Vermont Maple Pecan Cookies

Yesterday was definitely an adventure in my kitchen. It was a really busy day. I was hurrying to get these cookies made after a fun ladies who lunch and before dropping my sons off at football practice. I thought that it would be perfect timing because the recipe used melted butter, so there would be no waiting for butter to come to room temperature.

Everything was going along smoothly, I had the dry ingredients mixed and was heating the butter/maple syrup mixture on the stove.  The pecans were nicely toasted and I took them of out of the oven and spread them on a clean towel so they would cool quickly. The next step was to dissolve baking soda in boiling water and add it to the maple syrup mixture. I was careful to make sure the soda was completely dissolve before I added it to the maple syrup mixture.

What I wasn’t careful about was reading the directions that said to remove the maple syrup from the stove before adding the baking soda. As soon as I added the baking soda water to the syrup, the syrup began to foam and expand. It grew taller and taller and I knew it was going to spill over the top of the saucepan.

Since I didn’t want to lose any of the syrup and ruin the cookies I decided to move the pan from the stove to the rimmed baking sheet I used to toast the pecans. It seemed like a good idea at the time, of course the cookies would be my first priority – right. Unfortunately, some of the syrup/foam spilled onto the controls of my cook top and must have caused some kind of I guess chemical reaction because one of the burners would not stop trying to light. It kept sending an electric spark trying to light the burner. The gas wasn’t on to that burner, so it just kept clicking and clicking and clicking and clicking.

I yelled for my 20-year-old son to come help me shut it off and he came up and unplugged the electricity which stop the clicking! But when we plugged it back in, the clicking started right back up. We decided we had better see if we could take the cook top apart and clean it and fix it.

While all that was going on I decided I should try and salvage the cookies. I  took out  a cup of  the dry ingredients, added the syrup from the pan and the syrup that had overflowed on to the baking tray to the dry ingredients. Mixed it together, added back in 1/2 cup of the dry ingredients until it looked like the right consistency, scooped out one tray of cookies and popped them in the oven.

At this point I decided I didn’t have enough time to make cookies, clean/fix the kitchen and get the boys to football on time, so I decided to make bar cookies instead. I dumped the rest for the dough into a 7×11 baking dish and popped it in the oven. My son and I figured out how the cook top came apart and cleaned up the mess, but even after it was clean, the clicking would start again once we plugged it back in. Fortunately, a few hours later when my husband got home, checked it out and it had had time to dry, it was working normally again.

So now, after all that, the big question probably is. . . were the cookies worth all the trouble. Definitely! My husband likes the cookie version best, but I thought the bar cookies were best. The bar cookies tasted like a blondie with the dense, rich texture and taste you would expect from a brownie. The cookies were a bit more chewy with a crisp exterior. Each bite of both is loaded with coconut, pecans and oatmeal surrounded by sweet buttery maple brown sugar chewiness. I don’t normally like nuts in my cookies, but I loved them in these.

Vermont Maple Pecan Cookies

Vermont Maple Pecan Cookies


  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon maple or vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans


Preheat oven to 300F and position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine oats, coconut, flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar in a large bowl; whisk to blend.

Combine butter, maple syrup and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally; remove from heat.

Combine baking soda and boiling water, stirring to dissolve. Add to maple syrup mixture, stirring well. Add maple extract. Stir into dry ingredients. Add pecans; stir well.

Place 1/4-cup size balls of dough on baking sheets, 3 inches apart. Flatten slightly.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and set, rotating positions halfway through the baking process. Cool on the baking sheets 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.


Recipe by Julie Hession - from Relish Magazine

I found this recipe in the Relish Magazine that came in my local paper. This is the 4th post in our 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies posts. Be sure and check out all of the fabulous cookies the other 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies bakers baked up this week.


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    Leave a Comment:

  1. says

    Oh no, Barbara! Sounds like these cookies/bars gave you and your sons a run for your money. I’m proud of you for staying calm enough to finish what you started. The end result does look fantastic. Maple syrup is a real favorite of mine. I know I would really love both versions.

  2. says

    Like Mags, it makes me feel better to know that I’m not the only one who has kitchen mishaps, but I do wish my emergency management skills were as good as yours. Way to save the day, Barbara! The flavors you’ve combined here are just perfect for fall, and the idea of making the recipe in bar form is a wonderful idea.

  3. says

    Yikes. What a mess! Aren’t you lucky everything is working again??
    I actually prefer bars to cookies, so that is definitely right up my alley! Love anything maple to begin with. n
    Super fall recipe, Barbara!

  4. says

    Sorry to hear about all your stove problems – glad to hear it’s all fixed now. These cookies are perfect for fall with thier deep maple syrup flavour.

  5. says

    I am glad your stove top is back in working condition. I ruined quite a couple of cooking pans making caramel and that was frustrating. I love both versions of your cookie. But if i were to choose one, i am with team bar cookies instead of individual cookies too!

  6. says

    These cookies look amazing! I love that you persevered, even with the stovetop problems. If they’re worth all of that, then I definitely have to try them out!

  7. says

    Oh wow, what an adventure Barbara! You know what? I’ve had that exact same clicking thing happen to me, but not while making cookies. It was just some food that had gotten stuck on the clicky bit, we had to turn the electricity off too etc. Actually it’s happened more than once, I thwack the bit with a wooden spoon and that seems to stop it too :)

    Luckily the cookies were worth it, they sound delicious and contain two of my favoruite ingredients, maple syrup and pecans, Yum!

  8. says

    This is an excellent recipe. I like the fact that it can be made both ways, in cookie form and in bar form to please everybody no matter what they like.

  9. Alicia says

    What an adventure you had! I have to hand it to you, I think at that point I would have forgot about the cookies. Obviously, you know what’s what and saved the cookies. Havoc turned into something beautiful, look at those! Yumm. I’ll have to try them sometime.

  10. says

    Well, it’s good to know you had your priorities and SAVED the cookies! I’ll bet we all have one of those, ‘I just wanted to make some cookies; how did this happen?’ moments…thanks for sharing yours!

    I could very well be called a mapleaholic; you say Maple and I’m on it..and the bars are a good idea in any event, they save so much time…great job especially in light of the happenings you were dealing with.

  11. says

    YIKES! What a time you had. I bet your heart was beating in your throat. Glad everything got resolved….and OH MY do those cookies/bars look wonderful. I live in New England and have some wonderful NH maple syrup in the cabinet waiting to be opened……..this recipe just might do the trick.

  12. says

    Oh, I feel for you… this story sounds like stuff that goes on in my kitchen all the time. On the bright side the cookies look and sound really really good. :-)

  13. says

    I’ve gotta say, Barb – If I have to go through all that to get the kind of texture and flavor you got in these cookies… well, I’ve got the repairman coming out to fix my ovens on Monday, anyway. ROFL! I laugh, because I’ve been there. They do look wonderful!

  14. says

    Yay for 20 year old sons, who can race in to help clean clciking burners, and yay for you GF to have such a firm head on your shoulders! That you thought cookie first, then burner, is just like me! Right on, and well done indeed. Love the end result of this adventure. Have to say I love the bars … novel! Wish we were a maple syrup country too! xo

  15. says

    I’m partial to recipes that don’t require softened butter, they are wonderful for spur of the moment baking. And it looks like they make gorgeous (and tasty) bar cookies, another time saving step I like. I’m glad that after such a fiasco they were worth it, and that your stove is working again!

  16. says

    Oh my gosh, who knew you were in for such mayhem! Sounds like quite a series of misfortunate events…but at least it’s something you can laugh about now that it’s over.

    The cookies do sound delicious and I’m with you…love the bar form.

  17. says I love the chewy bite size! This recipe sounds pretty easy to prepare. Bookmarked this for later use. Thank you, Barbara. Hope you’re having a great weekend.

  18. says

    My friend just sent me this recipe! It sounded like such a delicious, unique cookie – and then to see your post on it…well, it has me convinced to try it. Although, I hope my stove doesn’t end up with the same issues yours did (glad it all got dried up and fixed!).

  19. says

    Kudos to you for your dedication in getting these cookies done, Barbara! I love all the great tastes in one cookie/bar. I really want to try these! Glad your oven is back to normal:)

  20. says

    I love reading about others’ mishaps in the kitchen. (Is that cruel of me?…LOL) I guess it makes me feel better knowing that I’m not the only one who has things like that happen. Last week I dumped a half of a crockpot full of refried beans on the floor. THAT was a hot mess to clean up.

    Great looking cookies…. both the bars and the cookies!

  21. says

    Ciao Barbara
    Anche a me è capitato che improvvisamente il piano cottura, facesse la scintilla di accensione in continuazione….è uno stress a sentire quel clic continuo! e anche mio figlio di 21 anni è + capace di rompre che riparare un piano cottura…
    Che dire …non tutti i mali vengono per nuocere! alla fine questo tipo di biscotti smbrano bellissimi.
    Ciao alla prossima