I’ve been avoiding processed sugar lately and have found that doing so makes me feel rather healthy. Inversely whenever I dip into the candy dish at work I can feel the effects immediately. It starts as an ache in my sinuses and quickly turns into a headache. Sugar is a rather difficult ingredient to avoid but there are plenty of substitutes. I’m partial to only the most natural of sugar substitutes like honey or maple syrup. Both have health benefits but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that maple syrup contains 54 different antioxidants. You can read more about it at the Pure Canadian Maple Syrup website.
This cookie recipe is super simple and is made using only one dish for both mixing and baking. Don’t be afraid to use maple syrup as the primary sweetener. When substituting maple syrup for sugar use only 3/4 of the measurement for the maple syrup and reduce the cooking temperature to prevent the maple syrup from scorching.
Maple Orange Shortbread
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
Preheat oven to 300° F. In an 8×8″ glass baking dish combine the butter and the flour until crumbly. Add the maple syrup and the orange peel and mix until the dough is smooth and even. Use your hands to do the final mixing if necessary.
Press dough into the baking dish. Using a butter knife to score the dough into 16 squares. To make these cookies pretty you can sprinkle the dough with some maple sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then completely on a wire rack. The cookies will easily break apart along the lines.
We are big fans of shortbread for it’s simplicity. Husband will make himself a batch when he’s craving something sweet. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it is not overly sweet and the orange zest adds another layer of delicious flavor. If you happen to have leftover cookies a great way to use those up is to crumble them into plain yogurt for breakfast.