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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

Video Tutorial

10 Ingredients in Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

We use most of these in maple pecan snickerdoodles, too!

  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 balances the flavor.
  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 recommend dark brown sugar for extra flavor, but light brown sugar works too.
  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.
  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. If you love these maple pecan snickerdoodles, you’ll also love pecans here.

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: 2830 cookies 1x
  • 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

Scale
  • 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. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze 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: maple brown sugar cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. What would happen if I don’t chill or cut the chill time down? Any tricks? I’m in a time crunch. Thanks!

    1. Hi Christiana, This cookie dough contains an additional liquid (maple syrup), so chilling the dough is crucial. Without chilling for at least the full 2 hours, the cookies will spread into a greasy puddle.

  2. Today is the third time in as many weeks that I’ve baked these cookies. Based on the requests I’ve received, this recipe has skyrocketed to the top of the favorites list, displacing the White chocolate, dried cherry oatmeal cookies (barely). My only adjustment, if I’m not adding the maple icing squiggles, is to add a few shakes of pure maple sugar to the cookies immediately upon removing them from the oven. A repurposed salt shaker works perfectly. The maple settles nicely into the hot cookie tops, thus adding another layer of maple flavour. Ooo-lala.

    1. Hi Kate, thanks so much for sharing! We are so glad these have become a favorite for you.

  3. I couldn’t find maple extract so I just used a extra maple syrup. They were still amazing and I will definitely be making them again! Hopefully I can find maple extract at another grocery story at some point, too.

  4. These are INCREDIBLE! I just made them and cannot wait to take up for a girls skiing day. Thank you! Another wonderful recipe!

  5. These are AMAZING! I keep some of the dough in my freezer in case company comes over. Everyone who has tried them has raved about them!

    1. Hi Lauren! We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076

  6. The recipe didn’t work for me unfortunately. Sally was right about the lack of flavor if no maple extract added. I will know for next time. Also, even though I measured the flour by weight, seems like it was too much as they came out dry instead of chewy texture.

  7. This recipe sounds great! Can I use shaped cookie cutters (like hearts) and decorate with royal icing (similar to how I would at Christmas time using my vanilla sugar cookie recipe)? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Cindy, Baked cookies, with or without icing, freeze well for up to 3 months.

  8. Best cookies I have ever made! These were a big hit with my family and will definitely become a regular in my baking rotation.

  9. These cookies are absolutely delicious and easy to make. I just have one question…I follow the recipe exactly but my cookies always come out “puffy”. I bang the cookie sheets after baking but they still never “deflate”. They still are excellent cookies but I wonder why they never flatten.

    1. Hi Maggie! When cookies stay puffy, it usually means that there’s too much dry ingredient (flour) soaking up all the liquid. When measuring flour, use the spoon & level method. Do not scoop the flour out of the container/bag. Doing so leaves you with excess flour in the cookie dough. Hope this helps for next time!

  10. I really enjoyed this recipe! I used hazelnuts instead of pecans. I’ll definitely be making these again!

  11. Love the recipe. Wish you guys would put the actual ingredients and instructions section at the top and the novel of other information at the bottom. It’s so annoying having to scroll all over the place to find the information.

  12. Fantastic cookie! Everyone who has tried one has given rave reviews. Followed the recipe exactly except that I added a splash of maple flavoring to the icing.

  13. Looking for help … I’ve made these cookies about a dozen times, they are incredible! This last time they came out completely flat. I made a second batch thinking I missed something … Same results. Followed exact ingredients, used food scale, w/3-4 hours chill time. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

  14. I recently made these cookies for the first time and my husband and I loved them! We had to force ourselves not to eat them all in one sitting 🙂 Quick question – my husband had the idea of dumping all of the dough into a square cake pan and making them into blondies. Do you think that could work?

    1. Hi Shelby, so glad you love these cookies! We recommend a 9×9 inch baking pan for cookie bars. 350F, but we’re 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!

  15. I was so excited to make this with our own home harvest and finished off syrup and sadly they came out flat and nothing like the picture I hope to try them again but for now I need to try and figure out what I have done wrong. I have even tried the tip for avoiding flat cookies and gave it even more time to chill

  16. This recipe looks nice! I’ve read through the comments and saw several questions from readers asking if this could be made as bars. Has anyone done it and might have a suggestion as to the baking time, or other modifications necessary? While I understand that blog recipes are generally only tested as written — bar cookies are SO much easier and just as delicious as ‘regular’ cookies, and it would really be great to see an option in the post with baking information to make them as bars. Thanks for the consideration.

    1. Hi J! We recommend a 9×9 inch baking pan for cookie bars. 350F, but we’re 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!

  17. I’ve made these cookies twice and both times they have been a big hit! The first time I substituted coconut sugar for the brown sugar and chilled for a little over an hour. The dough was not too hard to scoop and they looked perfect when baked, no spreading. My second time making them I was in a hurry, so I used half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour to try to offset the extra liquid and spreading issue. I baked them right away, no chilling at all and it worked like a charm! The whole wheat does give it a different, chewier, texture, but it still has the same great flavor.
    I will definitely be making them again, thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

  18. These were a big hit! Can you make them with vanilla pudding so they will be more puffy?

    1. Hi Audra! We haven’t tested adding vanilla pudding to these cookies but let us know if you do.

  19. Absolutely love this cookie! Made the recipe with Very Dark Maple Syrup I helped produce this season in western New York. The cookie is crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside and has an amazingly delicious flavor. I included the pecans which also added to the texture. Highly recommend. Oh and don’t skip the refrigerating step — I didn’t and got a beautiful rise. Thank you for the recipe — it’s a keeper!

  20. These cookies are amazing!! One of the best cookies I have ever had in my entire life. Thank you!

  21. These cookies are super good. I love the texture of them after they’ve cooled, especially the second day. They are super chewy and soft. I ate three of them for breakfast this morning (yes, 3. They are delicious with coffee) and am now completely hyped on sugar. I absolutely could not find maple extract anywhere and didn’t want to wait for it to arrive if I ordered online so I left it out but the cookies still taste amazing. Also didn’t have enough pecans so I also mixed in some chopped cashews.

  22. These cookies are amazing and everyone I shared them with agreed!

    Do you know if this recipe doubles/triples well?

  23. This is my next cookie recipe to try. If we can’t find extract, would you add more syrup and how much? Also, can I omit the pecans?

    1. Hi Mitzi! You can omit the pecans. If you can’t find extract, we recommend simply leaving it out, though the cookies will lack the mega maple flavor.

  24. These are wonderful! I took a batch to work and my boss said they were literally the best cookies he’s ever had in his life. I will be making these again and again.

  25. I have toasted pecans – will they work in the recipe? Or should I only use untoasted?
    Thank you

  26. Another winner from Sally. Minor tweak: I used dark maple syrup which makes the cookies a little darker. No extract so I cut back a little on the syrup and subbed in some (good) bourbon to the mix. Maybe my imagination, but I think it helped bring out the maple flavor without upping the sweetness. Still soft, chewy, and plenty maple-y. Grandkids (ages 5 to 9) love to measure, scoop and drizzle. Can’t wait to serve them up in cooler weather with some apple cider….

    1. I haven’t made these yet, but was thinking of using bourbon maple syrup in them. I’m glad you said that the bourbon brought out the maple flavor! I will be making these very soon!!

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