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 (291g) 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

302 Comments

  1. wow! yum! (kind of tastes like a handheld pancake 😉 very very very sweet though… i don’t know how anyone could omit the pecans!- i think they are needed to help cut the sweetness; in fact, next time i think i’ll toast the pecans first. such a good cookie!!

  2. Karla Klindworth says:

    What are your thoughts on adding a sprinkle of chopped bacon to the top of the cookie?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Karla, You can definitely add chopped cooked bacon to the top of the cookies – YUM!!

  3. Hi sally
    This question may have been answered but my internet is screwing up

    Should the cookies be cold before addding the drizzle or should i apply the drizzle while warm
    I’m in process of making them now and i want them to be perfect for my sister in CA

    1. Hi Meg, I’m just seeing your comment/question now so my apologies on the delay responding to you. The cookies can still be slightly warm when you add the icing. I usually let them cool completely though. It doesn’t make a huge difference either way.

  4. You were right, Sally. These ARE the best cookies ever! Awesome recipe.

  5. Lorinda m smith says:

    I never write reviews…This cookie is the best maple cookie ,I have ever made!!! The smell when it came out of the over was intoxicating…The taste pure .The texture purfect..will make them offen..THANK YOU SO MUCH

  6. Hey sally ! Can’t want to make this awesome recipe . I can’t buy maple extract where I live, is there an alternative I can use? Thanks !

    1. I have made these cookies several times and they are the best. The maple extract really makes that maple flavor explode! Try finding maple extract on Amazon on Walmart.com. If you do find it buy more than one!

  7. I don’t normally leave comments, but I HAD to for these cookies. First of all, my baking experience is almost nonexistent. This was the first homemade cookie I’ve ever made (and I’m in my 30s). I took some to Thanksgiving at my MIL’s house. Every phone call she received that day, she talked about the “maple cookies”! We also just had a baby shower by mail and I sent out a batch of these cookies with my thank you cards. I’ve had so many people offer to pay me to make them another batch! lol I’m planning on just sending everyone another batch for Christmas!

    I just wanted to tell you this is the absolute, most amazing cookie I have ever eaten! lol I will make this many, many times in the future! Definitely a staple cookie for my family!

  8. I made these cookies recently and thought they were great, but since I only had grade A maple syrup, the dark brown sugar was overpowering the maple flavor. Is it possible to make the cookies with half dark brown sugar and half light brown sugar? Do you think that will give it more maple flavor as well?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Grace! You can definitely replace half or all of the dark brown sugar with light brown sugar.

  9. I made these, as directed even though I was suspicious of the fat:flour ratio from the outset. I knew before baking the dough was way too dry, but I went ahead and baked a test cookie to see. As I suspected, the cookie didn’t spread at all and remained a in a lump. A dry lump. I added a further 1/2 cup of melted butter and DID NOT chill the dough. Even with these tweaks, I had to flatten them before baking to get them to spread even a little. Maybe Canadian Maple syrup doesn’t contain enough water? Not sure, but this recipe didn’t work for me at all.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Melanie, Thank you for trying this recipe. I’m concerned your dough was so dry – the dough should be creamy and soft before refrigeration. Did you make any ingredient substitutions? I wonder if there was too much flour soaking up all the liquid. Make sure you are properly measuring your flour. When measuring flour, use the spoon & level method, don’t scoop. For more troubleshooting tips you can visit the post 5 Cookie Baking Tips to Improve Your Next Batch.

      1. WindsorTenor says:

        Thank you for adding the weights as well as measurements. I always try to bake with weights as measurements can vary from day to day. Humidity and location can change measurements but they do not affect weights. I used the weights in this recipe and the cookies came out absolutely perfect! Thank you!

    2. I had the same problem. So I split each cookie with a knife (since they were pretty firm and thick) and spread some of the drizzle in the middle. Voila! Sandwich cookies! The flavour was great for sure, but I will try less flour next time.

      1. NB: forgot to mention that I too am Canadian. Maybe our syrup IS different!? Lol

  10. A. M. A. Z. I. N. G. Hands down, my most favorite cookie right now. Thanks so much for the fantastic recipe!

  11. I made this for our Christmas get together, as maple is my eldest son’s favorite flavor. These were possibly the best cookies I’ve ever made, and that’s in a family of chocoholics. I made them without the pecans, and they were sensational. I will be doing these again in short order.

    Thank you for this tremendous recipe.

  12. Made with all purpose gluten free flour (King Arthur) and earth balance margarine and they were amazing. Used light brown sugar plus 1 T molasses and added extra maple extract to the icing. We used the leftover icing on some gluten free cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. Thank you, Sally! These were a favorite among our family this year along with your double chocolate crinkle cookies.

  13. I love maple everything! Since I was a kid (decades ago) we’ve made our own pancake syrup with Mapleine extract. Not sure if you are familiar with it but can’t wait to put it in these cookies!

  14. Nicole Murray says:

    These cookies are fantastic. I made them several months ago, and I can’t get them out of my head. I keep coming back to this recipe.
    My question is: I want to make a couple of batches to take to work, but I have a couple of vegan co-workers. I can use Earth Balance or another plant-based butter, but what would you suggest that might work well to replace the egg?

    1. There’s a product called Just Egg, you can usually find it right next to the eggs at the grocery store. I haven’t tried it in this recipe but I’ve baked with it several times and works well.

  15. Already left a rave reviews. Now I needed to know calories. I found an easy site for entering recipes to get nutritional analysis. These are about 144 cal. each with icing. www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076

  16. Very delicious! Everyone at work loved them Thank you for sharing!!

  17. This recipe was a hit! I used Half odark muscovado sugar and light brown sugar and I believe it made a difference. Also, do not omit the pecans! Sally, your recipes are a staple in this household especially the black bean burgers.

  18. Do you think that raisins would taste good in these cookies?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We don’t see why not! Would love to hear how they go for you.

    2. Wonderful cookies! I was looking for a special cookie to share with family and friends and decided on this one, and it did not disappoint!

  19. This recipe is awesome! My husband and I love it! All Sally’s recipes are A M A Z I N G!
    But recently I made them again and my cookies are no as soft and chewy as before. The outside is a little hard and the inside very soft. And they don’t “ melt down “ when I take them out the oven. Do you think the flour can be the cause ? It’s an all purpose flour , just a different brand. Thank you for your feedback !

  20. I made these today, but sadly I had to go without the maple extract. I cannot find it anywhere. Not a single vendor on Amazon carries it either. What’s up with that? I increased the amount of syrup (the real stuff), and added a tablespoon of molasses, but to no avail. No maple flavor. 🙁 . I also cannot find a single vendor selling rye flour. Very weird. All that aside this cookie has a very nice buttery flavor. I must have mixed a thousanf gallons of powedered sugar-based frostings over the years, but never used butter with it. Now I’m hooked! If I ever find maple extract, I’ll try these again and give you an update.

  21. Hi Sally! I literally swear by this cookie recipe and it is the only one I used now because it is so amazing! Quick questions though: how do you think i can make them a bit less sweet without losing the perfect chewy and moist texture?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sarah, so glad to hear this is one of your favorites! We caution against reducing the sugar or any of the other ingredients because they play a critical role in the moisture and texture of the cookie, but you could omit the maple icing for a less sweet cookie. Or, try topping with some sea salt flakes for a sweet + salty combination!

      1. I actually tried using only 1/6 cup maple syrup and the texture is still wonderfully chewy but the sweetness was taken down a notch! So good 🙂

  22. Pam Uihlein says:

    Hi Sally, This recipe is ABSOLUTELY amazing! My family makes maple syrup and I made these for our final day of clean-up to help celebrate the season. Our friends and family went nuts over these and I gave many people the link to the recipe. Woo Hoo and thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      So happy to hear these cookies were a hit, Pam. I’m sure they were extra delicious with your maple syrup in them!

  23. My family loved these cookies so much…hubby said this was now his favorite cookie. Can you make these as a bar cookie?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lisa, Sure can! We 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!

  24. Outstanding. Follow the directions exactly including the refrigeration overnight. Dad ate the whole box! Sprinkled maple sugared walnuts on top. Yum!

  25. How do you think this would be with butter extract instead of maple? I am thinking maybe like a buttery waffle sort of taste? If I try it before someone answers, I’ll report back!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Charlotte, we haven’t tried it before, but perhaps you could try replacing half of the maple extract (1/2 teaspoon) with the butter extract, so you’re not losing all of the maple extract. Let us know what you try!

  26. I love this cookie! It’s always a hit whether I make it. I was curious if anyone has ever made it veganized? Any time I tried to use earth balance in other recipes it was very salty. I was thinking vegetable oil and using a chia seed egg (I’m attending a get together where a friend is vegan and often has to fend for themselves food wise, I thought this treat would be nice).

    1. My response is a little late, but – I just made these vegan with Earth Balance buttery sticks and a flax egg, and they were prefect! Tasted exactly like they do made with butter and an egg.

  27. Would like to try these cookies. Can I leave out the pecans as I have a nut allergy. What should I substitute it with?

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dee, Instead of nuts, they’d be tasty with toffee bits, the Heath brand called “bits o brickle” sold with chocolate chips in the baking aisle. Or white chocolate chips would be great, too.

  28. Sally these cookies OMG I’m dying go make them! Anything maple captures my heart! BUT I am only baking KETO now for health reasons- will therefore need to do some experimenting with almond flour/maple syrup substitutions. Any thoughts or best guesses would be VERY much appreciated!!!!

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Helen, We do not have much experience using gluten free flour. Although some readers report using an all purpose 1:1 gluten free flour in many of our recipes with success, you should expect slightly different results. Here are all of our naturally gluten free recipes. 

  29. Can I replace the butter with coconut oil? I can’t do dairy.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

  30. I don’t know what I did wrong, but my cookies turned out cakey, rather than chewy. They taste good. But I was disappointed with the texture. I followed the recipe exactly. I will try again. Any suggestions!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Donna! How are you measuring your flour? Make sure to spoon and level (instead of scooping) to avoid over-measuring. That could be the issue!

      1. Thanks. I did use the spoon and level method for the flour. But I will try the recipe again and let you know.

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