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. Hello. These look amazing. We can’t get Maple Extract where I live. Any suggestions for substitutions ? Thanks 🙂

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Andrew, you can omit it if needed, the maple flavor just won’t be as prominent. Are you able to order any online?

  2. These were delicious and chewy! I bought grade A dark robust maple syrup because the store didn’t have grade B maple syrup so the maple flavor was barely there. Next time I would double the maple extract because 1 tsp was not enough. I baked a few cookies at 11 min and they were a little overbaked. I baked at 9 min and they were a little bit raw in the center so next time I would bake at 10 min.

    1. Do you weigh your ingredients or use measuring cups?

  3. Can you use almond flour

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Vivian, we don’t recommend it. Almond flour has very different baking properties than all-purpose flour and can’t absorb liquids like all-purpose flour can. Best to stick with all-purpose flour here!

  4. These were delicious and something different thank my usual go to recipes. Made 6 dozen for my friends daughter wedding cookie table. Saving and will make again over the holidays.

  5. Hi Sally! I love these cookies – thank you for another amazing recipe! One question for future bakes: can I roll the dough into balls before chilling? Thank you!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brittany, you sure can — the dough will just be soft and creamy, which may make it harder (or messier!) to roll into balls before chilling.

  6. We made this recipe vegan, and it turned out deliciously perfect!
    Instead of butter, we used Earth Balance (same amount). We made sure to use organic fair trade brown sugar. Omitted the egg and used one snack size apple sauce cup (something you might pack in a child’s lunch box). You won’t be able to tell the difference. Enjoy!!

  7. I made this recipe last year for the holidays and decided I must make it for the fall this year!!
    (Ps I love every single one of your baking recipes that I have tried— can’t wait to make your pumpkin pie again this year it was outrageous and I even liked the pie crust which normally I could take or leave!!)
    I have some molasses in my pantry I’d like to use up— could I swap or add some molasses— I only have light brown sugar in my pantry at the moment— in these maple brown sugar cookies???

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rebecca! We’re so happy to hear that you love our pumpkin pie reicpe – it’s a favorite. We haven’t tested these cookies with molasses, but there should be plenty of flavor coming through, even with light brown sugar. Let us know if you give them a try!

  8. Debbie Crumley says:

    I made the Brown Sugar Maple Cookies! My family love these cookies!! The maple flavor, pecans and the softness are amazing!! The best!!!

  9. I followed this recipe exactly and my dough turned out crumbly… any ideas why?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Emilie, how are you measuring your flour? Be sure to spoon and level (or weight measure) to measure, otherwise there may be too much flour in the dough which is causing it to be dry and crumbly.

  10. These Maple cookies are out of this world goode!
    Phenomenal. So easy and recipe written so well. I think my cookie scoop was a little smaller as I got 38 cookies. Baked for 11 minutes. Crazy good. Best fall recipe I’ve seen in awhile. Perfect cookie to give as a little gift to people for Thanksgiving.

  11. I haven’t made these yet because when I read “maple” I think bacon. So, since I’m not a great baker (I’m more of a cook), I’m challenging you to get bacon flavoring into either the cookie or the icing or both.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Donna, how about adding some crumbled bacon to the tops of the cookies? If you love the maple+bacon combination, you’d love these maple bacon donuts!

  12. I just made a double batch of these for a work related party and they came out perfectly. People loved them and especially noticed the maple icing.

  13. Wow! Wow! Wow! I just made his recipe using gluten free flour (315g) and was blown away by the flavor. Perfect blend of tender chew and melt in your mouth filing. Just awesome.

    1. Cheryll Bennett says:

      thanks, i was wondering how they’d turn out GF. Any other changes?

  14. Is there a way to use maple butter in these cookies or the frosting? I just got a jar at Trader Joe’s and I’m looking for recipes to use it. I love maple flavored stuff!
    Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Anne! We haven’t tested these cookies with maple butter, but let us know if you try anything!

  15. These were delicious!! I followed the recipe to a “T” and would not change a thing. Thank you!

  16. If I could leave a 10 star rating for these cookies, I would! I made them exactly as written, except I used maple emulsion, which holds the maple flavour after baking. They freeze well, even with the glaze; all I do is leave them at room temperature in their freezer bag and once they have thawed, they taste like they have been baked that day. This, along with the Classic Peanut Butter cookie recipe is my favourite and will be in my rotation ALL year long. Thank you Sally! (Mine were done in 10 minutes, puffed up a bit, were “pan banged” right after coming out of my oven and were still big, but made absolutely no difference to how incredibly tasty they were.) Make these. Do it.

  17. These are AMAZING!!! I want to make some more today but I don’t have enough maple syrup left 🙁 I have found a recipe that uses maple extract added to simple syrup. Think that would be ok in a pinch? TIA

  18. I can’t wait to make these cookies, I love anything maple. I have a question regarding the maple extract. Is it real or pure maple or is it artificial flavored? Like pure vanilla vs. artificial vanilla flavored, pure is the only thing I use!
    Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Gail, the McCormick maple extract that we use is made with real maple and other natural flavors. It really deepens the maple flavor!

  19. Made these today!!! DELICIOUS! I try new recipes on my church family at midweek meetings. Loved by all! Made exactly as recommended including flour measures.

  20. I’m entering a cookie contest this weekend and I’m testing this recipe out today! I just put the dough in the fridge to chill for a couple hours. The dough tastes amazing!

  21. These cookies sound delicious. I can’t wait to make them. Would you recommend using toasted pecans?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Susie, we use unsalted, un-roasted pecans, but you can certainly use toasted if you prefer. Hope you enjoy these cookies!

      1. I just finished baking a batch of these cookies and they are wonderful! Not only are they tasty, but it makes the kitchen smell so good. This recipe is now a favorite and I will definitely be making them again!

  22. Fall cookie perfection!

  23. Looks yummy..I think I might add some crispy bacon crumbled on the top of the icing.

  24. Made these last night and they are delicious. I was afraid they would be overly sweet with the brown sugar and the maple syrup but they really weren’t. Will definitely make them again.

  25. These are everything I hoped they would be and more! Sweet but not too sweet, chewy on the inside and a perfectly balanced maple flavor.

  26. Hi! Can you use brown butter in this recipe? I noticed you said the butter shouldn’t be melted in the slightest. May I ask why? I’m sort of obsessed with brown butter in everything!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi there! You could definitely use browned butter that has been chilled back to a solid state, then brought to room temperature again. Using warm or melted butter will result in greasy, flat cookies.

  27. These cookies are delicious but, all my family agrees, a tad too sweet. The maple flavor was terrific, but instead of the sugar/syrup glaze, I am curious if anyone has tried a citrus glaze. I am thinking an orange flavor may compliment the maple beautifully, and cut down on the sweetness. Yes, I know, they are cookies, they are suppose to be sweet. But for me, just a bit too much..Thank you Sally, from another Sally….You are my go-to for baking ideas!

  28. I made these for the first time and they’re amazing. I didn’t have maple extract on hand so had to omit that. I think the maple glaze compensated for the omission. I also didn’t have pecans, so I substituted a half cup of butterscotch chips, which was fun. I found I had more glaze than I needed, so I’d cut the recipe down by a third or a half next time.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. It’s definitely going in my “keeper” folder!

  29. I followed the instructions but am not tasting any maple. I used McCormick extract and grade A syrup. I even used brand name flour sugar, etc. I’m super disappointed.

  30. These look so yummy! I am going to attempt them this week. I love brown butter – would it work to brown the butter for the icing before mixing it with maple syrup/powdered sugar?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes definitely!

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