The fourth week of the Great Canadian Baking Show featured Maple Leaf Sandwich Cookies for the technical bake, a shortbread cookie with a maple filling, easy peasy! One of the judges, Bruno Feldeisen commented (I am paraphrasing) that these cookies had traps, now I am not sure if it was the recipe as presented to the bakers with the traps or the cookies themselves, so lets see!
The Maple Leaf Sandwich Cookie technical bake was won this week by Linda Longson. On the show the bakers were given all ingredients they needed to make the Maple Leaf Sandwich Cookies, along with a recipe that was missing some key bits of information (AKA traps!). Those of us following along were lucky to be able to use a more complete recipe (here), and learn from their experience. The bakers also had 1 hour 45 minutes to complete the bake from start to finish.
I do love maple, and will even eat maple walnut ice cream and suffer being called an old man by my wife. However my two judges, my wife and son, are not really maple fans, so I adjusted the recipe to meet the judges taste buds by making a chocolate filling instead of maple. So I am modifying the recipe already! Another modification is the cutter, I had no leaf cutter, and we were not able to find one when we went to West Edmonton Mall the day before, so I decided to use a mitt shaped cutter. So my cookies are Mitt Chocolate Sandwich Cookies! (not to be confused with mint chocolate sandwich cookies)
I will let you know this bake did not go smoothly. The week before I sliced off a piece of my finger with my new Japanese knife (it sounds worse than it was and it is healing nicely, just makes doing things awkward), then in the middle of the bake I dropped my phone and shattered the face, interrupting the bake as I was seeing if I could get an appointment with a genius to get it fixed.
0 Minutes – I give the recipe a read, and assemble all my ingredients and tools.
4 Minutes – I start mixing the butter, icing sugar and vanilla (instead of the maple extract) together.
6 Minutes – Although it doesn’t say to do so, I sift the flour over the butter mixture first and then mix in.
8 Minutes – OK, I divide the dough in half to wrap and cool and it is very crumbly. Hmmm, this does not seem right. Shortbread can be on the crumbly side, but since we are rolling these out instead of just packing it into the bottom of a tin, I decide to add 30-40 grams more butter (I think Jude mentioned on the show more butter makes things better).
10 Minutes – OK, the dough seems much better, into the fridge for 15 minutes it goes.
25 Minutes – Time to roll these cookies out. No problems here, it rolls out nicely. I sprinkle on some sanding sugar, not as much as Terri put on her cookies on the show though!
48 Minutes – First cookies out of the oven, the second set of trays into the oven. I am still distracted and haven’t started the filling!
1 Hour 5 Minutes – The second batch is out, now I can focus on my phone issues while the cookies cool.
Meanwhile I have secured an appointment with a genius and started backing up my phone in case it can’t be fixed. Back to baking. At this point I have kinda lost track of time.
For the filling I combine some melted butter, icing sugar, vanilla and cocoa. I then realize that I should have chosen a cookie cutter that is symmetrical!!! Instead of the bottoms for both halves being inside next to the filling, I have one of the bottoms exposed, thankfully it will be on the bottom. I guess Bruno was right, lots of traps!
Despite my finger and phone challenges, these cookies turned out pretty good. I think if I kept better track of time I would have been done in the 1 Hour 45 Minutes, but we will never know, plus I would have lost significant points making mitts instead of leaves, having the bottom exposed and going with chocolate instead of maple. Good thing I wasn’t making these on the show!
The cookies taste pretty good. My wife enjoyed them, however my son was not fond of them, he wasn’t fond of the sugar on the outside and would have preferred a ganache filling!