The flavor of sweet maple glazed doughnuts meets the buttery flavor of shortbread in these irresistible, perfectly crisp, melt-in-your mouth Glazed Maple Shortbread Cookies! We love the maple glaze flavor around here like that in these Maple Oat Pecan Scones, and can’t stop the craving for shortbread, I’m always making these Funfetti Shortbread Bites for school lunch (and to eat straight out of the freezer, so good!) and yearly a holiday must are these Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies – so I thought why not combine the crispity, buttery goodness of shortbread with that sweet autumn maple flavor? Well, let me just tell you this is a match meant to be! And of course cutting them out into maple leaf shapes is a must (I have a quite a few maple leaf shapes in various sizes but my favorite and the one I used here is the leaf from this set)!
The thing I’ve learned with shortbread is that if you want it to keep it shape and make it easier to work with it needs to be well chilled which is why this recipe requires chilling the dough twice, once before rolling and once after cutting (I’ve found it also works best to begin with chilled butter, don’t soften it first). The chilling time for this recipe is still less than an hour which is nice and definitely don’t skip it! Also when measuring the flour just scoop it from the container or bag then level with a butter knife – no sifting or whisking it first and don’t spoon it into a measuring cup. One thing I really love about these cookies, other than their delicious flavor of course, is the fact that they do keep well for several days. Most cookies I don’t really care for after the second day but not these! Which would make them perfect for a party this season – and of course the fact that they are totally festive for the season at hand.
Note that the cookies themselves won’t be very sweet, that’s intentional because the glaze totally makes up for that. So with that said don’t leave the glaze off! The glaze also adds the majority of the maple flavor, which you can even add more than listed if desired (each brand of maple extract is a little different, so just taste as you go). Another thing to mention is that the pecan version was my favorite but the sprinkles just add that perfect touch of color so I’d recommend making some of both, that way the adults can have the nut version and the kids will love the sprinkle ones. I hope you love these cookies as much as we do, they’ll be a new fall staple around here!
Glazed Maple Shortbread Cookies
- 2 cups (283g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter , cold and diced into 1 Tbsp pieces
- 6 Tbsp (78g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp maple extract
- 1 cup (132g) powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp real maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp maple extract*
- Milk to thin as needed
- Fall colored sprinkles (optional)
- Finely hopped pecans (optional)
- In a mixing bowl whisk together flour and salt. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (preferably one that constantly scrapes bowl, if not stop and scrape down bowl occasionally throughout entire mixing process), mix together butter and sugar until well combined (not light and fluffy though, you don't want air bubbles in this dough). Mix in maple extract. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour mixture and mix just until combined. Divide dough into two portions and shape each into a disk (about 5-inches) on a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap plastic wrap around disks and transfer to fridge and chill 30 minutes (don't stack them, place them separately).
- Remove one disk of dough from fridge, rough out to an even 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface (also dusting top lightly with flour). Cut in to maple leaf shapes using a cookie cutter then transfer leaves to an ungreased baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to refrigerator and chill 15 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer from fridge to preheated oven and bake until edges are lightly golden, about 14 - 16 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
- For the glaze:
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar, maple syrup and maple extract while adding in milk 1/2 tsp at a time to thin as needed (glaze should be somewhat thick, similar to an icing). Spread glaze over cooled cookies and immediately top with sprinkles or pecans if using after icing each cookie (because the glaze will begin to set quickly). Let rest at room temperature to allow glaze to set. Store in an airtight container.
- *Note that some maple extracts have more coloring in them than others so your glaze may not be quite as dark as that pictured. I tested with two different brands, Mapleine and Watkins. While both are good I like the Watkins better for flavor as it seems to have a bit more of a maple flavor, but the Mapleine does have more of that classic maple glazed doughnut color.
- Recipe source: Cooking Classy
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