Chewy Maple Pecan Cookies

Chewy Maple Pecan Cookies

It's the holidays, my Christmas tree and decorations are up and baking is in full swing. I feel like all I do is bake, but I love it and so does my daughter. She gets so excited to help me in the kitchen and has a million play pots, pans, spoons, cutting boards etc.

These cookies combine 2 of my favorite ingredients....maple and pecans.Pecans are my very favorite nut because they are so buttery and when they are baked, they become so incredibly rich and deep in flavor.

Awhile back I tried a sweet, chewy pecan cookie from The Cookie Co. I absolutely loved it...a little too sweet for me, but good nonetheless.  Well, this is my recreation. It is not as cloyingly sweet, but definitely has the chewy "buttery" effect from all the pecans. I'm pretty sure their cookies were loaded with brown sugar, but I used molasses and oat flour in mine to achieve that chewy effect. These are cookies with quality ingredients that you can feel good about eating and won't give you a tummy ache afterwards.

I bought a bottle of maple extract online several months ago and have used it a few times, but wanted to use it again for the holidays. It is very strong and smells incredible. These vegan cookies have a wonderful rich maple flavor that goes beautifully with the pecans and molasses. They are soft and chewy and moist.

I use ground up sunflower seeds in this recipe. It gives them a creamy flavor and is much more pronounced than almond flour. If you are not a fan of sunflower seeds, then use blanched almond flour. I have given you weight measurements for both for your convenience.

I can't wait to hear what you think of these Vegan Chewy Maple Pecan Cookies! Please leave feedback below after you make them! Also, if you take a pic, tag me #thevegan8 on Instagram!

Chewy Maple Pecan Cookies

These Vegan Chewy Maple Pecan Cookies are rich in healthy fats and in maple, molasses and pecan flavors. They are gluten-free and oil-free,yet buttery and delicious. While they are perfect for the holidays,they can certainly be enjoyed year round.

15 minPrep Time

8 minCook Time

23 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw, unsalted sunflower kernels, ground into flour (you'llneed is 240g of flour or use 240g of almond flour)
  • 1 cup (128g) superfine oat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (120 g, + extra whole pecans for topping)
  • 1/2 cup (160g) pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (80g) unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) maple extract (you can use vanilla, but the maple flavor will be much less pronounced)
  • Note
  • You can sub the sunflower kernels for blanched almond flour (240g), if you prefer. This will make the batter a bit thicker so you will need to roll the dough into balls.

Instructions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and also lightly spray the paper with nonstick spray. This ensures the bottoms won't stick.
  2. Process the sunflower kernels into a flour in a food processor, being careful not to overprocess or it will turn into butter. Measure out 2 full cups only, as you will probably have extra. (Note weight measurement above for 2 cups). When measuring ground seeds or nuts, it's a good idea to use a scale for best results. Otherwise, scoop the ground sunflower kernels into the cup, gently pat it down and level off with your finger. Add them to a large bowl.
  3. Add the oat flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt to the same bowl and whisk VERY well until all is incorporated. Stir in the chopped pecans.
  4. In a separate small bowl add the syrup, molasses and maple extract. Stir well and then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir very well until it all comes together and is very sticky and thickens up.
  5. Either drop by tablespoons or roll into balls with your hands (about a tablespoon each) and place on the prepared sheet pan. If using the almond flour version, the batter is a bit thicker and you will need to roll the dough into balls. Place them 2 inches apart on the pan and press each cookie down with a rubber spatula or with damp fingertips so that they are about 1/2 inch thick. Place a pecan on the top of each cookie.
  6. Note: I noticed these cook more done/faster with crispier bottoms when cooked on a dark metal pan, versus a light thick aluminum pan, so keep that in mind. Use a dark metal pan if possible, I preferred the results on a dark metal sheet pan (with parchment paper). Bake for 8-10 minutes until they are cracked on the tops. If using a light aluminum pan, they may take slightly longer for the bottoms to cook. Just pull one out of the oven at 8 mins, check the bottom, if they are golden brown/firm, remove them. They will still be very soft and appear undone when you remove them, but they will firm up as they cool. Coo1 10 minutes on the pan and then use a spatula to carefully transfer them to cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap so they stay soft and moist.
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I have provided nutrition for using either almond flour and sunflower kernels flour:

23 Comments

  1. Nom nom. I want ALL your cookies. I've never tried using sunflower seeds or maple extract but I'm intrigued! Sounds like they make for excellent cookies and I'm jealous of your baking-all-day-every-day schedule!! :)
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thanks girl! Yeah, I need to make more...these were my project over the weekend and sadly, they are ALL gone :( Darn, looks like I will have to bake more!
  2. I can hardly wait to try some for Christmas. Sound delicious!!!!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you!! :)
  3. Oh my these are fantastic. Another great recipe, I love baking for the holidays too, I am in cookie mode now too!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      I bet you are whipping up some AMAZING things too!!
  4. These look fabulous and I love all your beautiful pictures! I'm so happy you feel like "all you do is bake" because you come up with some pretty amazing recipes. <3 <3 <3!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Aww thanks girl! XX
  5. I think I need to slip these into my Christmas cookie trays! I normally bake all the Italian cookies from my past and even though they do not have a lot of sugar, they are mostly made from white flour as I like to keep them very traditional. So many of my friends and I too really want healthier sweets, at least a few to not feel so guilty! I love the rich, healthy rustic look to these. I assume I can use almond flour?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Oh yes, you can definitely use blanched almond flour! They work great that way. Also, if you want something a little sweeter, these two recipes have been very popular and gotten absolutely amazing feedback! The best cookies EVER and nobody will know they're vegan. http://thevegan8.com/2012/12/05/pecan-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies/ And these also: http://thevegan8.com/2013/04/03/cinnamon-hazelnut-chocolate-chip-cookies-gluten-free-oil-free/
  6. MMMMMMM Maple Pecan. So good. Can you make me a candle out of that cookie scent and send it to me?!?!?! :D
  7. These cookies look fantastic, Brandi, and your photography - especially that opening shot - is really quite good. I, also, agree with your feelings about pecans. They taste so good in baked goods. :)
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thanks so much John! I really loved how that one turned out too with my Christmas tree in the background. I take lots and lots of photos and angles and work with the lighting, focus, etc. So I'm happy when I can create some good shots :)
  8. Just made these, but with some adjustments: ~3 teaspoons cinnamon ~3 teaspoons vanilla extract instead of maple extract ~I did use blackstrap molasses ~omitted salt ~omitted oil on parchment and they came off beautifully ~baked for 9 minutes, resulted in slight crunch on edges and held together better overall The flavor has undertones of a gingersnap cookie, but without the ginger. Rustic, chewy, slightly sweet, earthy deliciousness! Love this recipe as a foundation to also try it nut-free, maybe with dried cranberries instead of pecans. Thank you so much!!! This has instantly become a "special treat" for my 3 year-old who keeps coming in the kitchen asking for more.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much for the feedback Desiree! Yes, it is a great foundation to add in cranberries, or any fruit you want if you want to make it nut-free. I'm just a huge lover of pecan and maple together. So glad to know your variation worked as well! I LOVE cinnamon and normally add lots more cinnamon to my recipes, but in this particular cookie I wanted the maple and molasses to stand out. If you love strong cinnamon, you should try my Cinnamon Hazelnut cookies here...they are a popular cookie on the blog! Thank you again for the comment, I really appreciate it and am happy your 3 year old loves them! :) http://thevegan8.com/2013/04/03/cinnamon-hazelnut-chocolate-chip-cookies-gluten-free-oil-free/
  9. [...] Chewy Maple Pecan Cookies [...]
  10. Thank you for yet another awesome recipe! I used half blanched and half regular almond meal. Also, used blackstrap molasses, they turned out chewy, fragrant and so delicious. My three year old are two cookies in one setting. They are so good! Thank you so much! ?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So happy to hear this feedback Lana! So glad you loved these!!
  11. Just made these. YUMMY!!!! My neighbor recently had to switch to a less/no sugar diet because of diabetes. I know she will love them. Also gifting another neighbor who's daughter-in-law is diabetic. Love nuts and maple syrup. When making these if you wash your hands and shake off as much water as you can .... shaping the cookies is much easier with slightly damp hands, they don't stick to you. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Wonderful Linda! I'm so happy to hear you loved these so much, thank you so much for the feedback!
  12. Hi Brandi! Adding these to my Christmas cookie list this year and was wondering how many cookies one batch makes.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Kathleen! I'm so very sorry I missed this comment! I feel terrible but I don't recall how many they make but since I listed to line 2 pans, I'm pretty sure they make anywhere from 18-24. Let me know if you make them! I'm going to make them soon and will update the quantity.
  13. These look amazing! I have an allergy to oats, I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a replacement? Cheers, Micaela
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Micaela! The best sub I have found for oats is quinoa flakes! I have not tested this recicpe for that sub and you might need the same or a slightly bigger amount, not sure, but they are similar in texture and are great. I find mine at Kroger but you could find them online I'm sure too!

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