Maple cookies are a favorite fall treat. Thankfully, you can buy pure maple syrup year-round, so you can bake up this easy four-ingredient maple cookie recipe whenever the craving strikes.
The dough is essentially a shortbread cookie dough except some of the sugar is replaced with maple syrup. The dough is very soft, so you’ll need to plan for an hour of chilling time before it can be rolled and baked. A perfect shortbread cookie should be delicate, crisp, and somewhat crumbly. The key to ensuring this texture is mixing in the flour until it’s just incorporated (no visible traces of flour)—overworking the dough will result in a tougher cookie.
Maple syrup comes in varying grades which are assigned according to when the syrup is collected. Syrups harvested later in the season tend to be more intense in flavor. Any maple syrup grade will work in these cookies, so use whichever you have at home, provided it is pure maple syrup.
- 2 sticks butter (softened)
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 cups flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Add the butter to a medium bowl and beat until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners' sugar and maple syrup. Starting on low, then increasing slowly to medium-high, beat until creamy and a bit fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the flour and salt to the butter mixture. Starting on low speed, then gradually increasing to medium, mix until flour is just blended and there are no visible traces. It will start out very crumbly and slowly come together into a very soft, slightly tacky dough. Gather the dough into a ball, then wrap in plastic film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Divide the chilled dough into four pieces. Re-wrap three of the pieces and place them back in the fridge to keep chilled. Lightly flour a cutting board or counter, and roll the unwrapped dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
Press out maple leaf shapes or circles with a 2-inch cutter. Transfer the cutout cookies to a prepared baking sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until barely golden around the edges. Cookies will be very soft when first out of the oven; let them cool on the baking sheet completely before transferring to a wire rack.
Repeat with the remaining dough, only rolling out and baking one tray at a time or the dough will become too soft and delicate to work with.
- Store cookies in a tin in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week.
- For a fun twist, use this fluffy maple frosting to make maple sandwich cookies.
- No-Roll Variation: You can also bake these as drop cookies (chill just enough to hold their shape, about 20 minutes). Use a 1 1/2 teaspoon cookie scoop, and bake 12 to 14 minutes. They’ll be soft when they first come out of the oven but will crisp up as they cool.