It’s about time to get into cookie baking and this year we’re starting it off with these super addicting and easy Maple Pecan Shortbread Cookies! They come together with simple ingredients, and it’s a slice-and-bake cookie.
These cookies get rolling into maple sugar before slicing and baking, which gives them just a light maple flavor with crispy edges. It’s the perfect start to your holiday baking and cookie season- let’s get to it!
How to Make Maple Pecan Shortbread
Shortbread cookies are super simple to make, and there’s really not many ingredients in this recipe. We’re starting out with butter and powdered sugar, along with some vanilla extract and real maple syrup. Using powdered sugar instead of granulated helps to make these cookies tender and crumbly.
Once those are beaten together until smooth, we’re adding in some flour and salt. There’s no baking soda or baking powder in this recipe, which means that the cookies will hold their shape when you bake them.
Finally, we’re adding in some finely chopped pecans that will run throughout the cookies, and it makes them look super pretty when sliced!
Once you’ve got the pecans mixed in thoroughly, we’re going to form the dough into logs. We’re dividing the dough into three roughly equal portions. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap, and begin to roll it out into a log that is about 1 1/2-2 inches in diameter, and try your best to make it even throughout. This doesn’t have to be perfect, but it will determine the size and shape of your end cookies!
Finally, we’re going to take some granulated sugar that has been mixed together with some more real maple syrup, and roll the cookie logs into the sugar. Then it’s off to the freezer to chill until they are frozen throughout- this makes the process of slicing much easier.
And then we’re just slicing and baking for the most addictive cookies you’ve ever had- seriously we blew through these so fast. They’re just small enough to make you want like… 10-15 at a time. It’s cookie season guys, let’s all just go for it!
Tips & Tricks for Maple Pecan Shortbread
These cookies are super easy and I’ve got some tips to help you along the way:
- Mix your maple sugar well. At first it might seem like it’s not coming together, but just use a fork or a spoon to mash the maple syrup into the sugar, and it will eventually combine into a sandy-looking sugar mixture.
- Take your time to shape the cookie dough logs. It takes a little working, which is why we’re using plastic wrap here. Take your time to gently press and roll the dough into logs, trying to make it an even thickness throughout so that your cookies are all a similar shape! It doesn’t have to be perfect though, it’s just cookies, don’t stress.
- Be sure to chop the pecans fairly small so that they run throughout the cookies evenly, and to ensure the cookies are still easily slice-able.
- Do I really have to freeze the cookie dough before baking? Yes! It helps the cookie dough firm up, making it much easier to slice, and it helps ensure that the cookies will not spread when they bake.
- Can I use other nuts in these cookies? Yes, you can use any kind of nuts you prefer here, or even skip the nuts all together, but just be sure to chop them up pretty finely no matter what you use!
- Can I use granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar? No, these cookies benefit greatly in their texture from using the powdered sugar, and they will not bake the same or have the same texture in the dough if you use another kind of sugar.
- Do I have to use real maple syrup? Yes, real maple syrup affects baked goods in flavor and texture much differently than the fake pancake syrup that you might use on pancakes. When it comes to baking, you definitely want to go for the real thing! This recipe only uses a small amount of it though, so you won’t need too much.
- I’m at about 5,000 ft. above sea level and I find that most people who live between about 3,000 and 7,000 ft above sea level do not need to make any adjustments to my recipes.
Hope you guys enjoy this one!
Maple Pecan Shortbread Cookies
For the cookies:
- 1 1/2 cups softened butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbs. real maple syrup
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
For the maple sugar:
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. real maple syrup
For the cookies:
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add in the vanilla, maple syrup, flour, and salt, and beat together until a dough forms, then mix in the chopped pecans.
Divide your dough into 3 even-ish sections, and roll each section into a log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. This is easier done by wrapping the sections of dough in plastic wrap to help form it. This does not have to be perfect.
For the maple sugar:
In a large bowl, use a fork to stir together the sugar and maple syrup until very well distributed. Pour the sugar onto a clean baking sheet for easy rolling. Roll each log into your maple sugar on the baking sheet, pressing the sugar into the dough. Then, wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Optionally, you can keep the dough logs frozen for up to 2 months before slicing and baking.
While the dough freezes, preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice each log into cookies about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Work through one log at a time, keeping the others chilled while you work, and place the cookies onto your baking sheet. They will not spread while baking, so they can be pretty close together. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges have just barely started to become golden brown. Cool completely, and enjoy!
Hello and welcome! My name is Nicole, and Dough-eyed is a food blog for people who want to bake for their family and friends in high-altitude areas. Think of me as a friendly voice there with you in the kitchen, here to give you confidence when you’re baking, and to help you with the struggles of baking at high-altitude. Come back every week for new recipes, tips, and advice on high-altitude baking!