Maple Brown Sugar Cookies with Jerky and Pecans [Recipe]

Chewy jerky and pecan-filled centers, crispy edges, and deep notes of maple flavor make these cookies an instant classic! 

Jump To Recipe

Maple Brown Sugar Beef Jerky

Our Maple Brown Sugar Beef Jerky is back, baby! That can only mean one thing: the holiday season is about to be among us. 

Don't you just love the holidays?

Chilly mornings, hot coffee, and warm-spiced pastries. An enchanting season filled with seasonal sweet treats like our Maple Brown Sugar Beef Jerky–for those who appreciate the sweeter things in life. And, damn good beef jerky.

Reminiscent of that special bite when a little maple syrup mixes with the bacon on your Christmas breakfast plate. The taste of quick candied bacon. It's the perfect blend of savory sweetness, all in one little package.

These maple brown sugar cookies utilize our seasonal jerky to double up on maple flavor. Plus, the jerky adds a remarkable textural contrast to the accompanying crunchy pecans in the dough. 

Have you ever heard someone call beef jerky a "meat raisin" as a joke? Well, this is no joke. It's like a mapley-meaty take on an oatmeal raisin cookie, and we promise you won't be able to get enough of them!

What you'll need to make Maple Brown Sugar Cookies:

Maple Brown Sugar Cookie Ingredients

  • All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour gives this cookie its structure. 
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda reacts with dark brown sugar and maple syrup to act as the leavening agent in this cookie. TLDR: it gives the cookie its rise!
  • Salt: Salt makes the flavor POP!
  • Butter: Good, old-fashioned butter brings the flavor and ensures a tender cookie center.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: Dark brown sugar as the only sweetener in the recipes adds a deep molasses-spiked sweetness and a perfectly moist cookie. 
  • Egg: Egg is a total power player here, contributing to the cookie's structure, stability, and richness.
  • Maple Syrup: Maple syrup complements the dark brown sugar and reinforces the complex sweetness in the cookie.  
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract provides a warm depth of flavor.
  • Pecans: Pecans work perfectly with the sweetness (think pecan pie), and its textural contrast makes for an extremely addicting add-in.
  • Maple Brown Sugar Beef Jerky: Maple Brown Sugar Beef Jerky is the final piece to the puzzle. It's the final reinforcement of complex sweetness and texture.  

How to make Maple Brown Sugar Cookies: 

Preheat the oven to 350°F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking soda) together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Wet and dry ingredients

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and dark brown sugar together on medium speed until smooth. This should only take about 1-2 minutes. Add the egg and beat on high until thoroughly combined, another 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract, then beat on high speed until combined.

Maple Brown Sugar Cookie Dough

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low–just until combined. Overmixing produces excess gluten and air, which creates a dense and flat cookie–so remember to be attentive during this portion of the process. Finally, add the pecans and the jerky. Beat on low speed until combined. The dough will be creamy and soft.

Maple Brown Sugar Cookie Dough Balls

Roll or scoop cookie dough into balls and place them onto the lined baking sheet–it will take a few batches to bake through all of the batter. Bake for about 11-13 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on the edges. 

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies cooling on wire rack

Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to finish.

Maple Icing ingredients

Maple Icing: add the melted butter, maple syrup, and powdered sugar together. Taste, and add a pinch of salt if desired. Drizzle icing over the cooled cookies in a swirl design and let sit for an hour to set. 

Fresh Maple Brown Sugar Cookies

Resisting the temptation to sneak a taste test before the icing cools is tough, so don't force yourself to wait. Instead, treat yourself! You just made the damn cookies. The least you deserve is a bite! 

Maple Brown Sugar Cookies Recipe Tips & Tricks:

  • Cool dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours before baking. Refrigerating dough results in a noticeable increase in the vanilla and sugar depths of flavor. While, texturally, chilled cookie dough produces a uniform golden-brown cookie with a crisper edge and chewier center.
  • Bake one sheet at a time. Because of the molasses-spiked dark brown sugar and maple syrup, these cookies tend to spread out as they bake. So, it's recommended to bake the cookies in a couple of batches. Working in batches may take longer than putting all the cookies in the oven at once, but the extra time is guaranteed to be worth it. Baking multiple sheets of cookies in one home oven can lead to uneven bakes and less uniform cookies anyways!
  • Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 mins. When these amazingly fragrant cookies are done baking, you'll be tempted to reach for them immediately. DON'T GIVE IN! Try to wait at least 5 minutes before you test them out. Straight out of the oven, the cookies are puffy and delicate. As they cool, they crisp up around the edges and become chewy and fudgy in the middle. After 5 minutes, taste test one and transfer the rest to a cooling rack to finish cooling.