Maple Moons

Yield:36 cookies

It may surprise you to know that when I go to my favorite cookie bakery, Icing on the Cake in Los Gatos, I don't usually buy myself chocolate cookies. Since I make chocolate cookies at home that I think are really good, I buy the cookies that I like but might not make at home as often as I make chocolate cookies. One of my favorite cookies to buy is the Maple Moon. Maple Moons are a soft, cakey cookie with a buttery maple glaze reminiscent of the kind on maple bar doughnuts. The recipe comes from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, my childhood source of cookie recipes. They're the perfect cookie to welcome in the fall season.

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup full-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon good-quality maple flavoring (I like Boyajian brand)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
3 tablespoons hot water

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and brown sugar.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Stir in sour cream and maple flavoring.
4. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda in a smaller bowl. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the nuts if using.
5. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. The dough will be quite soft, even after refrigerating.
6. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
6. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and the cookie springs back when touched lightly.
7. Remove the hot cookies to racks and cool completely before glazing.
8. For the glaze, in a small saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until golden brown.
9. Add the melted butter to the sugar. With a whisk, combine the butter, sugar, maple flavoring and hot water until a thin frosting is formed. You may need additional water to achieve this consistency. The glaze will be a little greasy at first, but if you whisk enough it will come together into a smooth glaze.
10. Dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze and then set out on wax paper to set up.

Notes: Please do not use non-fat sour cream for these cookies. Low fat is o.k., but the best results will be with the full-fat sour cream.