These buttery, crisp Maple Pecan Cookies are made with real butter, maple syrup and brown sugar. It's a slice and bake shortbread cookies recipe glazed with a thin maple icing, perfect for your Christmas tray or anytime!
Thank you to my friends at Whaley Pecan Company for sponsoring this post.
You could easily call these Pecan Maple Cookies because they are chock full of toasted pecans. The rich flavor combination of maple and pecans make these my absolute favorite Christmas slice and bake cookies!
There's just something about knowing I have a couple of rolls of cookie dough in the freezer ready for me to slice and bake at-the-ready that makes me happy!
I can bake just one at a time for myself or dozens at a time for gift giving! Scroll down to see how to small batch "bake" these easy pecan cookies in the air fryer!
- Slice and bake cookies are a shortcut because the dough rolls are ready in the fridge or freezer when you are ready to bake warm, fresh cookies.
- Softening butter in the microwave. See printable recipe notes.
- Place wax paper under the cooling racks when icing the cookies. Quick clean up to catch the drips!
What you will need to make this frosted maple pecan cookies recipe.
Scroll down to printable recipe for exact ingredient quantities.
- Pecans: I prefer to use chopped pecans or small pecan pieces for this recipe so the logs are easier to slice. Whaley's Pecan Company has cello bags of every size pecans and pieces you could want!
- Butter: These homemade maple pecan shortbread cookies are made with real butter for the best flavor and crisp texture. I don't recommend substituting margarine!
- Brown sugar: I used light brown sugar because I like the color it gives the cookies and just a hint of caramel flavor. The extra molasses in dark brown sugar may overpower the delicate maple flavor.
- Maple syrup: Go for the real deal! Real maple syrup has a distinct flavor that is perfect for Christmas cookie recipes.
How to make maple pecan cookies
Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe with detailed instructions.
- Prepare the cookie dough according to printable recipe below. You'll need a hand or stand mixer.
Be sure to let the pecans cool completely after toasting, otherwise, they can melt the butter in the cookie dough.
- For 2 cookie dough logs (rolls), spoon half of mixture evenly down the center of plastic wrap. Shape into a log and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Place maple pecan cookie dough rolls on a small baking sheet. Refrigerate or freeze according to printable recipe below until firm.
Let frozen cookie dough thaw in the fridge overnight before slicing. Let refrigerated dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes for easy slicing.
- Slice cookie dough rolls into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Thaw first, if coming from the freezer.
- Place the slices on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake according to printable recipe below.
Maple frosting for cookies
- Combine 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons real maple syrup and 1 teaspoon water to make the maple frosting.
- Either spread the thin frosting on the top of the cookies with a spoon, brush with a pastry brush, or dip the tops of the cookies in the maple icing.
For easy clean up, place wax paper or parchment paper under the cooling rack when icing the cookies.
Two 13-inch-long cookie dough rolls cut between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick will yield about 6 dozen (1 1/2-inch-wide) cookies. Three 10-inch-long cookie dough rolls cut same thickness will yield about 30 (2-inch-wide) cookies.
Substitutions & Variations
Trade "this" for "that" in these maple cookie recipe.
- Maple extract: In a pinch, you can substitute 3/4 teaspoon maple extract plus 3 tablespoons additional brown sugar for maple syrup in the cookie dough. Substitute 1/4 teaspoon maple extract in the icing plus 1 tablespoon water in place of 3 tablespoons maple syrup + 1 teaspoon water.
- Pancake syrup: If you're snowed in and can't get to a store to buy real maple syrup, then and only then, substitute real maple syrup with pancake syrup. LOL
- Roll logs for decorative cookie edges: Roll cookie dough logs in finely chopped pecans or raw sugar (turbinado) before slicing for a decorative, crunchy edge on cookies.
- Maple Pecan Bacon Cookies: Bacon makes it better, right? Simply stir in 1/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon into this shortbread cookie recipe.
Food gift ideas
Give a cellophane bag of these pecan slice and bake cookies tied with a ribbon full of baked cookies. Give a frozen cookie dough log wrapped in wax paper along with a cookie sheet and a spatula as a gift.
Five minutes is all you need to bake cookies in air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 325F degrees. Slice just enough cookies from the roll to fit on the basket rack. (Place on greased pan if using oven-style air fryer.)
Air fry 5 minutes or until golden on the edges of the cookies. Let cool 1 minute before removing to a cooling rack to completely cool. You can also bake them one at a time!
- To Store. Store cookies in an air tight container or zip-top plastic bag at room temperature.
- Cookie dough logs can be kept refrigerated for up to 10 days and frozen for up to 3 months. Place wrapped logs in freezer zip-top bags.
- Freeze: These pecan cookies can be frozen up to 3 months. I recommend layering wax paper between the cookies if iced before frozen.
If you make this recipe I'd love to see it! Tag me on social media with #gritsandgouda or @gritsandgouda. Leave a comment below the printable recipe if you have questions or tell me how you liked the recipe. Don't forget to rate it 5 stars if you love it!
Maple Pecan Cookies (Slice and Bake)
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, lightly toasted*
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon water
- Beat softened butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add brown sugar and beat on medium speed 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add 3 tablespoons maple syrup, scraping down sides as needed.
- Combine flour and and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture while the mixer is on medium-low speed just until all the flour is incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Add the pecans and mix just until the pecans are incorporated.
- Decide if you want two cookie dough logs or three. Place two or three 13 to 15 inch pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper on the counter.
- Divide the dough in half or into thirds. Spoon the dough evenly down the middle of the sheets of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into logs using the plastic wrap by rolling it back and forth. If making 2 logs, they should be about 13 inches long. If making 3 logs, they should be about 10 inches long. You can make them any size you want depending on how large you want the cookies to be.*
- Twist the ends to seal the plastic wrap. Place them on a baking sheet or cake pan and put them in the refrigerator 1 1/2 hours or freezer 45 minutes or until firm.
- Let cookie dough logs soften at room temperature from the refrigerator 10 minutes or just long enough to slice easily. If frozen, let thaw in refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Working with one cookie dough log at a time, remove plastic wrap and cut it into slices between 1/4 and 1/2-thick. Place the cookies on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2- inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden.
- Let the cookies cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet before transferring to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining cookie dough roll.
Maple Frosting for Cookies
- Combine powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons maple syrup and water, stirring until smooth.
- Spread the icing over the cookies with a spoon, dip the cookies in the icing or brush the icing over the cookies with a pastry brush. The icing will firm up in about 20 minutes.
- Yield: about 5 dozen cookies
Nutrition analysis on GritsAndGouda.com recipes are mostly calculated on an online nutrition calculator. I am not a dietitian and nutritional information is an estimate and can vary based on products used.