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maple walnut cookies

This weekend Marc and I took a fun little trip to Stillwater, MN which is a quaint little town on the St. Croix River.  It was a picture-perfect fall day and we definitely took complete advantage of it.  Since we were both hungry (shocking, I know) we started off with lunch at a gastropub.  We ordered a couple of sandwiches and sweet potato tots, and I’m pretty sure Marc said “these sweet potato tots are so sweet!” about 50 times.  

After filling our bellies we walked around town, wandered through a couple of antique shops, then headed to the main event: the apple orchard!  After heading into the barn to snag some samples of the different apples and purchase some hot apple cider, we headed out to the orchard for some pickin’!  How cute is my apple-pickin’ partner-in-crime?
We picked more apples than I’ll ever know what to do with so any ideas and suggestions are welcome!  
While I don’t have another apple recipe for you, I do have a baked good with another favorite fall ingredient: maple!  I can’t even begin to explain to you how good these smelled baking in the oven.  The cookies are slightly crisp on the outside, while the middle stays nice and chewy, which is exactly how I love my cookies.  The toasted walnuts are a great complement to the rich maple flavor of the cookies.  For any maple lover, these are a must-make this fall!    
Maple Walnut Cookies
adapted from Keep it Sweet

3 cups flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted*
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

*toast walnuts in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant.  

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside. 

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Set aside.  

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.   Then add maple syrup and vanilla, and beat until combined.  

With mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Then fold in walnut pieces.  

In small bowl, combine sugar and additional 1/2 tsp cinnamon.  

Drop tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls on prepared baking sheet 1-2 inches apart.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. 

Bake in preheated oven 8-10 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.  

Cool on cooling rack, then enjoy!!  

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