Maple Pecan Shortbread

Holiday baking wouldn’t be complete without making the traditional shortbread cookie. This recipe is a delicious spin on the classic shortbread. Buttery shortbread cookies filled with chopped pecans, incredible maple flavor and orange zest. Topped with superfine sugar and cut into bite-sized morsels, making this treat just perfect for the season. I bookmarked this recipe last holiday season, but never got around to it until now. This  rich and buttery shortbread  has a wonderful crumbly texture that isn’t overly dry. By adding cornstarch to the dough, we were able to cut down on gluten development which yielded us a tender cookie. Superfine sugar can be found in most grocery stores in the baking aisle, but don’t worry if your store doesn’t stock it. Superfine sugar is simple to make at home, just process granulated sugar in a food processor for about two minutes. Make room for this melt-in-your-mouth buttery shortbread on your cookie tray this year! 😀

One Year Ago: Butterscotch Chip Spice Cookies 

Maple Pecan Shortbread

Printer Friendly Version


  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Minced zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
  • Superfine sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt; Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, brown sugar, and zest together, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in syrup and extract; beat until incorporated.
  3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three additions, beating at low speed just until combined. Fold in the nuts.
  4. Pat dough into an 8″ square about 3/4″ thick on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until brown around edges and golden in the center. Sprinkle a thick layer of superfine sugar over the shortbread
  5. While shortbread is hot, trim edges, then cut into 1-inch squares and let cool on the pan to room temperature.

Yields: about 20 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Source: Cuisine Cookies for the Holidays 

9 Responses to “Maple Pecan Shortbread”

  1. #
    Bluejellybeans — December 12, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

    Yum! What a great recipe for Christmas. They look delicious.

  2. #
    freshandfoodie — December 12, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    What a fun twist on the traditional shortbread (which is always delicious).

  3. #
    ChgoJohn — December 12, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

    These look great, Christina, all snow-covered for the holidays!

  4. #
    Taste Tester — December 12, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! Looks great for the holidays.

  5. #
    overtimecook — December 12, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

    I’ve been meaning to make maple shortbread but I couldn’t find a recipe I liked! I am going to bookmark this one- thank you for posting!

  6. #
    alisueonthemove — December 13, 2011 @ 6:32 am

    Oh my gosh! What a dream!! Thank you for posting this on my grocery shopping day! I am printing the recipe right now!

  7. #
    Gursahiba@ExquisiteNiche — December 13, 2011 @ 6:45 am

    These look delicious. I am gonna try this one. Since pecans and maple extract is hard to get here. Could you tell me what can be replacement for maple extract and pecans?

    • Christina replied: — December 14th, 2011 @ 9:19 am

      You can just leave out the maple extract if you can’t find it…it just gives the shortbread a more profound maple flavor. You can also add any type of nuts you have on hand. :)

  8. #
    Lacy — December 20, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    I’ve never tried making a shortbread but this sounds incredible with the maple flavor. Yum! Perfect for the winter!

Leave a Comment