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!

maple cookies


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

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!

maple cookie dough

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!

maple cookies

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 (30g) unsalted 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. 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

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

124 Comments

  1. I made these today and they were fantastic! My friends agreed that they might be the best cookies I’ve ever made. We are fans of everything maple & these were some of the first homemade maple cookies I’ve had that truly deliver the flavor. Added bonus: slamming the cookies at the end was very therapeutic after a long week!

    For high-altitude bakers—I’m at 5000 feet elevation, and I made the following changes: reduced baking soda to 3/4 tsp; reduced sugar to 180 grams; baked at 360 for 9-10 minutes.

  2. This is a super delicious recipe. I reduced the brown sugar by half and it still tasted sweet enough for me. They came out tall and thick. If you love maple syrup, you need to try these!

  3. Sally!!!!!! I made these while my Sept. cheese bread was rising. OMG. One taste of the raw cookie dough (no, not gonna die!) and I had to jump back and realize a second batch would be mandatory! Did you hear me squeal from Harford County? I’m not even a maple fan but they sounded good and these are definitely going in my “worthy” cookbook file. Mercy lawdalmighty. Such a delicate balance of flavors with the maple, vanilla and pecans. Perfection. I’m sure you will, but I just don’t know how you can top these – and I’ve made tons of your recipes. Thank you, thank you – always blowing my mind!

    1. I don’t, but you certainly can for extra flavor. To toast, preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Spread chopped pecans onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat lined baking sheet. Toast until slightly darkened, about 5-7 minutes. Cool before adding to the cookie dough.

  4. Hi Sally, I wanted to make these cookies this wekend, but I was unable to find the maple extract. After two stores I decided to try amazon. I ordered it from Amazon. It wont be here until september 17rh! I’m so bummed! I was looking forward to making them this weekend! Oh well they will have to wait. I am going to make your monkey bread tomorrow! Thanks for all your yummy recipes!

    1. I too had trouble finding the McCormick maple extract in my grocery stores, however if you get on the McCormick website and search for the Maple extract a feature will pop up that allows for a search of where to buy near you. I did this and found that three Wal-Mart’s had it in my area. I’m not a Wal-Mart shopper, so I wouldn’t have found it otherwise. Hope this helps!

  5. I found mine came out thicker than I was hoping. If I make these again I’d use 2 and 1/4 cup flour instead of 2 and 1/3. I’m a bit disappointed – I was super excited for these!

  6. Made these today and they are amazing! When I used to eat Quaker instant oatmeal as a kid, I always reached for maple and brown sugar flavour first so making these was a no brainer for me! I toasted the pecans first which was, of course, amazing. And while they certainly didn’t NEED the maple glaze, it was a welcome addition. My husband and I both agreed that they taste like fall in cookie form! Thanks for YET ANOTHER keeper Sally!!

    1. LOVE that oatmeal flavor!! Thrilled you and your husband enjoyed these cookies! 🙂 Thanks for your positive feedback, Stephanie!

  7. These cookies were amazing, amazing, amazing, considering I’m not a huge maple fan! And that my 3 year-old son/baking assistant turned the mixer on full speed to mix the dry ingredients in…I was sure these cookies would be missing a considerable amount of flour after it flew all over the kitchen! But alas, the texture and flavor were spot-on. And for everyone concerned that imitation maple will give them an artificial taste, worry no more. It just intensifies the authentic maple flavor! These cookies have the consistency that I wish all cookies had…

  8. Has anyone made these using any gluten free flour? Would love to hear. I have made to many recipes that call for AP flour and I sub. GF flour and they were flops. Please let me know. Thank you!

    1. In my general experience (baking for a GF colleague), cookies and GF flour do not make good partners. It’s fine for cake but won’t hold together sufficiently for a cookie.

    2. Hi Karen! I made these with gluten-free flour yesterday and they were seriously AMAZING! I always use GF flour because I have to, but my goal is always to bake things that don’t taste gluten-free so my friends and family can’t tell the difference—this recipe passed that test with flying colors. Our friends couldn’t stop talking about how good they were when I made them yesterday; actually just pulled up the site again because my kids asked to make another batch! Here’s what I did:
      1) I always use Pillsbury’s GF flour blend — I bake quite a bit and have tried others, but Pillsbury’s blend gives me the best results.
      2) Use a digital kitchen scale to weigh ingredients. I love Sally for providing measurements by weight as well as by cup; it’s so much easier to bake GF when you can weigh the flour.
      3) After adding the maple extract and vanilla, I added a teaspoon of molasses to help the dough hold together. It worked beautifully and lifted the maple flavors!

      Good luck! 😀

      1. Hi Tara, thank you so much for the info. I didn’t know Pillsbury made a
        GF flour blend. I live in California and have never seen it. I use Cup 4 Cup and King Arthur GF Blend. I will give it a try. Thanks again Karen

  9. To anyone reading this, make these cookies now. Sally we loved these! Just as described and just like the pictures.

  10. THANK YOU for sharing this wonderfully delicious recipe with us! My house smells like the perfect fall candle and these taste like wearing a hoodie while sitting by a bonfire on a crisp evening. ❤️
    I’ve been following your blog and baking your cookies since 2016 and I believe this is the best cookie I’ve made of yours to date. My family and friends agree! I’ve got my 2nd batch chilling in the refrigerator right now!

  11. I. Am. Speechless. I very much had my doubts that these could be the best cookies you’ve ever made. Well, I apologize for doubting you. WOW. My husband and I sat in shocked silence as we ate them. They were supposed to go with him to work today, but after tasting one we both looked at each other and said NOPE, we are keeping these for ourselves! LOL. Thank you for these AMAZING recipes, Sally!!!

  12. I made these and I did toast the nuts first, because I always do. I bake so often I toast a big batch of nuts ahead and then, I have them whenever I want to bake…it cuts down on a step. These are awesome indeed. I did find maple extract by McCormick…thank goodness. I used to have to use a maple imitiation flavor before I saw that McCormick had it. Thank you for an easy and absolutely delicious cookie….easy, and aesthetically appealing. The only other maple cookie I make religiously was from gourmet many years ago called maple stars and they are cut out cookies. Those are divine. I make them every year at the holidays…..they are also frosted…may have to try this glaze on them.

  13. Sally – I made these and the flavor was OUTSTANDING but they were a little drier and cakier than I wanted, even with baking for just 11 minutes. I wonder if I should use less flour next time? Or more brown sugar? Thanks!

    1. Hi Sally! Did you change any ingredients? Make sure you bang that pan to flatten them out. Feel free to reduce the sugar by 2-3 Tablespoons if you try them again.

  14. Hello Sally,

    Do you think these gorgeous looking cookies would still be good if I reduce the brown sugar a little, add dark chocolate chip, skip the icing, and sprinkle the top with a little sea salt?

  15. Hi Sally! I just made these and they are so delicious! Even the dough after chilling has perfect spread! Thank you for this wonderful recipe Sally!

  16. If you made these into bars what pan would you use and would you bake them on the same temp? And for approximately how long?

    1. Hi Elizabeth! 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!

  17. Wow!!! These are so good! Loved the flavours and the pecans added the right amount of crunch. Another fantastic recipe!

  18. Hi… I made these yesterday for my grandsons baptism.

    I had in my baking closet a bag on Maple Nestles baking chips. I added about a cup of them to the mix. They were amazing. They were the first empty plate on the dessert table.

  19. These look so yummy! I made the dough this weekend and plan to bake them today or tomorrow.

    Question – could you brown the butter in the icing? When I first saw this recipe I read it as “maple brown butter sugar cookies” and I can’t get that out of my head! Let me know if you think it would take away from anything or mess with the consistency. Thanks, as always!!!

  20. Yet another “keeper” recipe from Sally! You go girl! I’m not a big fan of maple but the flavor blend in these cookies was fantastic. The outsides perfectly crispy yet the inside chewy and yet also crunchy from the toasted pecans. I ate three of these cookies on the way to deliver them to my daughters work. They were lucky I just didn’t turn around and keep them for myself! I used the maple extract and look forward to experimenting with it by using it in your banana bread, baked oatmeal and maple granola! I don’t normally use dark brown sugar but after tasting these cookies I’m going to add dark brown sugar to some of your other cookie recipes. You have opened my eyes, and tastebuds, to new flavors. Thank you for all your time you devote to making me a better baker. Our Chessie girl sending healing thoughts to your Jude.

  21. Hey Sally,
    I made theses a little over a week ago and now have an order request!
    Just happened to have real maple syrup from friend who makes it in Michigan! But, have not found extract yet, used more vanilla and they were fine. Will continue to look for extract. Anyway, here in Bama making another batch this morning! Have a great day!

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