This recipe included one variation:
Rustic Maple Pecan Date Cookies: Reduce chopped pecans in the Master Recipe to 3/4 cup. Measure 1 cup loosely packed dates cut into 1/4-inch dice and toss them into 1 tsp of flour to prevent them from sticking together. Mix the dates with the pecans and proceed with step 5 in the Master Recipe.
Rustic Maple Pecan Cookies
*makes about 4 dozen 2 3/4-inch cookies*
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp imitation maple extract
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup very fresh lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans
1) Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 350F. Moderately butter the cookie sheets.
2) In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and set aside to cool to tepid.
3) Strain together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
4) Using a wooden spoon, add the maple syrup to the melted butter, mixing well. Blend in the egg, orange juice, and the maple and vanilla extracts. Whisk in the sugars, stirring until well combined and free of lumps. Stir in the dry ingredients in three additions, then fold in the nuts with a large rubber spatula.
5) Using the tip of a teaspoon, drop mounds of dough the size of large walnuts onto the cookie sheets, placing them 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back toward the end of the baking time. Remove from oven and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before loosening with a thin metal spatula. Cool on wire racks.
Recipes from Great Cookies: Secrets To Sensational Sweets by Carole Walter