How about a cookie with subtle umami flavor in addition to the sweetness? People would never guess what’s in these cookies: mushrooms! Not just any mushrooms, though, but dried candy cap mushrooms, which smell a bit like maple syrup extract and, therefore, pair well with maple syrup and pecans.
I ordered my candy caps here and used the whole ½-ounce package for the recipe. I got a total of 22 cookies using my 3-ounce cookie scoop. They were almost halfway between chewy cookie and shortbread. Everyone here liked these!
1 cup candy cap mushrooms (see note above)
1 cup (2 sticks) lactose-free butter or margarine, plus more for the pan
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 ½ cups flour
1 pinch of salt
2 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped
Place the mushrooms in ½ cup of lukewarm water to rehydrate. After about 15 minutes, remove the mushrooms from the water and chop finely (the food processor was great for this, and I used it to chop the pecans as well).
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
Sauté the mushrooms in a nonstick skillet with ample butter (start with a few tablespoons). Sauté until soft and no longer bitter. You may need to vary how much butter you use depending on your batch of mushrooms. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Follow with the vanilla and maple syrup. Stream in the flour, salt, pecans, and reserved candy caps. Mix until combined.
Portion out the dough onto the baking sheet (I used my 3-ounce cookie scoop). Flatten gently and bake 11-13 minutes, until the cookies are solid but still appear slightly underbaked – they’ll cook a bit further once removed from the oven, but mine were fine once they were cool after 11 minutes in the oven.