One of my favourite things to do in the spring when the snow finally starts to melt is head out to the sugar shack to walk through the maple tree forest and show the kids where and how the iconic Canadian maple syrup is made. Even with warmer weather on the horizon, you can keep that feeling by using maple syrup in these delicious cookies - year round.
This year, as part of our #CanadaWithKids adventures, we ventured about 7 ½ hours north to St. Joseph’s Island, Ontario to visit Gilbertson’s Maple Products. As the largest producer of Maple Syrup in Ontario, every maple syrup season, the Gilbertson family taps 45,000 trees over 500 acres. That's a lot of trees that get drilled by hand. But they need a lot of trees because it takes 40 litres of sap to make 1 litre of maple syrup!
The kids loved walking through the bush, checking out how the maple sap runs through blue lines (gone are the days of buckets except for a couple set up for the kids to check out) and taking a wagon ride.
Of course, we also stuffed ourselves full of pancakes and maple syrup before heading through the gift shop where we stocked up on Gilbertson’s Maple Syrup, maple sugar, maple tea and my favourite maple sugar candies made right on site.
With all this maple product at home, the kids and I keep coming up with new combinations for cooking and baking but these Maple Syrup Chocolate Chip Cookies are hands-down the winner!
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup real maple syrup
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup oatmeal (the minute oats variety)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
With an electric mixer, mix together eggs, butter and maple syrup.
In separate bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients a little at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine.
Add chocolate chips and stir gently to combine.
I like to roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheet, but the dough is very sticky, so if you prefer, simply use a teaspoon to drop the dough onto a cookie sheet.
Bake in pre-heated 350F oven for 9-11 minutes. Remove from oven, when cookies are still soft, but edges are starting to brown/turn golden.
Let cool completely on baking rack.
Adapted from Gilbertson's Springtime Maple Traditions Cookbook
Looking for more kids favourite things to put Maple Syrup on? Check out my Baked Pancakes (with or without chocolate chips) and this Make-Ahead Baked French Toast (just use milk instead of egg nog if it's not egg nog season).