The Sassy Pair

Maple and brown sugar is one of the coziest, cold-weather flavors I can think of. And yes, I realize my last two posts were Pumpkin Cinnamon Blondies and Caramel Apple Spice Cake so I’ve clearly gone Fall-themed crazy. But if you’re not as into the season as I am (gasp!) then Vasili has you covered with Triple Chocolate Buckwheat cookies from last month.

The combination of this brown sugar shortbread cookie and maple buttercream is one of the best things I’ve come up with in a while. The cookies alone are not very sweet, and have a melt-in-your-mouth texture. The buttercream is on the other end of the sweetness spectrum, thanks to the syrup. I promise you, they won’t disappoint.

Working with Shortbread Dough

Shortbread is one of the best things out there. It takes so few ingredients, and can be manipulated into any flavor, size and shape. I chose to roll this dough out and cut small circles with a cookie cutter. Alternatively, you could roll the dough up into a log, chill it, and slice coins that way. Of course there is also the option of cutting shapes by hand, though that most likely won’t yield a very aesthetically pleasing result.

You also don’t need to add the cinnamon into the dough. If it’s a cold-weather season, or you’re just not into cinnamon, you can choose whatever other spice or extract you’d like. Plain shortbread is also amazing, so you really can’t go wrong.


One last note…I chose to add a bit of maple extract into my buttercream at the last minute to give it a stronger flavor. The frosting can be made with maple syrup, maple extract, or a combo! Just make sure you are using 100% maple syrup and not the fake kind. (read: Aunt Jemima’s) If you use more syrup than extract, you will end up with a softer buttercream because of the added liquid. If you’re going for something more stiff, try the extract!


  • Shortbread
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/4 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c. + 2 T flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • Maple Buttercream
  • 1/2 stick unsalted buttercream
  • 1/4 c. pure maple syrup
  • 2-3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light.
  • Mix in cinnamon, flour and salt. (If dough does not come together, add 1T of extra flour at a time until only slightly sticky)
  • Press dough onto board lined with parchment paper and pat/roll into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate for one hour.
  • To make the buttercream frosting, cream together the butter and 1 cup powdered sugar.
  • Add in maple syrup and then continue to add powdered sugar until desired consistency.
  • Stir in salt to taste.
  • Preheat oven to 325 °F and line pan with parchment paper.
  • Remove dough from the refrigerator and cut out cookies with cutter.
  • Bake until bottoms are lightly brown and centers are almost set (about 10-12 minutes depending on size)
  • Cool completely and then frost half with buttercream. Top with remaining half of cookies.


Forming sandwiches with the cookies is optional! They can also be served as one layer frosted cookies.

Will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container.

View more articles written by Britta.

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