Time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 large egg yolks
12 ounces walnut halves
Fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt, for sprinkling (or use freshly grated nutmeg)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add 1/2 cup of maple syrup and the egg yolks, and beat until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
2. Using a tablespoon, drop the dough, 3 inches apart, onto two baking sheets. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each round of dough. Bake until the edges are just golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
3. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the maple glaze. Place the remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer the syrup until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 7 to 10 minutes. Carefully spoon the glaze into the thumbprint of each cooled cookie, then place a walnut and a sprinkle of salt (or nutmeg) on top. Allow the glaze to set, at least 10 minutes, before serving.
Excerpted from In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories About the Food You Love by Melissa Clark. Copyright 2010 Melissa Clark. Excerpted by permission by Hyperion & Co.