With the timeless combination of toasted pecans and natural maple syrup, these Maple Pecan Cookies are sure to hit the spot. They’re super fast to make and easy, too. Oh, and they’re Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Sugar Free!
For me, maple syrup and pecans together are the epitome of a warming winter time cookie. Even though we eat pecans year-round, when I was growing up in Georgia, they were always plentiful around Christmas time. My dad used to give out tins of fancy pecans to family friends, and there were always some left over to snack on when hanging out at home over the holidays.
Toasting the pecans first brings out their sweetness, but pairing just a touch of maple syrup with pecans is the perfect match. In this cookie recipe, I’ve taken out any sweeteners except for liquid stevia from the cookie dough. When the cookies come out of the oven, just a brush of maple syrup on top of the warm cookies provides just enough warm maple sweetness without too much sugar.
A stand mixer or hand mixer is essential here, because you need the mechanical action to cream the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks. Other than that, though, there’s no special equipment needed, and these are the kinds of cookies you could make in literally 5 minutes and eat warm out of the oven just 15 minutes later.
Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe:
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Sugar Free
- Super quick to make
- Low in cholesterol
Ingredients for Maple Pecan Cookies:
- Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
- Liquid stevia
- Egg + egg yolk
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- Ground nutmeg
- Kosher salt
- Maple syrup
Notes on Ingredients:
Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks – My go-to shortening. I find that Earth Balance creams the best for making cookies. It’s not too oily or greasy. It’s also lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than a lot of other non-dairy fats.
Liquid stevia – My go-to sweetener. Just 1 teaspoon is enough. The dough won’t be super sweet, but that’s okay, because the cookies get a maple glaze as soon as they come out of the oven.
Egg + egg yolk – Adding an extra egg yolk to the egg works to provide the right amount of structure so that the cookie actually stays together instead of just falling apart into a pile of crumbs.
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour – I used to make my own blend of gluten-free flours, but when Bob’s Red Mill came out with this blend, I was a total convert. It just works perfectly in almost every recipe I make. I’m all for making things less complicated whenever possible.
Ground nutmeg – This is the spice that gives baked goods that bakery feel. Cinnamon is too flat and too spicy for this cookie recipe, but ground nutmeg lends a warmth and a depth to the cookie that is the perfect foundation to show off the best qualities of the pecans.
Kosher salt – Essential, as always.
Pecans – Pecans are a terrific vegan source of healthy fats and protein. They’re also high in magnesium which has so many health benefits including keeping your bones healthy and preventing muscle cramps.
Maple syrup – I recommend using Grade A: Amber or Grade A: Dark Maple Syrup for this recipe. You’re using such a small amount that you really want the flavor to stand out and be rich and complex.
How to Make Maple Pecan Cookies From Scratch
It’s a good idea to toast your pecans ahead of time. Whenever we open a new bag of pecans in our home, we almost always go ahead and toss them on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 F. Know your oven, though. They might be ready sooner, so if you’re not sure, check them at 5 minutes and then add on 2 minutes at a time until the pecans smell toasted but not burnt.
In a stand mixer, cream the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks. Add the egg, egg yolk, and liquid stevia. Mix on medium until combined.
Add the flour, nutmeg, and salt. Mix on medium until well combined. At first, the dough will seem very crumbly, but keep the mixer on until the dough starts to come together.
Stir in the chopped toasted pecans.
Use your hands to shape the cookie dough into 1” round balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Use the dampened heel of your palm to gently flatten the balls of cookie dough.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately brush the tops of the cookies with maple syrup. Allow the maple syrup to soak in and the cookies to cool. Then, eat and enjoy!
More Sugar Free & Gluten Free Cookies:
- Black and White Cookies
- Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Sugar Free Alfajores Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
Maple Pecan Cookies – Gluten Free Sugar Free
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
- Spread pecans on the baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven, cool, and chop roughly.
- In a stand mixer, cream the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks. Add liquid stevia, egg, and egg yolk.
- Add flour, nutmeg and salt. Mix on medium until well combined.
- Stir in chopped pecans.
- Form cookie dough into 1-inch round balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Dampen the palm of your hand and gently press each cookie flat.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, use a pastry brush to brush the maple syrup on the tops of the cookies. Allow to cool.