Pure maple syrup, along with sea salt to complement its sweetness, gives both the cookie dough and the icing a homey warmth. So does brown sugar, which makes these cookies chewy in the center and crisp around the edges.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add ¼ cup syrup and beat until incorporated, then beat in the egg and vanilla until well blended. Add the flour mixture and fold gently until no traces of flour remain.
Using a 1 ¼-inch cookie scoop or measuring tablespoon, drop the dough onto the prepared sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.
Bake 1 sheet at a time until dark golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool completely on the sheets on wire racks.
Stir the powdered sugar, remaining tablespoon syrup, 1 tablespoon water and a tiny pinch of salt in a small bowl. Taste and add more salt if you’d like. Drizzle all over the cooled cookies. Let stand until the drizzle hardens.
Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Cookies: Substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the all-purpose.
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