When I started blogging, my friend Lynne gave me a handmade cookie cutter in the shape of a maple leaf to celebrate the blog and my Canadian heritage. I have been waiting for fall to create something with the cookie cutter. When walking recently in the beautiful Chanticleer gardens near home, I was wishfully admiring the lotus seed pods in the pond. I was told the way to the seed pods was through the gardener’s sweet tooth! So you know who got a basket of these cookies! Fall themed cookies, perfect for a plantsman and for care packages to my college sons!
This sweet is essentially a chocolate molasses cookie. The cookie dough is made with cocoa which is high in anti-oxidants and is getting a lot of buzz as helping reduce inflammation in the brain, improving memory, fighting cancer and benefiting heart health. Dr. Richard Isaacson, Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College in NYC has recommended adding unsweetened cocoa to your morning coffee as easy preventive medicine to fight inflammation in the brain which can lead to cognitive decline. So go ahead and indulge in these cookies for fall entertaining knowing there is something good for your health in them. Keep fall spicy!
SPICED CHOCOLATE MAPLE LEAF COOKIES
- 2 1/2 c flour
- 1/2 c dark chocolate powder, additional for rolling dough
- 1/2 t ground cardamom
- 1/2 t ground cinnamon
- 1/2 t fine sea salt
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 3/4 c brown sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 c unsulphured molasses
- colored sanding sugar available in the baking section of the supermarket
1- Preheat oven to 325F. In a large bowl combine the first 7 ingredients and set aside.
2- Cream sugar and butter in another bowl, add egg, and mix until fluffy. Add molasses until combined. Add dry mixture gradually and mix until just combined.
3- Divide dough in 2 balls. Wrap and chill for an hour.
4- On a cocoa dusted counter, roll out dough to a 3/8 inch thickness and cut out your desired shape. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Bake at 325 F for about 12 minutes in center of oven.
5- Cool on a wire rack. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, wet the surface slightly and sprinkle with decorative colored sanding sugar. I used fall colors for mine.
Depending on the size of your cookie cutter, you will get about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” John Burroughs
Happy fall baking!