A fall-inspired cookie, featuring a sugar cookie studded with pecans and drizzled with a maple glaze.
In celebration of the weather change, I often retreat to the kitchen for a little baking. Calling upon festive fall-inspired ingredients like warm spices, apples, pumpkins and such. This fall, I found one of my inspirations in sweet and sticky maple syrup. Now, while I have yet to spot a maple tree in Texas, I am well-versed in holiday movies, and there is no overlooking the beauty of a maple tree’s leaves come autumn.
I wanted maple syrup to be the star of the show, so in order to showcase its qualities, I chose a dessert that could take a backseat to flavor, and still serve as a scrumptious base for our recipe: The sugar cookie. Pecans pair beautifully with maple syrup, and for this reason, they were added to the sugar cookie base. As a bonus, the pecans also provided the recipe with a much needed savory note and an impeccable contrast in texture. The almond extract was also added to the cookie to give it a bit of complexity in flavor, and somewhat of a floral note as well.
A little maple syrup goes a long way and using it solely within the glaze of the cookie provided ample maple flavor, and grating just a touch of fresh nutmeg was the perfect ending to the perfect fall dessert. This cookie makes for a splendid addition to any fall table and would be rightly served at any event from fall festivals to potlucks all the way down to the dessert table this Thanksgiving. Please, enjoy.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup confectioners powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons grade-A maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg plus extra for garnish (if desired)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350° and have ready a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside until ready to use.
Add the room temperature butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Begin mixing on medium-high speed. If you do not have a stand mixer, use a large mixing bowl and a handheld beater. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar, followed by the eggs (one at a time), and both of the extracts.
Turn the mixer down to low, and gradually begin adding in the dry ingredients. Once the dry ingredients are properly mixed in, add the pecans and mix once more.
Scoop about 2 tablespoon worth of dough, and form into a round. Place cookie dough rounds on the baking sheet, spacing them each at least 1” apart. Bake for 13-14 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on a wire rack. In the meantime, make the glaze.
To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract, nutmeg and salt until a smooth, homogenous mixture forms. Do not drizzle the cookies until completely cooled.
Once the cookies have cooled, using a spoon or a small whisk, drizzle the glaze all over the cookies in every direction. Grate nutmeg over the top for garnish (if using), and allow to set for at least 1 hour. Serve and enjoy.
Makes about 30 cookies