Vermont Maple Cookies


March is a dreary month in New England.  We are sick of snow and desperate for sunshine and warmth, but nature isn’t quite ready to commit to spring.  It’s lions and lambs all month long…warm and summery one day, and snowing the next. 

The one redeeming thing about March in New England is two little words…maple syrup

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Raspberry Walnut Shortbread Squares

Bar cookies are my favorite of the cookie family.  I have a tiny apartment oven and I am prone to clutter.  This means most varieties of cookies are not ideal because I can’t fit as many in the oven at once, can’t see them cooking, and can’t find enough clear surfaces to cool them on once they are done….provided I haven’t burned them.

None of this matters with bar cookies.  In they go, out they come.  Cool, lift, cut. 

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Banana Nut Bread

At used book stores I always make a beeline for the cookbooks, and once I find them, I zero in on any with those terrible plastic toothed spiral spines.  The ones that inevitably fail to do their job of keeping the pages together.  To me that spine means the book was compiled by a school, church, charity, etc. and will most likely contain a jackpot of cramped, typed recipes with strange names and an alarming abundance of shortening, sour cream, mayonnaise, whipped topping, and cans of condensed soup.

Powerless to resist their grassroots charm, I have a large collection of these greasy-paged gems.  I’ve noticed, however, that I never consider them when I am hunting for a recipe.  Instead I turn to my coffee-table style cookbooks or the web, where I know I will see gorgeous photos and read dozens of reviews for every recipe.  This seems unfair to my “novelty” cookbooks, so I have decided to turn to them more often in the coming months……and I am hoping they deliver. 

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