Vegan and gluten-free Chewy Maple Pecan Cookies! So easy to make, so delicious and just 8 ingredients!
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 kernels 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.
Chewy Maple Pecan Cookies
- 2 cups raw unsalted sunflower kernels, ground into flour (you'll need 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)
- 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.
- Preheat an oven to 350°F and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and also lightly spray the paper with nonstick spray. This ensures the bottoms won't stick.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I have provided nutrition for using either almond flour and sunflower kernels flour: