These are the maple leaf cookie cutters that I used for this recipe (affiliate). You do not need to use this exact shape, though! Any 2” cookie cutter will work.I really recommend checking out my video at the bottom of the recipe for all the tips for making these cookies come out perfectly!
Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer). Use an electric mixer and beat until creamy and well-combined.
Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and maple extract (if using) and beat again until creamy.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture until the flour is absorbed (you shouldn’t see any white from the flour). The mixture will be sandy and crumbly but should hold together when pressed between your fingers (see photo in post or video below for visual).
Tear off a piece of parchment or wax paper and lay it on a clean surface. Pour about ¼ of your crumbly cookie dough onto the parchment paper and top with another piece of parchment/wax paper. Press dough down with your hands to lightly flatten and then use a rolling pin (over the second piece of parchment paper) to roll your cookie dough 1/16” thick. Gently peel away your top layer and use your cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Transfer to prepared cookie sheet, spacing cookies about ½” apart. Save and re-roll any scraps to get as many cookies as possible out of this dough.
Prepare topping by mixing together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over cookies.
Transfer cookies to 325°F (165°C) oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through baking. Bake until cookies are light golden brown (but not burnt!). Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet before enjoying.
*If you're using the optional maple extract, cut the vanilla down to just ½ teaspoon.