last time.
- Form the dough into 36 small balls. Place the balls in a covered, airtight container and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. (If you have a convection oven, set it at convection 350 degrees F.)
- Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them out, as they will flatten a bit during the baking process. Sprinkle the balls lightly with sea salt.
- Bake until the cookies are golden and crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.
- Keep the cookies in an airtight container until you are ready to serve them.
*Note: It is important to chill these cookies before baking them. The high butter content will cause the cookies to spread out too thinly if not fully chilled before baking. Chilled cookie dough will allow the cookies to keep their shape during the baking process.