Canadian Favourites: Dare Maple Leaf Cookies




The Toronto Maple Leafs may have fallen, but all over our city, maple trees are just opening up. The maple leaf is a big deal in this country, figuring prominently on sports jerseys, waving on our national flag and hiding out in the cookie jars of our dreams.


just wait til next year!

just wait til next year!


With that in mind we turn our attention to maple leaf cookies. At one time these were the cookies Girl Guides sold door to door, and acquiring them in this manner was an anticipated event. Of course you can buy them in supermarkets, Dare has been making maple crème cookies and other goodies for 125 years, and, incidentally, they make the Guides’ cookies too! It’s kind of noteworthy that these classic cookies are made by an all-Canadian company. These days it’s almost surprising to find out that a major company like Dare is still proudly Canadian, and hasn’t been bought out or absorbed by a huge multinational. Manufactured in Canada and the U.S., Dare cookies are now sold world wide! Go Canada!

The Dare story starts in 1892, when Charles Doerr, the son of German immigrants began selling homemade biscuits from his grocery store in Berlin, Ontario. Word travelled quickly and by the roaring twenties the business had expanded and become the H.C. Doerr Company, and by the end of the second world war, Charles’ grandson Carl Doerr, now at the helm, changed his family and company name to Dare, just as Berlin had changed its name to Kitchener (after the British Field Marshall Horatio Kitchener) during WWI. Good move on both parts, as it turns out; the cookies began distribution throughout Canada and by the mid-fifties infiltrated the giant U.S. market. Since then the company has been growing by leaps and bounds and is now a major player on the international scene, with its products available in fifty countries. All is not perfect however, as an unfortunate family battle threatens the peace and stability of the family owned business. It is unlikely that this internecine squabble will cause the Dare empire to crumble, but you never know. So just in case, you might want to arm yourself with a good recipe that allows you to make these little babies on your own. Maple sugar and maple syrup are de rigeur and this spring there’s no shortage of both of these must-have ingredients.




You will also want a good cookie-cutter in the shape of a maple leaf, of course. You can go for the au naturel look, or opt for one that is the spitting image of the one that adorns the flag that has been our official flag since 1965.  These can be bought at stores like Bulk Barn  or Tap Phong or of course you can get one on-line. As our country is celebrating it’s sesquicentennial on July 1, you might want to have one on hand to make a big batch of cookies for the big day. And you might want to try this recipe right now, you know, just to make sure you get it right.

 Maple Crème Cookies

Makes 2 dozen

Preheat oven to 350 F

For the cookies:

125 ml butter at room temperature

80 ml of maple sugar

45 ml granulated sugar

45 ml maple syrup

325 ml flour

45 ml maple sugar (to sprinkle)

Cream the butter with 80 ml of the maple sugar, sugar and maple syrup. Blend in flour until you have a grainy dough. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate. After an hour remove from the fridge & place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough to 5mm thickness. Cut out cookies with the cutter. Place parchment paper on baking sheet. Place the cookies on the sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies from oven, sprinkle with maple sugar and let cool.

For maple butter cream:

80 ml butter at room temperature

45 ml maple syrup

45 ml maple sugar

750 ml icing sugar

Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter, maple syrup, maple sugar and icing sugar. Set aside. To assemble, spread half of the cookies with maple/butter cream. Top with the other cookies. Placing the cookies in the fridge will help them to firm up quickly.



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