These super-soft, homemade Maple Syrup Chocolate Chip Cookies are made with real maple syrup, a touch of brown sugar, tons of melty chocolate chips, and deliciously crunchy walnuts. So quick and easy to make, you can have these maple chocolate chip cookies made from scratch in just under an hour (including chill time).
When thinking about fall desserts, we often think about apple and pumpkin-flavored treats. However, there's another seasonal flavor, especially here in New England, that I think deserves just as much attention - maple syrup.
Maple syrup is a sticky, sweet, amber-colored liquid that many of us drizzle over our pancakes, waffles, and French toast for breakfast in the morning. And while imitation or fake maple syrup is usually made from corn syrup and food coloring, real maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees.
In these Maple Syrup Chocolate Chip Cookies, the maple syrup leaves behind a subtle maple flavor, which I amplified with some maple syrup extract. The liquid sweetener makes these cookies extra soft, fluffy, and slightly more cake-like than a traditional chocolate chip cookie.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Soft & Fluffy- These maple syrup chocolate chip cookies are wonderfully soft thanks to the maple syrup. Since this cookie recipe has a higher ratio of liquid compared to a traditional chocolate chip cookie, the result is a fluffy, extra soft cookie.
- Lots of Delicious Mix-Ins- When I make homemade cookies, I want them to be loaded with mix-ins. In this recipe, I use 1 ½ cups total of chocolate chips and walnuts so that each bite has a little bit of something special.
- Subtle Maple Flavor- The maple flavor in these cookies isn't an in-your-face maple flavor. It's more subtle and takes a bit of a backseat to the chocolate chips. However, once you finish a cookie, you'll notice a hint of maple flavor lingering in you mouth for a moment.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- All-Purpose Flour- Containing a moderate amount of protein (gluten), all-purpose flour is perfect for creating a soft and fluffy cookie.
- Butter- It's important to use softened, room temperature butter. Softened butter will blend more easily with the brown sugar, allowing it to be evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
- Brown Sugar- Maple syrup and brown sugar pair well together. The brown sugar contributes to the rich, caramelized flavor of these maple syrup chocolate chip cookies.
- Maple Syrup- For the richest, most complex maple syrup flavor, use the darkest maple syrup you can find. I used both Grade A Amber-Rich and Grade A Robust-Dark maple syrup while testing this recipe because that's what my local store had. Here is an interesting video that dives deep into the science behind maple syrup and how it's graded.
- Maple Syrup Extract- I originally tested this maple chocolate chip cookie recipe with vanilla extract, but found that the maple flavor didn't come through enough. When I re-tested with maple syrup extract, I found it helped boost the natural maple syrup flavor.
- Chocolate Chips- My absolute favorite chocolate chip for chocolate chip cookies is Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips. They're a little bigger and flatter than standard chocolate chips. Plus, they melt beautifully and lend a deep, rich chocolate flavor to the cookies.
- Walnuts- Maple syrup and walnuts are a pair as classic as peanut butter and jelly. I usually purchase whole raw walnuts and roughly chop them before adding to the cookie batter.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make these Maple Syrup Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. I recommend using a food scale to measure the flour by weight.
Step 2: Combine the wet ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar using a handheld mixer or stand mixer. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Pour in the maple syrup and maple extract and mix thoroughly. It's okay if the wet ingredients look a little lumpy or curdled at this stage.
Step 3: Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl of the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until just combined. Repeat with the rest of the dry ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes. Chilling the cookie dough helps keep the cookies from spreading too thin while baking.
Step 4: Bake the cookies. Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon measuring spoon, drop by rounded tablespoon onto your prepared cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 9-10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. It's okay if the center of the cookies looks slightly undercooked. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Tips and Tricks
- Use a food scale to measure the flour. Flour is one of those ingredients that is hard to measure accurately by volume because it can become compact. That's why I always recommend using a kitchen scale to measure the flour in grams for any baking recipe.
- Don't forget to soften the butter. An important step in many cookie recipes is creaming together the butter and sugar. Using softened, room temperature butter is essential to be able to easily mix it with the brown sugar in this recipe.
- Chill the cookie dough. Putting the finished cookie dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking helps the butter solidify, which prevents the cookies from spreading out too much while baking.
- Add a few extra chocolate chips on top. Want to know why cookies on blogs and social media always look extra drool-worthy? It's because we press a few extra chocolate chips on top of the cookie just before baking. Impress your friends and family this holiday season with beautiful, photo-ready cookies.
- Slightly underbaked cookies are better than overbaked. A fully cooked cookie is an over-done cookie. Cookies are done when the edges are golden-brown, but the center still looks underbaked. Pulling them out of the oven when they look like this will help you achieve a cookie that stays soft and chewy even after storing.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can customize these Maple Syrup Chocolate Chip Cookies to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- All-Purpose Flour- Try swapping all or some of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, or gluten-free flour.
- Maple Syrup- You can replace the maple syrup with an equal amount of honey or granulated sugar.
- Maple Syrup Extract- I actually tested this recipe initially with vanilla extract. The cookies came out delicious, but didn't have a significant maple flavor. You can still use vanilla extract with great results. Rum extract or pumpkin spice extract would also taste great.
- Brown Sugar- Since brown sugar is made from granulated sugar and molasses, you can make your own at home if you have both ingredients. Otherwise, you can replace the brown sugar with granulated sugar.
- Butter- Stick margarine or dairy-free butter can be used in place of the regular butter. For a reduced-fat version, try replacing the butter with ⅓ cup of pumpkin purée. However, this option will lead to a denser, more cake-like cookie.
- Egg- Flax seed, chia seed, applesauce, and commercial egg replacers can all be used to successfully replace eggs in a cookie recipe.
- Chocolate Chips- Any type of chocolate chip will work in this recipe, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or even white chocolate. Out of chocolate chips? Try chopping up a baking chocolate bar instead.
- Walnuts- Chopped pecans can be used interchangeably with walnuts in this recipe.
- Gluten-Free- While I haven't tested this myself, you can try swapping the all-purpose flour for a 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour for a gluten-free version of this cookie.
- Dairy-Free/Vegan- Replace the butter with stick margarine or vegan butter and make sure you use dairy-free chocolate chips. For vegan cookies, replace the egg with a flax egg, chai seed egg, or another vegan egg replacer.
- Reduced Sugar- Reduce the maple syrup to ¼ cup and use only ½ cup chocolate chips.
Storage and Freezing
Cookies are one dessert that can easily be made ahead. Whether you're making them just for yourself or you're getting ready for the holidays, these Maple Syrup Chocolate Chip cookies are easy to store.
How to Store
- Cookie Dough (Unbaked)- You can keep unbaked cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just be sure to cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or store the cookie dough in an airtight container.
- Cookies (Baked)- Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3-7 days at room temperature. I recommend using a sheet of parchment or wax paper in between layers to prevent the cookies from sticking together.
How to Freeze
- Cookie Dough (Unbaked)- Unbaked cookie dough will keep in the freezer for approximately 6-12 months. You can freeze the cookie dough in pre-made balls or roll it onto a log using plastic wrap. To prevent freezer burn, it's recommended to double wrap your cookie dough.
- Cookies (Baked)- Store baked cookies in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the cookies to cool completely before storing in a freezer-safe, airtight container or bag. If storing cookies in layers, use parchment or wax paper in between each layer to prevent sticking.
Frequently Asked Questions
For the richest, most pronounced maple flavor, look for the darkest maple syrup you can find. Grade A Dark or Very Dark maple syrup is best. However, I can often only find Grade A Amber at my local grocery store, which works perfectly well in this recipe. And, of course, I highly recommend using real maple syrup over the imitation stuff, which is essentially maple-flavored corn syrup.
Of course! You have several options when it comes to making these maple chocolate chip cookies ahead. Baked cookies can be made up to a few days ahead of time and stored at room temperature in an airtight container. For the freshest cookies possible, I recommend making the batter up to 3 days ahead of time, but not baking until the day you need the cookies.
Yes, these cookies will stay soft for 3-7 days at room temperature if stored properly in an airtight container or plastic storage bag.
- 1 ½ cup (180 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 egg
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons maple extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup walnuts chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.1 ½ cup (180 grams) all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar using a handheld mixer or stand mixer. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Pour in the maple syrup and maple extract and mix thoroughly. It’s okay if the wet ingredients look a little lumpy or curdled at this stage.½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 egg, ½ cup maple syrup, 2 teaspoons maple extract
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl of the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until just combined. Repeat with the rest of the dry ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes. Chilling the cookie dough helps keep the cookies from spreading too thin while baking.1 cup chocolate chips, ½ cup walnuts
- Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon measuring spoon, drop by rounded tablespoon onto your prepared cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 9-10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. It’s okay if the center of the cookies looks slightly undercooked. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.