Cynthia Paul earned a blue ribbon in the maple syrup cookie competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers Association for this sandwich cookie.

Maple Sandwich Cookies
Makes 18 sandwich cookies

3 tablespoons 2% milk

¼ cup maple syrup

½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon ground sea salt

1 1/3 cups white whole-wheat flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ cup maple syrup in a bowl

Filling (see recipe)

In small bowl, mix milk and ¼ cup maple syrup.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Mix in vanilla and salt.

In separate bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch and baking powder.

Mix flour mixture into butter mixture a little at a time, alternating with maple-milk mixture. Dough should end up stiff. Form into a ball, wrap and chill 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly dust a board with flour and cornstarch.

Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with maple leaf cookie cutter (or another shape). Place on parchment-lined air-bake baking sheet. Using pastry brush, brush tops of cookies with maple syrup in the bowl.

Bake in preheated oven about 10 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely.

While cookies bake and cool, make filling.

Make sandwiches by spreading 1 tablespoon filling between two cooled cookies. Brush filling with maple syrup before fitting halves together.

Filling:

2 tablespoons mascarpone

4 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 ounces white chocolate, melted

¼ teaspoon ground sea salt

2 cups powdered sugar

In mixing bowl, combine mascarpone, vegetable shortening and butter. Mix in maple syrup. Add melted white chocolate and stir quickly. Add salt and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy.

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