These maple sugar shortbread cookies literally melt in your mouth! It’s both flavoured with and topped with fine, pure maple sugar, for a lovely snacking cookie.
These delicious maple sugar shortbread are absolutely what to do with maple sugar! The texture of these shortbread is melt in your mouth perfect.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Maple Sugar – maple sugar isn’t always the easiest thing to find, but I do know that Bulk Barn here in Canada carries it. There really isn’t a substitute here. You can’t use maple syrup or maple extract as it is liquid. The only substitute that will work is white sugar (or maybe brown sugar), but then it wouldn’t be a maple cookie.
Rice Flour – rice flour is what gives these shortbread cookies a great crispy texture, so I highly recommend it. It’s easy to fine at most grocery stores these days.
Unsalted Butter – this recipes specifies unsalted butter, because unsalted butter is generally fresher butter. You could use salted butter if that’s all you have on hand, but you’ll want to reduce the added salt by about 1/2 teaspoon, as noted in the Recipe Card. In either case, use a good quality butter, as butter is such a main ingredient in these cookies.
You don’t need to let the butter cool completely to room temperature. It should definitely not be used hot, but it’s ok if there is a very tiny bit of warmth in it.
I have included a range of salt to add to the shortbread. I (personally) find 1/2 tsp. not quite salty enough, so I use 3/4 tsp. with the unsalted butter. Your taste may vary. Probably best to start with 1/2 tsp. and see. Also note that if you use salted butter with this recipe, you will want to reduce the added salt by 1/4-1/2 tsp.
Making ahead, storing and freezing
Shortbread cookies are ones that actually get better and develop more flavour as they age. Freshly baked, they are lovely, but as they sit, they really develop a depth of flavour, so don’t hesitate to pop these in a cookie tin and enjoy them over a couple of weeks. So don’t hesitate to make ahead. Store in a cookie tin or airtight container.
These shortbread cookies will also freeze well.
Get the Recipe: Maple Sugar Shortbread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
- 1/4 cup rice flour
- 1/4 cup fine maple sugar, plus more for topping *See Note 1 below
- 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon fine salt, if using salted butter reduce to 1/4-1/2 tsp.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
- Heat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving extra at two opposite sides for lifting out.
- In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and rice flours, the maple sugar and salt. Stir in the melted and cooled butter and stir to combine. Mixture will be moist, sand-like. Press dough evenly in to the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and set, 30-35 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack but while still warm, sprinkle evenly with additional maple sugar and slice, then allow to cool completely before removing from pan.
More Maple Recipes to Love!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
Hi Jennifer, can I mix the butter in with electric beaters or is it better to stir in with a spatula or spoon? This is my first time making shortbread and I’m not sure if less stirring is better than more? Thanks
Hi Heidi, for this recipe, you’re better off just sticking with a bowl and a spoon. As the butter is melted and added to the dry ingredients, what you end up with is kind of like moist sand, so you aren’t really making a dough here at all. Once pressed into the pan and baked, it will be all good :) Enjoy!
Anything maple and I’m in! I’d love to bake these little lovelies to add to our Thanksgiving dessert course. Just wondering if I could use cornstarch in place of the rice flour? I did a big clean out a couple weekends back and tossed many of my flours that I seldom use and haven’t gotten round to a Bulk Barn visit to freshen up.
I think you could use cornstarch, just not sure if it would be the exact same quantity. I would add in increments, just to be sure.
Hi thanks for sharing this recipe I was wondering can I use maple flakes? I’m not able to find maple sugar.
Hi Donna and yes, you can. Just run them through a food processor to break them down a bit, as maple sugar is quite fine. Measure after processing. Enjoy!
I’m a huge shortbread fan Jennifer. I can’t wait to try these! Love the maple sugar!
Thanks Mary Ann :) I think you would love these!
These look completely perfect Jennifer! Who could resist such a buttery melt-in-your-mouth treat? How lucky you are to live in maple syrup land. I need to find this maple sugar soon!
Thanks so much, Tricia. I can’t resist putting maple sugar on everything, especially this time of year :)
I love shortbread and these sound absolutely divine with the maple sugar – what a treat!
These sound divine! I pinned them for later. I love shortbread!
Thanks Abbey! I think you will love these :)
I can just taste these now, the flavor must be so delightful. My daughter is living in Wisconsin and they just tapped their own backyard maple trees ~ I’m sending this along to her!
Thanks Sue and yes, your daughter would love these :)