Sweet Treats

Glazed Maple Shortbread Cookies

These deliciously sweet cookies, combining the best of shortbread and its Danish butter cookie cousin, are easy to make, keep for weeks, and don’t have to be reserved for the holidays!


Shortbread is one of the oldest cookies around. It originated in Scotland as early as the 1700s, and was so expensive to make, it was usually saved for the holidays or special occasions.

There are a number of different stories as to why it was called “bread,” but the one that came down through the Scottish branch of my family blamed it on taxes.

Biscuits, cookies, and sweets were taxed at the time by the government, so Scottish bakers reportedly modified the recipe and called it shortbread instead of biscuit.

I don’t know whether it’s true or not, but that side of the family is stubborn and contrary enough to rename a popular cookie just to thumb their nose at taxes.

Either way, yay for modern living! We don’t have to reserve these just for the holidays – although with as much butter as they contain, you’re probably better off just making them as a special treat. And you can call them cookies without getting taxed.

I always get a kick out of the stories that come down with our family recipes. We’ve been making shortbread forever, but somewhere along the line, we’ve modified this one to include a lot of maple syrup {it’s not just me, the maple additions are a family thing}. Hope you enjoy!

Glazed Maple Shortbread Cookies

Makes about 1 dozen cookies

What You’ll Need:

  • 2/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp + 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • water

How to Make Them:

1. In a large bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon (or in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment) until it is nicely creamed and starting to get fluffy.

2. Beat in the tablespoon of maple syrup, egg, and vanilla until the mixture is creamy again.

3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and cornstarch. Beat in the dry mixture a half cup at a time until it is fully combined and the mixture is fluffy.

4. Roll into a ball, place in a clean bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 20 minutes to an hour.

5. Preheat your oven to 375F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s nice and thin, 1/4-1/2 inch. Cut with a lightly floured cookie cutter or slice into squares. To give my cookies a scalloped edge, I cut them with my ravioli cutter.

7. Place the squares on the lined baking sheet and bake until the edges are golden brown, 10-12 minutes.

8. Set the cookies on cookie racks and let cool completely.

9. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar with 1/3 cup maple syrup. Add water for thinner consistency. Spread the glaze over the cookies. Let set, and then serve and enjoy!

What family stories have come down with your family recipes?

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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