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  • Mary Kay

Heart-ful Maple Caramel Waffle COOKIES

Celebrate National Waffle Day, August 24! And, what better way to celebrate this breakfast favorite any time of the day than with a special treat in the form of these cute 3” Waffle Cookies! Crisp sugar cookies made in a waffle iron, they take you back to the cozy breakfast flavors of maple syrup and butter topped waffles Mom used to make.

But these are actually cookies so you don’t have to wait for Mom to make them on Saturday morning. Make them ahead. Freeze or keep them in the cookie jar for snack time.

These Heart-ful Maple Caramel Waffle Cookies are topped with square caramels to look like pats of butter and drizzles with a maple icing to simulate maple syrup drizzles. And, in the heart shape, they look so adorable and are fun to eat. I’ve even made a few with mini-chocolate chips by mixing them into part of the dough with chocolate chip sprinkles on top.

Make them for National Waffle Day to share with work mates and friends or keep them at home just for you and your family. Or, tuck a few away in a zip lock for your own treat time.

I created these Heart-ful Maple Caramel Waffle Cookies in my 6-heart partition non-stick waffle maker. You can make them in a regular waffle maker, but they won’t have these cute little heart designs. Some people make the cookies in a single heart waffle iron, but if you’re making a bunch as my recipe calls for, or more of them, it could take you until bedtime to accomplish your task…just kidding. But it will take you a bit longer.

This recipe makes about 32 Heart-ful Maple Caramel Waffle Cookies. Yum!

My waffle iron makes 6 of the cutest 3” heart-shaped waffle cookies at a time. Just divide your cookie dough and press into the waffle iron. Since the iron is hot be careful!

Prepare your waffle griddle.

- Plug in, turn on and heat up your waffle griddle according to the manufacturer’s directions. Oil it if the manufacturer recommends it.

- My 6-heart waffle iron has non-stick surfaces, but I still brush both sides of the griddle with melted butter for these cookies. I do NOT use the spray oil because it has additives that can create a crusty coating built up on the non-stick surface. Since I don’t want to ruin my waffle griddle and don’t want to do any extra cleaning of nasty build-up on it, I use butter. Besides, real butter (not oleomargarine) gives the waffles a much better flavor.

Gather your Heart-ful Maple Caramel Waffle Cookie Ingredients:

1 C Butter, soft

1 1/2 C Sugar

¼ C Brown sugar

2 Eggs, room temperature

2 t Vanilla extract

2 ½ t Maple extract

2 T Cornstarch

3 1/2 C Flour

2 t Baking powder

1/4 t Baking soda

½ t Salt

Gather up your Maple Glaze Ingredients:

1/2 C Maple syrup (use the real syrup, not the fake stuff)

1 t Maple extract

5 T Butter, melted

2 C Powdered sugar

Mix up your waffle cookie dough:

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy.

Add the egg and extracts and beat at low speed just until combined. Set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.

Slowly beat the dry mixture into the wet mix at a low speed just until combined.

“Bake” your Heart-ful Maple Caramel Waffle Cookies in the waffle iron:

- Heat up your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

- You may want to test the amount of cookie dough you place in each section of the waffle iron. I began by making a cookie in one of the sections, to help me determine how much dough to place in it. I found that I needed to spread the dough to the edge of the partition because the dough does not spread like waffle batter does.

- For my 3” hearts, I make 32 equal round dough balls using a 2 tablespoon scoop, mounding it above the edge of the scoop. Then I spread the cookie dough to cover each section from edge to edge. By making the dough balls before I begin cooking in the iron, it speeds up the process so I can quickly get them onto the iron.

- If you are making them in a regular waffle iron (no heart design) just place a dollop of dough in each section. You’ll create some fun interesting shapes and sizes. You can make the dollops whatever size you want since they don't need to fill the section from edge to edge.

- Shut the iron to let them “bake” for 2-3 minutes. The cookie dough will not spread out on its own like thin waffle batter does, so you might need to spread the cookie dough to the edges. And, you WILL need to work fast so they all cook for the same amount of time. Just keep your fingers off the HOT griddle. I used a spoon to spread out the dough.

- After two minutes I checked them for doneness. When they were the golden brown I wanted, I opened the iron completely and carefully extracted them from the waffle iron.

- As I got used to how they “baked” in this particular iron, I was able to complete the others pretty fast, leaving them in for up to 4 minutes.

- If you like them crisp and darker, cook them a little longer. If you like them a lighter golden brown don’t be afraid to take them out sooner.

- A little patience is in good to have while you're making the first few waffles in the iron. It took me a couple of tries to get the heart sections filled in just right, taking care not to touch the hot iron.

- Try different numbers of minutes to heat the cookie dough. The first one came out a little too brown and my second came out a little too light. I was able to redo that one.

- How did I pull them off the iron? Since my waffle iron has non-stick surfaces, I needed a wooden or silicone utensil. Searching through my messy “extra utensils” drawer, I found the perfect item – my orange peeler that I (think!) I got from a Pampered Chef party many years ago. It’s perfect! It has a slender curved point on one end that was just right for inserting under the edge of the heart waffle. It lifted easily. This plastic utensil is kinder to the cookie than a metal fork or knife is.

- Then I inserted a silicone spatula underneath the entire heart and it all lifted out perfectly in one piece. Voila!

- Let the hearts cool on a rack or board.

- Drizzle them with the Maple Icing. But, first place a square caramel in the middle of each Heart-ful Maple Caramel Waffle Cookie and then drizzle the delicious icing on top. If you like the appearance of a melting pat of butter on your cookie, let the caramel squares get soft in the microwave and place them on the cookies before drizzling them with maple icing. How about a few mini-chocolate chips sprinkled on top?

Stir up your Maple Icing:

- With a fork or a whisk, stir the melted butter, maple syrup and powdered sugar together.

- If the icing is too thick for drizzling, add a little milk. If the icing is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.

Garnish your Heart-ful Maple Caramel Waffle Cookies:

- It’s fun to serve these cute little heart waffles on a platter surrounded with fresh blueberries, strawberries and Kiwi for a fun afternoon treat.

- Add more fun by adding a bowl of whipped cream (homemade or store bought) to dip them in.

- Many people like nuts on their waffles or pancakes. You could do the same with these cookies by sprinkling chopped pecans or walnuts on top. Do it right after you drizzle the icing on them so the nuts stick to the icing.

- Kids love colorful sprinkles, so have them on hand when kids help you decorate.

- Mini-chocolate chips add another flavor to the maple and vanilla flavors. Add chips to the dough or sprinkle them on top of the icing.

- Butterscotch chips sprinkles on top go well with the maple flavoring.

BONUS IDEA! Make S’mores Waffle Cookies:

- Sprinkle chocolate chips on the cookies or part of a chocolate bar and some graham cracker crumbs.

- Then top them with mini-marshmallows.

- Place them under the broiler for a few seconds until the marshmallows are a golden color. Don’t walk away from them because they will brown very fast. Yum!

Pack them for traveling:

- Instead of drizzling icing on top of the cookies, drizzle them with candy melts (discs). Icing may stay somewhat wet and can get messy if you want to stack them.

- Melt the candies according to the directions on the package and drizzle onto the cookies. Then add your treat garnishes.

Celebrate National Waffle Day, August 24! And, what better way to celebrate this breakfast favorite any time of the day than with a special treaOOt in the form of these cute 3” Waffle Cookies! Crisp sugar Ccookies made in a waffle iron, they take you back to the cozy breakfast flavors of maple syrup and butter topped waffles Mom used to make.

They’re easy to store:

- For easy access, store them on a plate in a sealable plastic bag for up to 5 days.

- If you want to make them ahead, freeze the unfrosted cookies in sealable plastic bags or other containers. When ready to serve, let them thaw a few minutes, then ice and garnish them. They freeze well for up to a month. I could say longer, but cookies in my freezer seem to disappear loooong before a month has gone by.

These Heart-ful Maple Caramel Waffle Cookies are easy and fun to make. Let the kids get involved with the icing and decorating. Make sure a safety sensitive adult handles the hot-hot-hot waffle iron. Whatever you add for garnishes, “Bake your own Memories!”

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