Maple leaf cookies are a staple in Vermont during sugaring season. Made with maple sugar, and maple syrup, and topped with maple cream icing, these are a delicious way to think warm thoughts and share with loved ones while snow is still coming down. Even if you don’t live in the cold hard north, make these maple cookies to celebrate the transition from winter to spring with us!
Maple Cookies: A Celebration
The weeks between winter and spring are a challenge. I’m ready for some warmth, but in Vermont, there is still snow on the ground! The best thing to do is embrace it.
Up north where the weather is cold and spring feels late, this transition is celebrated! Sugaring season is a special time to connect after winter, and it inspired me to make maple leaf cookies with this delicious maple cream icing.
As a lover of nature and a creator, I always find late winter and early spring difficult. It’s hard to know what to do, how to get inspired, and how to transition myself as the outside world begins its slow wake-up.
Tree tapping is an event here, a season where everything is maple-flavored and warmth comes from within while we await spring. Share in celebrating with me and make these maple leaf cookies with real maple syrup!
Maple Leaf Cookies Recipe
These cookies are simple to make, with basic ingredients. If you don’t have local access to all things maple as I do, most can be purchased online.
Keep in mind that once the dough is made it needs some time to chill out in the refrigerator, so plan your time accordingly.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Maple sugar or Brown sugar – either will work, but I say go for the maple!
- Vanilla extract
- Pure maple syrup – use the real stuff, trust me on this one!
- Powdered sugar
Note that maple cream can be purchased and used instead if you want to skip making the icing. Spread it with a knife since it will be too thick to dip the way I do with the homemade maple icing.
Now Make the Cookies!
First, combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl – flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and maple sugar together.
Nest, stir in the egg and vanilla until incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients into the large bowl with the wet ingredients, and stir together until a dough forms. If it seems too sticky, add a little bit more flour until it is the correct consistency.
Divide the dough in half, and roll out each dough half onto floured parchment paper until it is 1/4″ thick.
Stack the rolled dough circles with their parchment paper on a sheet pan and cover it with plastic wrap (or beeswax wrap), and refrigerate for a minimum of 1-2 hours or overnight.
When the dough is chilled and ready, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Pull one dough circle at a time out of the refrigerator so they stay chilled in the meantime.
Use maple leaf cookie cutters (I like this one and this set) for authentic-looking Vermont maple cookies! Otherwise, make them with any cookie cutter on hand.
When the dough is used up, re-roll it to make as many cookies as possible. This is a great time to use the smallest cookie cutter!
Set them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with a little space in between, about an inch or so. Bake for about 11-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then carefully move them over to a cooling rack.
The cookies should cool completely before icing them, so they aren’t too soft and fragile.
Make the Icing
The maple cream icing is super easy to make. Melt the butter and maple syrup together on the stove top or in the microwave.
Then whisk in the powdered sugar and salt. That’s it!
Once the cookies are cooled and hardened, dip them carefully face down in the freshly made maple cream icing. Let the excess drip off, and set the cookies on a cooling rack or parchment paper while the icing sets.
As the icing cools it becomes thicker and it’s harder to dip, but it can still be spread with a knife onto each cookie, just like if you are using pre-made maple cream. Or you can reheat the icing to continue dipping.
How to Store and Eat Maple Leaf Cookies
If you have leftover cookies, store them in an air-tight container on the countertop. They probably will get gobbled up quickly, but they should last up to a week and still have a fresh maple-y taste!
These cookies get me through the last weeks of winter and the first weeks of early spring (known as mud season in Vermont). They are a sweet and earthy pick-me-up right when I need it most.
The best part is warming up inside and out with a delicious maple cream taste to share with those you love!
More Seasonal Cookie Recipes
- Conifer Needle Shortbread Cookies
- Calendula and Thyme Shortbread Cookies
- Meyer Lemon and Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
- Lemon and Lavender Shortbread Cookies
- Candy Cap Mushroom Cookies with Maple Icing
Maple Leaf Cookies with Maple Icing
Maple Leaf Cookies
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2/3 cup maple sugar or brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
- pinch salt
Maple Leaf Cookies
- Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl combine the butter and maple sugar until it is creamy. Stir in the egg and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until it comes together into a dough. If the dough is sticky you can add a little more flour as needed.
- Divide the dough into two halves and roll each one out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.
- Place one rolled-out dough on parchment on a sheet pan, then put the second rolled-out dough on parchment on top of the first. Then cover the top dough with plastic wrap or beeswax wrap.
- Refrigerate the rolled-out doughs for at least 1-2 hours or overnight.
- Once the dough has been chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Pull one rolled-out dough out of the refrigerator.
- Use maple leaf shaped cookie cutters to cut the dough into maple shapes (or whatever shapes you like). When you’ve used all the dough you can re-roll the scraps to cut more shapes.
- Put the cut out maple leaves onto the baking sheet with an inch or so in between them. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until the edges are just starting to turn brown.
- Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for several minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
- Repeat with the remaining dough until all the cookies are baked. Let the cookies cool completely before icing them.
- Melt the butter and maple syrup together, either on the stove top or in the microwave.
- Whisk in the sifted powdered sugar and a pinch of salt.
- Dip the face of the cookies into the freshly made icing, letting the excess drip off. Place them on a cooling rack or parchment paper until the icing sets. If the icing starts to cool it can also be spread with a knife onto the cookie.
Victoria L McMackin says
How divine! Here in the PNW, where I live and am a Herbalist, we do not typically have Sugar Maples, although we do have a large presence of people that tap Birch and Big Leaf Maples for their syrups. We recently moved from the west side of Washington to the N. central of Washington, with a significantly drier environment (went from high humidity to steppe/shrub semi-arid). I miss my Big Leaf maples. I adore real maple syrup and many people forget that since it is a tree sap, it also comes with medicinal and health benefits. I will be making some of your delish-looking cookies because they just look so inviting. Have you tried them with a pinch of cardamon or perhaps some chai spices? I am envisioning a nice cup of dark hot cocoa, a book to curl up with, and your cookies! Thank you for such delightful recipes.
Grow Forage Cook Ferment says
Hi Victoria. Cardamom and/or chai spices would be delightful in this cookies (and the perfect accompaniment to curling up with a book and hot cocoa!).
Sounds amazing but can I use almond flour instead of regular flour
Grow Forage Cook Ferment says
No. Unfortunately, almond flour cannot be substituted for regular flour. I would find a grain-free cookie recipe using maple syrup and make my maple icing to top them.