The other night, Alex and I decided it was time to try a completely different kind of cookie that had an ingredient we didn’t already have. So, out comes a few cookbooks and I start reading off recipes while Alex drives to Trader Joe’s. We finally chose maple nut cookies, so therefore needed to buy ricotta cheese and walnuts. I hate ricotta cheese so we never have it on hand, and now I have a lot left over that I need to somehow use (these and these should work).
Although I’m also not a huge fan of walnuts, Alex is so I just went along with it and figured it would help me not eat so many cookies. Well, that sure didn’t stop me! These were way too good to only have a couple. The caramel frosting tasted just like the icing that is on a maple bar (one of my childhood donut favorites). The ricotta went unnoticed and the chopped walnuts added just the right amount of crunch. I jsut made sure to tkae the whole walnut off the top :). Thankfully, most of the cookies went with Alex to work. Otherwise, I would’ve made myself sick off these, no question!
Maple Nut Cookies with Caramel Frosting, adapted from The Best Bake Sale Ever Cookbook
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
About 30 walnut halves (optional)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray or grease cookie sheets. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter and ricotta cheese until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the maple flavoring and sugar and beat until light. Beat in the egg. Beat in the flour and baking soda, then stir in the chopped walnuts to make a smooth dough.
Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are firm to the touch and golden brown on the bottom. Let stand on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Prepare the frosting. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the butter to a boil and continue cookies for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is golden. Stire in the brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the hot water and corn syrup. Continue cooking until the sugar dissolves. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
Frost the cooled cookies and top each with a walnut half, if desired. Let stand until the frosting has set.