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

251 Comments

  1. The mouth feel of these cookkes is addictive! Do not use salted roasted pecans! I did and the salt hides the maple flavor. The recipe didn’t specify what kind of pecans to use and I thought the salt would tame the sugar… my bad. Still good though not amazing.

  2. Sally Stratton Borte says:

    So delicious! I don’t use the maple extract and I think these are great without it.

  3. I haven’t made the cookies yet. But I made the maple icing and drizzled it over your pumpkin bundt cake. It’s delicious and drizzled perfectly and looks great!

  4. How do you think these would fare with coconut oil or shortening subbed for the butter? I have a DF husband and would love to make these for him!

    1. Hi Amy, I haven’t tested these without butter. You can try vegan butter (Earth Balance is a great brand) or solid coconut oil.

  5. Hey Sally! Do you think this Recipe works if i bake it in a 8” x 8” pan and make it sort of a blondie?

    Cheers 🙂

    1. Hi Kiki, an 8×8 will be a bit too small. 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!

  6. Have you ever added chocolate chips?
    I like to eat maple fudge and regular fudge together–just wondering. 🙂

    1. Hi Janet, I haven’t but you certainly could! I recommend sticking to one cup of add-ins so you can either use chocolate chips instead of pecans or use half a cup of each. Let me know if you try it!

      1. Hello,
        I put in 1/2 cup of pecans and 1 cup of chocolate discs–that was great! I may even add 1/4 cup more of the pecans.

        I bought real maple extract from Amazon–It didn’t smell like maple to me, but I used it. I am going to go to the store and buy the McCormick’s–I will be making them for Thanksgiving.

        Thanks!

  7. Susan Johnson says:

    Your website is my favorite baking site for ideas and inspiration. I never would have thought that maple would work so well in cookies but I made these cookies with a few variations and Oh My Goodness, they are GOOOOOD! Instead of pecans, I added 1 cup of white chocolate chips and I also added a pinch of sea salt on top. In addition, I also made a batch of your cream cheese frosting and then piped it between 2 cookies to make a cookie-sandwich-kind-of-whoopie-pie concoction. Even my husband is raving about them and he doesn’t normally like sweets/desserts so it’s a winner! Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes and your tips and tricks for better baking!

    1. What a delicious idea, Susan!! I bet the tangy cream cheese frosting paired perfectly with the salty/sweet cookies! YUM 🙂

  8. Ok dilemma! Which one is best, your Butter Pecan cookies, or these??? I want them both, but plan on taking only one to our family thanksgiving, and I can’t decide!

    1. Hi Trudy! I enjoy both, but I am just loving these maple brown sugar cookies! I recommend these.

  9. Ok I’m hooked, will try these for my competitive cookie exchange (with sparkle embellishments)

  10. Hi Sally! I was so excited to make these this past weekend. Followed your recipe to a tee. However, they didn’t turn out as you described. They never flattened, stayed as balls and the centers were not chewy at all. Chilled for 2 hours, let them sit for 30 min and when that batch didn’t flatten I left the dough out even longer in hopes the closer to room temp consistency might help. Any ideas what may have happened? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisa, did you make any ingredient substitutions at all? Was your dough very soft and creamy after mixing the wet and dry ingredients together? If if was next time try flattening each dough ball slightly before going in the oven to help them spread.

  11. Oh my goodness! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! I followed the recipe exactly as written and they are DELICIOUS! Great texture! An instant classic!

    1. I’m thrilled that you enjoy them so much, Marie!

  12. Completely amazing! Can’t stop eating them. Hope my next batch makes it to the Thanksgiving dessert table!

  13. Could I make these in an 8×8 pan as cookie bars? If so, how long would I bake? I’m trying to make pecan pie cookie bars and I’m looking for a maple-y/ brown sugar cookie bar base!

    1. Hi Christine, an 8×8 will be a bit too small. I recommend a 9×9 inch baking pan for cookie bars. 350F temperature, but I’m unsure of the bake time.

  14. They just came out of the oven & WOW! My Hubby taste tested and said he just wanted one he wasn’t hungry and I started to walk away….wait one more!LOL! My house smells Divine. I used Pure maple syrup & Watkins Pure Maple Extract.

  15. Hi Sally, I made these cookies for a cookie exchange. If I freeze them cooked … what would happen if they get frozen again once they are exchanged?

    1. Nothing at all! You can freeze and re-freeze these as long as they’re gobbled up within 3 months. They taste best before that 3 month mark. 🙂

  16. These were most likely the best cookies I’ve ever eaten. I will make these again and again and my guests couldn’t eat them fast enough. The texture is perfectly chewy on the inside, all thanks to your wonderful tip of banging the pan if they come out fluffy! Another recipe win, thanks, Sally!

  17. Do you think these can be rolled out, so I can use cookie cutters?

    1. Hi Tara! No, this is not a roll out cookie recipe. Instead, I recommend my maple cinnamon sugar cookies.

  18. Made these for the first time tonight and — just wow. It’s hard to describe these cookies other than fluffy pillows of flavor. Things that happened while I was baking: the store was out of dark brown sugar, so I was forced to use light brown. I added an additional teaspoon of maple syrup to compensate the drier texture. I also could not find grade B maple syrup, so I used grade A. This, combined with the light brown sugar, left the batter tasting a little flat, so I added 1/2 teaspoon more maple extract than what was called for. I think I may have over beaten the cookies as they are slightly cakier than normal, but that’s on me walking away while the mixer was going. Regardless, the cookies have a flavor profile that is so lovely and subtle yet strong and unique. A real winner. They were quick to whip up too! I did not make the glaze because I ran out of time for our cookie exchange, but I will next time and look forward to that additional maple flavor!

  19. These cookies are absolutely delicious. I used 2 tsp of maple extract and didn’t add the vanilla extract. I also used roasted pecans and maple chips. I didn’t use the glaze. They are up in the top 5 of my favorite cookie

    1. I’m so happy you loved these cookies, Karen! Thanks for your positive feedback 🙂

  20. Sorry if this has been asked and answered, but can you chill the dough balls overnight (so it’s all ready to go) and then bake?

    1. Yes you can, Jamie! Just make sure they are covered well. Enjoy!

  21. These cookies (with or without the icing) are amazing! Made them for Thanksgiving and even the picky, “non-sweets” eating people loved them. They have a rich, deep flavor without being overly sweet despite the maple syrup and brown sugar. Thank you!

  22. I LOVE THESE COOKIES!!
    I baked these for the first time last week and fell in love. Maple is my favorite flavor and when I came across this recipe I baked them right away.
    Not only were they delicious they’re so simple to make. I have made 5 batches already. My husband, who is a chocolate chip only kind of guy, liked them so much that I just finished 2 batches for his office. Even my kids, who insist they don’t like maple, couldn’t keep their paws off. Thank you for this delicious recipe. Whenever I’m looking for a cookie or cake recipe I come right to your site and I’m never disappointed!

    1. Hi Danae, I’m thrilled that these have been such a hit!!

  23. My whole family loved these! Something a little different than making chocolate chip cookies but also very easy! The maple is not overpowering, just right! That glaze on top makes these so special!

  24. Whitney Bland says:

    I baked these today for my son who loves maple flavoring. I have tried other maple cookie recipes before but my family has never like them. Today was a success! These cookies are delicious and will be added to our recipes. My son was very happy!

  25. FYI, Frontier Spices makes a good maple extract (I believe it’s alcohol-free too). Also try beanilla.com which has a ton of extracts of many different flavors, including an all-natural maple flavoring.

  26. I love to bake….ran across this website and LOVE IT. This was the first cookie recipe I tried and it did not disappoint. I made two batches for a family party and they were a huge hit. I am a fairly novice baker so I love the tips and recipe details provided. I’m excited about trying other recipes.

  27. Are you able to store these cookies in a regular cookie tin? I might want to make these if I can get the right ingredients. 🙂

    1. I don’t see why not! Hope you will get the chance to make these soon!

  28. Sally do you know if there are any modifications needed for altitude of 6900 ft?

    1. Hi Traci, I wish I could help, but I have no experience baking at high altitude. I know some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  29. Hi sally if I don’t have maple extract can I put vanilla extract instead? Thanx

    1. Hi Joy, While you can skip it, I highly recommend waiting until you can get to the store to get maple extract before trying this recipe. When I tested the cookies without maple extract, the cookies were lacking. I use McCormick maple extract. You can find it in the baking aisle.

  30. First time making these. Followed recipe exactly. Turned out awesome. I was thrilled because my cookie-making record is not stellar! We love maple so next time I think I’ll bump up the maple extract to 2 teaspoons. Do you think it’ll work? We now have a new favorite cookie!

    1. For more maple flavor, yes, you can use more maple extract with no other changes to the recipe. So glad you loved these!

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