Maple Sugar Pecan Cookies

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This is fall wrapped up in a cookie.

Before I lose those of you who can’t stand anything pumpkin spice, you can rest easy because there’s no pumpkin or spice in this cookie just  a whole lot of amazing maple goodness.

When we lived in New Hampshire I discovered maple sugar. OMG. I had no idea there was even such a thing! Yes, it tastes and smells as wonderful as you would think it would. Pure maple syrup in the form of granulated sugar.



I do love pumpkin spice, but even I get bored with it. So while I was going over ideas for our neighborhood block party, I knew I didn’t want my contributions to involve anything really predictable in those types of fall gatherings…like pumpkin spice everything. Plus, it’s a gamble. It’s like cilantro. It’s either a love or hate relationship for people.

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So I settled on my Raspberry & Apricot Pie Dough Pastries and these Maple Sugar Pecan Cookies. The perfect cookie to satisfy my love for all things maple and to get away from the expected.

And then there’s the sugared nuts on top which are a special treat themselves…oh my.

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Maple Sugar Pecan Cookies

For the sugared pecans:

About 1 1/2 Cups of pecans, roughly chopped (You will also need another 1/2 cup of pecans for the cookie dough)

1/2 Cup of Maple Sugar

1/4 Cup of Dark Brown Sugar, packed

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

2 Tablespoons of Dairy Free Butter

Pinch of Kosher Salt

Measure all ingredients into a medium frying pan (non stick!). Cook on medium stirring regularly until sugar is melted (but thick), and nuts are coated, about 7 minutes. Pour out onto a couple of sheets of parchment and immediately separate with two spoons. Allow to cool completely and then break apart the larger pieces. Set aside.

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For the cookies:

(Makes about 32 cookies)

1 Cup of Dairy Free Butter

1/2 Cup of Maple Sugar

1/2 Cup of Packed Brown Sugar

1 Large Egg

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

2 1/2 Cups of Mamas Almond Flour Blend

1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum

1/2 Cup of Finely Chopped Pecans

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy scraping down sides once or twice. Add the egg and vanilla and beat. Add the dry in ingredients and finely chopped pecans and mix until thoroughly combined. Chill for 45 minutes (or longer).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line three baking sheets with parchment. Shape into about 1″ balls and place a couple of inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until set and very lightly browned on the edges. (Don’t overcook or they’ll become too crispy.) Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

For The Frosting:

For the frosting I just used a basic powdered sugar mix with dairy free butter and powdered sugar. About 3 Cups of powdered sugar and about 1/4 Cup of melted dairy free butter. Stir that together and to thin it, instead of adding a little water, I added Pure Maple syrup to get it to the consistency I liked for spreading on top of the cookies. Sprinkle each cookie with a generous amount of the sugared pecans. 


Rainy Day Blues


Our son is graduating from high school in exactly 18 days. (Yay!) I have a list a mile long of things in the house I need to get done, other lists that need to be made, groceries that need to be shopped for, yard work that needs to be done…but this rain, oh this never-ending rain that we can’t see to get away from, well, it’s simply sucking the life right out of me. Maybe not completely…just the energy that I need to have to do the cleaning type of things.

I had deep cleaning plans when I got out of bed today. You know how the nicknacks on the top of your kitchen cupboards gather dust and other “stuff” from cooking? Well, that’s been bugging me for a while now. I’m finished filling in at my sister-in-law’s medical practice so I thought, why not tackle that today? As I was eating breakfast I was shuffling through recipes…a terrible thing to do if you are a foodie like me and want to accomplish something with your day. Next thing I knew I was whipping up a gluten-free, dairy-free version of Martha Stewart’s Cinnamon-Streusel Coffee Cake…and here I sit at 12:15 PM with not one thing dusted on the top of my cupboards and pretty much finding anything that will distract me from doing so. I have to tell you though, in the big scheme of things, what’s a little dust? More importantly, I absolutely LOVE that I can flip through a magazine or a cook book and pretty much convert anything to gluten-free and dairy-free.

The coffee cake is absolutely FAB as most things Martha Stewart are. And in true Martha fashion, the recipe has a gazillion steps but is worth every one. I was happy that this recipe didn’t have anything that I couldn’t pronounce or that I would have to order online from Timbuktu. I of course, had to de-dairy and de-gluten it, and then switched it up just a touch with the addition of dark brown sugar, dates, a little less butter (dairy-free), a little less nuts, xanthan gum, and I went without the glaze because it is plenty sweet enough without it. You won’t be disappointed.

~ 2/16/2012~ I made this recipe again a few days ago and edited it a bit. I noticed that I had left the xanthan gum out the first time I posted the recipe. Also, the streusel topping can be cut in 1/2 easily, there’s plenty. Or, you could use the topping on the top and in the middle and leave out the streusel center ingredients below. It all depends on if you want a little streusel with your cake or a little cake with your streusel. Enjoy!

**My Advice: Read through the entire recipe before starting.

Preheat oven to 350°

Cinnamon-Streusel Coffee Cake

For The Streusel Topping and Center (these are made separately see directions below):

1 3/4 Cups Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour

1 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar

1 1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Course Salt (I used sea salt)

3/4 Cup Dairy Free Butter (I use Earth Balance Soy Free)

1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans

1/2 Cup Chopped Dates

For The Cake:

3/4 Cup Dairy Free Butter, Plus More For The Pan

2 Cups Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour

1 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Kosher or Table Salt

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum

2 Large Eggs

1 1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Cup So Delicious (Dairy Free) Coconut Milk Yogurt

1.  Make the streusel topping: Mix together 1 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 tsp. course salt, and 1/2 cup nuts. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or gently rub through with your fingers until small to medium clumps form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Make the streusel center: Mix together 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup dates, and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon.  Set aside.

3.  Make the cake:  Butter (with dairy-free butter) a 9 inch tube pan with removable bottom.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and 1/2 tsp salt into a bowl.

4.  Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla.

Beat in flour mixture in 2 or 3 additions, alternating with the coconut yogurt, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down sides and beat until well combined.

5.  Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan.

Sprinkle the streusel center mixture evenly over the batter.

Top with remaining batter and smooth with a spatula.

Sprinkle streusel topping mixture evenly over batter.

6.  Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. About 55 minutes (mine took 53). Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Remove cake from pan and serve.