Maple Pecan Shortbread Cookies

It’s that time of the year when all I can think about is baking. While most of my friends are stepping out of the kitchen (because Aussie Summer’s are all about the outdoors!), I’m pottering away in my kitchen… The festive season always brings out the baker in me! When I worked as a chef, I was always the dessert chef. And while I love making sweets, these days I do tend to lean towards the savoury – mainly because I have mouths to feed I guess! Anyway, I’m kicking off the festive season with these melt-in-your-mouth glazed Maple Pecan Shortbread Cookies. For me, It wouldn’t be Christmas without a homemade pecan shortbread recipe.

The Inspiration

Pecan shortbread is such a classic. A friend of mine makes the most delicate little pecan shortbreads every Christmas and gives them as gifts in preserving jars tied with ribbon. They are always demolished by anyone who is lucky enough to receive a jar! While mine are not as small and delicate as hers, this is my version. Buttery, choc full of chopped pecans, maple shortbread cookies with a maple glaze.

What you need to bake pecan maple shortbread cookies

  • Pantry staples – golden castor sugar, all purpose flour, cornflour, pure icing sugar

  • Maple sugar Can’t get your hands on maple sugar? Try a specialty food store or wholefoods. Alternatively, just substitute the maple sugar for golden castor sugar.

  • Butter – unsalted ALWAYS when it comes to baking

  • Vanilla extract

  • Maple Syrup You can really tell the difference between a quality maple syrup and a maple flavoured syurp. Always look for a 100% pure Canadian maple syrup with no additives or preservatives. This grade A maple syrup is my go-to.

  • Whole pecan kernels – I normally head to my local wholefoods store and pick out the best, unbroken pecans. Any broken ones can be chopped up to go into the dough. Save the whole ones for pressing into the top of the cookies!

What is maple sugar?

Maple sugar is a natural sweetner made from boiling the sap from the maple tree. It’s the same process that goes into making maple syrup, but for a much longer period. To get maple sugar the sap is boiled until there is no water left in the sap, and all that is left is solid sugar. Maple sugar can be baked with to enhance a maple flavour and is delicious sprinkled over baked goods.

The equipment

The great thing about making maple shortbread cookies is that it requires little equipment. While you can use a stand mixer (as I do) to start the recipe, the rest is done by hand with little else but a good wooden spoon. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can totally do this whole maple shortbread recipe easily with just a bowl and a spoon. What I do consider to be an essential bit of gear is the Silplat baking mat that I bake all my cookies on. I’ve used Siplpat’s for years. I find they bake cookies more evenly, and you are less likely to get crispy bottoms from cooking directly onto a hot baking sheet.

How to make maple pecan cookies

  1. In a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugars. Mix on a low speed until just combined.

  2. Add vanilla extract and maple syrup. Again, mix on a low speed until combined, (roughly 10 seconds)

  3. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the cornflour and half of the flour. With a wooden spoon, gently incorporate the flour into the butter mixture. Repeat with remaining flour until all the flour has been incorporated into the dough.

  4. Add the finely chopped pecans and gently mix them into the dough.

  5. We are looking for a sticky dough, but it shouldn’t stick to your hand when rolling together in your hands. Scoop out dough into your hands roughly one teaspoon of dough at a time

  6. Roll the cookie dough together into a ball and place on a tray lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Make sure there is sufficient space between dough balls. Press a whole pecan kernel into the center. This will also cause the dough to spread a little and shape into cookies. Pop into the fridge for 1 hour.

  7. Preheat oven to 160°c

  8. Remove the maple cookies from the fridge, pop them onto a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and move them onto a wire rack to cool.

  9. In a small bowl sift the icing sugar. Add the maple syrup and stir to combine into a glossy glaze.

  10. With a pastry brush, paint the top of each cookie with the glaze and leave to cool completely.

Looking for more festive baking…

Bake on

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row after row of maple pecan shortbread cookies on a black baking rack

Maple Pecan Shortbread Cookies

  • Author: Emma Lee
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Resting Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 28 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Melt-in-your-mouth glazed Maple Pecan Shortbread Cookies. For me, It wouldn’t be Christmas without a homemade pecan shortbread recipe.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 40 g golden castor sugar
  • 40 g maple sugar
  • 150 g butter (unsalted)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 180 g plain flour
  • 20 g cornflour
  • 50 g pecans (finely chopped)
  • 30 whole pecan bits
  • 1/2 c pure icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugars. Mix on a low speed until just combined.
  2. Add vanilla extract and maple syrup. Again, mix on a low speed until combined, (roughly 10 seconds)
  3. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the cornflour and half of the flour. With a wooden spoon, gently incorporate the flour into the butter mixture. Repeat with remaining flour until all the flour has been incorporated into the dough.
  4. Add the chopped pecan bits and gently mix them into the dough.
  5. We are looking for a sticky dough, but it shouldn’t stick to your hand when rolling together in your hands. Scoop out dough into your hands roughly one teaspoon of dough at a time
  6. Roll together into a ball and place on a tray or Silpat. Make sure there is sufficient space between dough balls. Press a whole pecan kernel into the center. This will also cause the dough to spread a little and shape into cookies. Pop into the fridge for 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 160°c
  8. Remove the pecan maple cookies from the fridge and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and pop on a wire rack to cool.
  9. In a small bowl sift the icing sugar. Add the maple syrup and stir to combine into a glossy glaze.
  10. With a pastry brush, paint the top of each cookie with the glaze and leave to cool.


Notes

Want to amp up the maple flavour? After glazing, sprinkle each cookie with a little additional maple sugar.

Keywords: Christmas Baking, Cookies, Pecans

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