Autumn Maple Cutout Cookies

Autumn Maple Cookies

1/4 cup butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
2 large egg whites, divided
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar or granulated sugar
Cooking spray

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until milk solids stop
crackling and turn amber (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Transfer
butter mixture to a small bowl, scraping pan to include milk solids. Cover
and cool butter mixture in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or until soft and
congealed but not firm. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and
level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through nutmeg) in
a bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Combine chilled butter mixture and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat
with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add
syrup, flavoring, and 1 egg white to butter mixture; beat at low speed 2
minutes or until well blended. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat on
low speed until blended. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a
ball; wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place walnuts and turbinado sugar in a food processor; pulse 15 times or
until mixture is coarsely ground. Place remaining 1 egg white in another
small bowl; stir with a whisk.

Working with one portion of the dough at a time (keep remaining dough
chilled until use), roll dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface,
and cut with a 2 1/2-inch round or decorative cutter. Place 24 cookies,
evenly spaced, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Gently brush
tops of cookies with egg white; sprinkle evenly with half of walnut mixture.
Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until pale brown. Remove cookies from pan;
cool completely on wire racks. Repeat procedure with remaining dough, egg
white, and walnut mixture.

Yield 48 cookies (serving size: 2 cookies)