We are thrilled to have guest blogger Margaret Prouse sharing with us again this week. Margaret is a home economist and freelance food writer living in Prince Edward Island.
By Margaret Prouse
We’re lucky to be living in Prince Edward Island in this pandemic year. This is the province with the highest population density of any in Canada, but it’s also a place where it’s easy to get outside and immerse yourself in nature. We can hike or bike the Confederation Trail and other nature trails, taking in the sights of colourful fall leaves tumbling from stands of hardwoods without encountering hordes of people.
I love to experience the warmth of the gleaming mid-afternoon sunshine, the rich rusts, reds and yellows of hardwood leaves, and the golden marsh grass; the insistent calls of the blue jays, the chorus of honking and squawking as wild geese pass overhead; the tableaux of pumpkin people and corn stalks that neighbours display in their yards. Even the gray days are good for walking, and seem less gloomy to me when I’m outdoors.
When my walk is over, and I take off my shoes, I take a few minutes to rehydrate. In summer, I drank water or iced tea, but this fall I’ve been enjoying the Pumpkin Spice tea that Lady Baker’s Tea just introduced. I could make a latté by combining it with sweetened foamed milk, but, frankly, I don’t. I love it as is, with just enough milk to whiten it. That’s all it needs, except maybe a cookie on the side, to be a perfect warm-up after a trail walk on a chilly October afternoon.
I like that the flavour and aroma of Pumpkin Spice are good enough to stand on their own, making it a good all-round tea to serve every day in the fall, and not just pull out when you feel like making a latté.
Now, back to the cookies. I don’t want a spicy cookie that will compete with the flavour of the Pumpkin Spice tea. The cookie I want to serve with it, is strangely elusive. Sad to say, I lost my recipe for maple cookies, plain brown sugar cookies with a dash of maple flavouring, flattened with a fork and embellished with a pecan pressed into the top. Below is my best attempt at recreating the recipe.
Enjoy, as I do, these autumn days before the winter winds whip into our trails. May a cup of tea and a cookie await your return!
625 mL (2½ cups) all purpose flour
2 mL (½ tsp) baking soda
250 mL (1 cup) butter
250 mL (1 cup) lightly packed brown sugar
2 mL (½ tsp) maple extract
35-40 pecan halves
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Line 2 baking pans with parchment.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda, and set aside.
Cream together butter and brown sugar. Beat in maple extract and egg.
Stir in flour mixture.
Drop cookie dough by the spoonful, or from a cookie scoop, and flatten with a fork which has been dipped in cold water. Press a pecan half into the centre of each cookie.
Bake in preheated 180°C (350°F) oven for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned.
Approximately 36 cookies.