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Maple-Raisin Holiday Cookies

Zoe Francois/TODAY All Day
Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
20 mins
Yields:
About 1 dozen 4-inch Christmas tree cookies
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Chef notes

These cookies are a tribute to my favorite raisin biscuits from the 1970s. Growing up on a commune in Vermont, raisins were candy and maple syrup (or honey) were the only sweeteners I knew. The natural sugars in the raisins and maple, along with the rich flavor of the whole wheat cookie dough makes such a delicious and nourishing holiday treat. 

Technique tip: Keeping the dough chilled makes rolling and stamping these cookies easier. Store in an airtight container for about a week or freeze. 

Ingredients

Cookie dough
  • cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Filling
  • 1 cup chopped raisins or Craisins
  • 1 egg, for egg wash
Maple icing
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

1.

In a large bowl, use a rubber spatula to mix the butter and brown sugar until well combined. Slowly add the maple syrup, water and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add the flours, baking soda, kosher salt and cinnamon, mixing just until the dough comes together.

2.

Form the dough into rectangles and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for about 1 hour or freeze for up to a month.

3.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

4.

Between a lightly floured silicone mat or piece of parchment paper and plastic wrap, roll the cookie dough out to a 9 by 11-inch-rectangle (about ⅛-inch thick). Remove the plastic and spread the chopped raisins over half the length of the dough, fold the uncovered dough over the raisins. Replace the plastic and roll the raisin filled dough as thin as possible, trying to get it back into the original rectangle size and shape; it is okay if some of the raisins poke through the dough. Place dough into the freezer for a couple of minutes before cutting out cookies.

5.

Cut the dough using a cookie cutter. Press any remaining scraps together to use up all of the dough.

6.

Arrange the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush very lightly with egg wash.

7.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool before icing.

8.

To make the icing, in a bowl stir together the powdered sugar, maple and vanilla until smooth and thin enough to coat the cookies. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Decorate immediately with silver edible pearls or decorating sugar. Allow to sit for about an hour if you want the icing to fully set.