Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

With big flavor, crisp edges, and mega chewy centers, these maple brown sugar cookies are a definite favorite. Top with maple icing for the ultimate fall cookie! Chilling the cookie dough is imperative, so set aside 2 hours or prepare the cookie dough the day before.

maple brown sugar cookies with maple icing

We’re approaching a new season, so a new cookie recipe is in order. 🙂

I may say this a lot, but nothing has been truer than in this very moment… (dramatic? who me?) … these maple brown sugar cookies are the best cookies I’ve ever made. And that statement holds big weight considering I authored an entire cookbook of JUST cookies.

Maple brown sugar cookies > every other cookie.

I know a good one when I bite it!

stack of maple cookies with maple icing


These Maple Brown Sugar Cookies Are:

  • Not cakey
  • Brown sugared and buttery
  • Unbelievably chewy and soft in the center
  • Crisp on the edges
  • Filled with pure maple syrup
  • Topped with luscious maple icing

The maple icing sets, so these are perfect for stacking and transporting. Because, trust me, you’ll want to bring these everywhere you go. Football game? Bring them. Party? Bring them. Bake sale? Sell them. No occasion at all? Make them.


maple brown sugar cookies on a white plate

10 Ingredients in Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

  1. All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour is the structure of the cookie. I played around with different amounts. 2 and 1/4 cups wasn’t enough and 2 and 1/2 cups was too much. 2 and 1/3 cups was the perfect amount to hold up to the liquid maple syrup.
  2. Baking Soda: Baking soda provides lift.
  3. Salt: Salt adds flavor and offsets the sweetness.
  4. Butter: 1 stick (1/2 cup) is plenty for the maple cookies and be sure you use room temperature butter. It should be cool to touch and not melted in the slightest.
  5. Dark Brown Sugar: Ditch basic white sugar. For optimal flavor and texture, reach for brown sugar instead. I highly recommend dark brown sugar for extra flavor, but light brown sugar works too. You need 1 packed cup.
  6. Egg: 1 egg provides structure, stability, and richness.
  7. Pure Maple Syrup: We can’t make maple cookies without pure maple syrup. Avoid “breakfast syrup” which doesn’t have the same robust maple flavor that pure syrup contains. I played around with different amounts and 1/3 cup is plenty. And, as a bonus, the pure syrup helps create slightly crisp edges. So good!
  8. Vanilla Extract: Adds flavor. Have you tried homemade vanilla extract yet?
  9. Maple Extract: Pure maple syrup isn’t enough to guarantee mega maple flavor. Without the crutch of maple extract, the cookies were lacking. Pure maple extract is difficult to find, so reach for imitation. I prefer McCormick brand because the flavor doesn’t taste fake.
  10. Pecans: Nuts are an optional ingredient, but they add awesome (and complementary!) flavor and texture.

Which Pure Maple Syrup is Best?

Grade A is good, but Grade B is darker and more flavorful because it’s produced later in the season. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either here!

2 images of maple cookie dough in a glass bowl and in a cookie scoop

maple brown sugar cookie dough balls on cookie sheet

How to Make Brown Sugar Maple Cookies

Minimal effort, mega results. ♥

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
  2. Cream the butter and brown sugar together.
  3. Beat in the egg, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and maple extract.
  4. Mix dry and wet ingredients together.
  5. Add the pecans.
  6. Chill the cookie dough. This cookie dough contains an additional liquid (maple syrup), so chilling the dough is crucial. Set aside 2 hours to chill this cookie dough. Without chilling, the cookies will spread into a greasy puddle.
  7. Roll cookie dough into balls. Each dough ball is about 1.5 Tablespoons.
  8. Bake until the edges are set. Cookies are done in about 13 minutes.

Then we’ll obviously drizzle maple icing all over the tops!

2 images of maple cookies without icing and maple icing in a glass bowl

maple brown sugar cookies

That Irresistible Maple Icing!!

You only need 3 ingredients for this super easy maple icing: butter, maple syrup, and confectioners’ sugar. To avoid any lumps, sift the confectioners’ sugar. If desired, a pinch of salt adds exceptional depth of flavor. The wonderful thing about this maple icing is that it eventually sets, so these cookies aren’t sticky or difficult to store.

You have my full support to use this maple icing for anything and everything. Some ideas: banana scones and pumpkin scones, obviously.

By the way! Today’s cookies differ from the Soft Glaze Maple Cookies in Sally’s Cookie Addiction. Those are ultra cakey (think pancakes!) with moderate maple flavor. These are more similar to chewy chocolate chip cookies in terms of texture.

maple brown sugar cookies with maple icing

Loving These Cookies Too

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maple brown sugar cookies

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 28-30 cookies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

With big flavor, crisp edges, mega chewy centers, and maple icing, these maple brown sugar cookies are a definite favorite. Chilling the cookie dough is imperative, so set aside 2 hours or prepare the cookie dough the day before.


Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/3 cups (290g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed dark brown sugar*
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract*
  • 1 cup (130g) chopped pecans*

Maple Icing

  • 2 Tablespoons (30gunsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup (112g) sifted confectioners’ sugar*
  • pinch salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the egg and beat on high until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and maple extract, then beat on high speed until combined.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then mix on low until combined. Add the pecans, then beat on low speed until combined. Dough will be creamy and soft.
  4. Cover and chill the dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator (and up to 3-4 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, though, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  6. Roll cookie dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie. This cookie scoop is helpful. Bake each batch for 12-13 minutes until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
  7. Remove from the oven. If your warm cookies look puffy, lightly bang the pan on the counter when you remove it from the oven. That will help slightly deflate the cookies, creating lovely cracks as you see in the pictured cookies. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Make the icing: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and maple syrup together, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Taste. Add a pinch of salt, if desired. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Icing will set after about 1 hour.
  9. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies, with or without icing, freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Brown Sugar: I recommend dark brown sugar for a deeper flavor, but you can use 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar instead if needed.
  3. Maple Syrup: Avoid “breakfast syrup” which doesn’t have the same robust maple flavor that pure syrup contains. Grade A is good, but Grade B is darker and more flavorful because it’s produced later in the season. You can’t go wrong with either in these cookies.
  4. Maple Extract: Pure maple syrup isn’t enough to guarantee mega maple flavor. Without the crutch of maple extract, the cookies were lacking. I use McCormick maple extract. You can find it in the baking aisle.
  5. Pecans: The pecans are optional, but add wonderful flavor and texture. I recommend unsalted, un-roasted pecans but feel free to use salted roasted pecans. Or feel free to leave them out or replace with chopped walnuts.
  6. Confectioners’ Sugar: To avoid any lumps, sift the confectioners’ sugar.
  7. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: cookies, maple syrup, fall dessert

291 Comments

  1. I can’t find maple extract to save my life. Can I use something else as a substitute?

    1. I got mine on Amazon 🙂 It’s actually the best price that I’ve found as well.

  2. Made these over the weekend and they are definitely going to be a family regular. They are delicious! Everything I want in a fall cookie. I couldn’t find the maple extract and I still thought they had a nice maple flavor from the icing especially. A+ cookie! Thanks Sally!

    1. Thank you Holly for the follow up – I live outside of any Amazon delivery zone so I was unsure if I could go ahead without maple extract. Still yummy

    2. These were some of the best cookies I have ever made. They were soft but the frosting and pecans gave it a slight crunch. I couldn’t stop eating them. They are definitely my new favorite!!!!

  3. How important is it for the cookie dough to be chilled for 2 hours before baking? I want to make these but don’t have time for the chilling process lol

    1. Hi Brooklyn, the cookies will overspread into flat greasy puddles– a waste of time and ingredients! Chilling is the most important step for the texture, taste, and appearance.

    2. I always roll the cookies into balls before I chill, then it takes less time to chill- probably about 30-44 minutes, and they turn out perfect.

  4. Instead of using 2 1/3 cups of flour, can i use 1 1/3 cup of flour and 1 cup of oats??? I just love the crunch of an oatmeal cookie but love this recipe !

    1. Hi Victoria, I don’t recommend replacing any flour with oats. You could try adding some oats to the written recipe, but I haven’t tested this. (Or try baking the cookies 2-3 extra minutes so they’re a little more browned and crisp.)

  5. These cookies are great. I used walnuts because that is what I had. The cookies are actually better the second day, when the Maple flavor becomes more pronounced. They will definitely be kept on my fall recipe list!

    1. So good!! This is a perfect recipe! Three people told me it was the best cookie I’d ever made!

  6. Victoria Busby says:

    Any ideas on calories for these cookies? Just want to know in case I eat half of them, cause they are delicious❤❤

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Victoria, I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  7. Only problem with these cookies – I could eat them all!!! So good. Always turn out perfect!! My youngest said the smell like pancakes when he came in – so delicious!! Sally does it again!

  8. Sally, I am helping my son have school at home this semester and made these amazing cookies for my son and grandchildren on a Sunday. Felt sort of guilty when Quinn and Faye, who rarely have access to sweets, helped their Dad finish the whole batch in less than three days. I will only make these once a month; but definitely will keep making them. Many thanks for this new recipe.

  9. Yes, yes, and yes! I made these with my 11- and 6-year-old grandsons. Their mom and my ever-so-particular husband raved. She asked for the recipe (unheard of). When I played our usual “how many out of 10” rating game with my husband, he gave it a 10.

  10. These cookies are fantastic! My sister is a maple fan and I just finished these to mail to her. She is recuperating from an emergency appendectomy! I’m sure she will LOVE them…I sure do!!

  11. These are so good! Soft and chewy. Thanks for another great recipe, Sally!

  12. SO GOOD!

    I made these this past weekend – made the dough before dinner, and by the time dinner was done and eaten, the dough was chilled and ready to be baked up for dessert. The recipe was super easy to follow and everything came together exactly as written. I found maple extract (McCormick brand) in the spice section of my grocery store, next to the other extracts (it was even on sale!).

    I wouldn’t change a thing! The cookies were perfectly soft, but not too soft. And deliciously maple flavored. My whole family loved them and I could definitely see a request to make these again in the future. Thank you!

  13. I love these cookies. I actually use the base dough for my chocolate chip cookies. My husband says these are the best cookies. I also like to change it up by adding in dried fruit with the nuts. It’s delicious

  14. So far so good on the batter, chilling in the fridge right now. Im only chilling for the 2 hours so should I allow to thaw a little before baking??

  15. I used light brown sugar instead of dark, replaced the maple extract with a scant tsp of almond extract, and swapped out chopped pecans for 3/4 cup pecan chips (smaller pieces of pecan). Makes for a nuttier flavor with a hint of brown sugar and maple. They taste AMAZING. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. I made these yesterday and they were amazing! Even my husband who hates maple flavors ate half the batch 🙂 . The only thing is they were too sweet for my taste. Great recipe regardless.

  16. Just made a second batch of these at my husband’s request – they are so good! On a side note, they travel well.. first batch went on a 5 day trip with us in our camper, they stayed fresh, didn’t crumble or melt, and the last two were as good as the first.

  17. These are such good cookies, I’ve made them twice in the last few weeks for family get togethers. There is a lot to said for a recipe that just works.

  18. A friend shared these cookies and recipe with me. I have the cookie dough chilling as I type.
    They were SO GOOD

  19. Sally, would this recipe work as a bar cookie, rather than individual cookies?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Paula, Sure can! I recommend a 9×9 inch baking pan for cookie bars. 350F, but I’m unsure of the bake time. You can use a toothpick to test the center for doneness. If it comes out clean, they’re done. Enjoy!

  20. Delicious! Followed the recipe to a T and cookies came out chewy and perfect. I highly recommend using a scoop like she suggested rather than a spoon and forming a lot with fingers – the dough melts super fast even after 3 hrs in the fridge, so my 2nd tray was almost room temp by the time I got to it and the cookies turned out a lot flatter. Maybe refrigerating the batch for a few minutes in between would be helpful if that’s the case.

  21. Love this recipe so easy and most of all delicious. Just the right balance of sweet. Made with walnuts. Thank you…now will be a regular

  22. Made this cookie and my son deemed them as dangerous. They are sooo good. Keeping this recipe handy.

  23. I’ve made these a few times and they’re fantastic- I love the texture! Last night I made them with a small twist: subbed out maple for honey! I used 1/3 cup honey, omitted the maple extract, and added some cinnamon. Whipped up a quick sticky glaze with butter, honey, and icing sugar and these were amazing! Same chewy texture and rich flavour. Keep posting these great recipes!

  24. Michelle DeVries says:

    Just made these for the third time in a month! My whole family loves them, my husband even deemed them his favorite cookie! Don’t skip the glaze or the pecans!

  25. OMG!!! I found this recipe while on the hunt for great cookies to make for my family and office holiday party. These are now by far my favorite cookie of all time. Thank you SO much!

  26. These are delicious! The texture is like a good cookie should be-not cakey or shortbread-y. I used walnuts and I did use breakfast syrup because it’s what I had on hand. I will definitely make again.

  27. These look amazing and I am excited to make them. How do they freeze? Can I freeze them with the icing on? And tips would be appreciated.

    BTW, I love so many of your cookie recipes. This is my first stop when I want to bake something that I know will be delicious. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rhonda, Yes Baked cookies, with or without icing, freeze well for up to 3 months. See the recipe notes for details.

      1. Rhonda Walker says:

        Thank you so much for responding! I got so excited when I saw maple I think I glossed right over the notes.

  28. These cookies are amazing! I used a three tablespoon cookie scoop to make giant cookies and they came out great. I tried the cookies before the frosting and they were good, but the maple frosting really brings it all together! Also, love the crunch that the pecan brings to the cookie. Next time I might try roasting the pecans before adding to the dough, otherwise, perfect recipe as written. Thank you Sally!

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