These cookies were simple and sensational. The original recipe named them “Brown-Edge Cookies” which didn’t seem fabulous enough! They were named for a similar crispy cookie sold by Nabisco prior to 1996 called Brown-Edge Wafers.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Mille Shea and Liz Laskey, adapted by Margaux Laskey. Millie Shea learned this all-butter recipe from her mother in the 1930’s.
The authors described them as “buttery like the Danish cookies in blue tins, tender in the middle like snickerdoodles and snappy like Scottish shortbread.” The article also stated that they would be placed in the intersection of a Christmas sugar cookie, vanilla wafer, and French tuile. Wow. That is a combination of quite a few favorites!
I made half of the recipe below, yielding about 32 cookies. The recipe (even half of the recipe!) definitely makes enough to share.
Yield: about 5 dozen
1 pound/453 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound/453 grams granulated sugar (2 1/4 cups)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups/384 grams all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
Arrange two racks around the middle of the oven and heat oven to 375 degrees, preferably on convection.
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add egg and vanilla. Beat on medium until incorporated, about 1 minute.
Add 1 cup flour and the salt and beat on low to just combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the remaining 2 cups flour and beat on low until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, then beat on medium for 30 seconds just until no flour streaks remain.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 3 inches apart as the cookies spread quite a bit while baking. (I used a 1 T cookie scoop, leveled, and placed 8 cookies per sheet.)
Bake 2 sheets at a time, rotating the pans halfway through, until the edges are lightly browned and the centers are slightly puffed, 8 to 9 minutes on convection or up to 10 to 12 minutes in a standard oven. Be careful not to overbake.
Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Cool on the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then transfer cookies to the rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
We have enjoyed this wonderful “snack” cake on a couple of occasions this fall. It is dangerously easy to make and was incredibly moist and very tasty. I forgot to drizzle the top with maple syrup on both occasions. Not necessary!
The recipe was adapted from Bake from Scratch magazine, via the Washington Post. The frosting is a little bit salty- which we liked- but the salt level can be adjusted to taste. We ate it chilled. Great.
Yield: One 9×9-inch cake, about 16 pieces
For the Cake:
cooking spray or unsalted butter, softened, for greasing the pan
2 1/2 cups (344 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (240 milliliters) pure maple syrup, preferably dark grade (I used grade A amber)
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) canola oil
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) whole milk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
1/4 cup (50 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably dark grade, plus more for drizzling
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)
To Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, with the rack in the middle.
Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. (I used cooking oil spray.) Line the pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over the sides of the pan (the overhang will give you handles to lift the cake out after it’s baked). Lightly spray (or butter) the parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the maple syrup, oil, milk, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, sour cream and vanilla, and stir with a rubber spatula just until combined and no streaks of flour remain. (There will be some lumps in the batter; this is okay.)
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan on the counter eight times to release air bubbles.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until deep golden and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, covering with foil after 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning. (It may dip in the middle, don’t worry.)(I baked mine for 30 minutes but would add 2 to 3 minutes next time to decrease the amount of dipping.)
Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Using the parchment overhang as handles, remove from the pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
To Make the Frosting:
In the same (cleaned-out) bowl you used to make the cake, beat the butter with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. (You can do this in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, if you prefer.)
Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until combined.
Add the sour cream, maple syrup and salt, and beat at medium-high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not overbeat. (Add 1/4 tsp salt, taste and add the additional 1/4 tsp, to taste.)
Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake. Drizzle with additional maple syrup, if desired, and serve. (I preferred to serve it slightly chilled.)