Soft and chewy sugar cookies infused with the warm sweetness of maple syrup, filled with a cloud of fluffy pumpkin buttercream frosting!
While it’s still technically summer, my mind is already in fall-mode. Bring on the comfortably cooler weather, the changing leaves, and most importantly, the fall flavors! Pumpkin spice, salted caramel, maple syrup, and apple cinnamon are just a few of the flavors that make fall the best time of the year to bake.
So with fall being only a few short weeks away, I figured I’d get an early start by making these Maple Sandwich Cookies with Pumpkin Buttercream.
Judging by the empty platter at my Hood To Coast team potluck last week, I’d say that this recipe is a winner. I even made TWO batches!
But honestly, who could say no to these soft, perfectly chewy maple sugar cookies filled with sweetly-spiced pumpkin buttercream?
The maple sugar cookies alone are AMAZING. The sweet maple smell that fills your entire kitchen is reason enough to make these cookies. If you loved my Soft and Chewy Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies, you’ll no doubt fall head over heels for these.
With the perfect balance of softness to chewiness, these maple sugar cookies are some of the most addictive cookies I’ve ever made. The maple syrup lends such a warm and comforting sweetness that you can’t get with plain sugar, or even brown sugar. Extra sweetness is added by rolling the cookies in granulated sugar just before baking. The sugary sweet coating also gives these soft cookies a slightly crisp exterior.
I went back and forth as to whether I should fill these already perfect cookies with frosting. But seeing as I’m ALL about that over-the-top sweetness, I decided it just had to be done. Since I’ve only got until January to get in alllllll the pumpkin baking I can, filling these cookies with pumpkin buttercream was the obvious choice.
And when I say pumpkin buttercream, I don’t mean pumpkin “spiced” buttercream. I’m talking buttercream with actual pumpkin in it. This should be obvious I know, but I’ve seen far too many recipes called Pumpkin Buttercream, when they really only use pumpkin pie spice. I’m sorry, but pumpkin pie spice isn’t actually pumpkin–it’s just fall spices used to enhance pumpkin. If you want to call your buttercream Pumpkin Spice Buttercream, that’s another thing. But don’t call it Pumpkin Buttercream if there’s no pumpkin in it. Got it? Good.
Now that that totally unnecessary rant is out over, let’s get back to this PUMPKIN buttercream. Since pumpkin tends to be pretty watery, I just used a couple of tablespoons. Pumpkin purée also tends to be pretty strong and “squashy-tasting,” so a little really goes a long way. Side-note: if you’re not crazy about opening an entire can of pumpkin for only 2 Tablespoons, why not use that leftover pumpkin for these delicious Pumpkin Oatmeal Creme Pies, or this awesome No-Churn Pumpkin Ice Cream!
With the addition of pumpkin pie spice (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger), the buttercream tastes a lot like pumpkin pie. Well, a sweet and sugary pumpkin pie.
Bonus: the pumpkin buttercream makes more than enough to fill the cookies, which means there will be plenty leftover to eat by the fingerful. Score!
Calling these cookie sandwiches heavenly would be an understatement. Euphoric might be more accurate, but still, it doesn’t really describe how mindblowingly delicious these cookie sandwiches truly are. From the warm sweetness of the soft maple sugar cookies to the smooth and creamy pumpkin buttercream, these cookie sandwiches are the perfect representation of why fall has ALL of the best flavors.
Maple Sandwich Cookies with Pumpkin Buttercream
Yields: 12 cookie sandwiches
1 and 3/4 cups + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, for rolling
1/2 cup butter
Pinch of salt
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons pumpkin purée
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream
Make the Cookies: Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and 1/3 cup of granulated sugar for 2 to 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg, followed by the maple syrup and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl. Using a small cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop 1-inch balls of dough and roll each ball in the sugar.
Place dough balls on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly browned around the edges and puffed. Cookies will deflate some as they cool.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and salt together on high until fluffy and pale in color, about 5-6 minutes. Decrease speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the pumpkin purée, vanilla, and heavy cream and beat until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
To Assemble: Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (or a large zip-loc bag with the tip cut off), and pipe the buttercream onto the bottom side of a cookie. Gently press another cookie on top, forming a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining cookies.