Disclaimer: all three things lead to cookies.
First thing: Some of you expressed your concern about my statement about hating Thanksgiving. I don't know what to tell you... I just don't like the following things: turkey, stuffing, squash, sweet potatoes (unless highly salted and peppered) cranberry sauce (of the real or canned variety), gravy, or pumpkin pie. So basically, load me up on mashed potatoes with butter, rolls and a slice of apple pie. Yeah, I know those things don't constitute a Thanksgiving dinner, but I simply don't care. The other thing I don't like is having to choose which family we are going to spend time with. I also hate it when people put a ton of effort into a meal, then the meal is eaten and suddenly, there is a huge stack of dishes that are dirty. PIZZA folks... on paper plates with recyclable beer cans. I can be thankful for that.
Second Thing: I think pumpkin gets a little too much attention during the fall. Don't get me wrong, I really like pumpkin coffee, bread, cookies, and icing. But there are other "fall" flavors that get overlooked... like maple.
Third Thing: Ever not like something as a kid, and then all of sudden you're an adult and you need as much of it as you can possibly have, like... RIGHTTHISSECOND? There are two things that I have done that with, one is chili, the other is maple syrup. Yeah, I know it's pretty unusual for a kid to not eat maple syrup - but I think we all know I'm a bit "off" anyway. I don't know if it was the sweetness, the stickyness or I just liked cinnamon sugar on my pancakes better.... (I don't like french toast, so didn't need it there either). Anyway, I didn't really dig maple. And now we're on maple overdrive. In case you are curious, it still really annoys me that maple syrup is so sticky... I often wait for someone else to put our syrup-y dishes in the dishwasher because I don't want to touch them and risk getting sticky.
And finally, the cookies.
These cookies are my slightly evolved version of Martha Stewart's maple pecan shortbread. The main difference is this: Instead of rolling a log and slicing rounds, I roll it out like sugar cookies and cut out these little leaf guys. They came in a set from Williams Sonoma, which I believe were given to me by my Mom. Anyway, once you cut out the shape and put it on the cookie sheet, glaze it with maple syrup. Then bake for 8 minutes or so. Trust me when I tell you that people go bananas for these cookies... and they're way cooler than breaking out the pumpkin first thing.
Please don't stop reading because I said I hate Thanksgiving and French toast. I do like pumpkin!
Pumpkin comes after maple....
Sometimes, pumpkin and maple go together... when I make pumpkin cinnamon rolls with maple filling. I'll let you know how they come out later - they're for our tailgate tomorrow. Because as you know, I love the early part of fall, and that means football games.
Happy Early Fall to you!