Maple Syrup & Pecan Cookies

Maple Syrup & Pecan Cookies

Every spring when the weather is right the sap in the maple trees begins to run. It usually begins to run mid March, in our neck of the woods, but it all depends on Mother nature. Sap flows when daytime temperatures rise about freezing (32 degrees Farenheight/0 Celsius) and nighttime temperatures fall below freezing.

A maple tree has to be at least 25cm in diameter to be tapped. Depending on the size of the tree it can have 1 or more taps.  Each tap can yield approximately 1 litre of syrup.

The maple tree contains a gas, carbon dioxide, as well as sap. When the temperatures drop below freezing at night the tree cools and the gas contracts creating a vacuum inside the tree, which sucks the sap up from the roots. In the daytime the tree warms, the gas expands putting the sap under pressure forcing it to run out the tap hole or back to the roots. Cold nights and warm days create ideal sap weather.

maple taps

Different types of maple taps

maple bucket

Old fashioned maple bucket

The tap hole is about 5 cm deep. In the olden days metal pots were hung from the taps collecting the syrup and horse and buggies would go around the bush collecting the sap.

Now there are miles of pipe lines and tubing that run down hill to a pumping station that vacuums that sap into large vats. Sap is concentrated into syrup by boiling away the water. Sap enters the evaporator at 2.5% sugar and finishes at syrup at 66.5% sugar.

The colour of syrup depends on the amount of glucose in it. The cooler the weather, the lighter the colour of syrup. Syrup is graded by colour; extra light, light, medium and amber.






Tubing to collect sap


Sap pouring into vat

Sap pouring into vat


Interesting Facts About Maple Syrup:

In addition to sugars, sucrose and glucose maple syrup contains amino acids, proteins, and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals

It has as much calcium as milk and fewer calories than corn syrup or honey.


We are lucky as there are quite a few maple sugar bushes an hour west of Ottawa. It has long been a tradition in our family that we head out to Fulton’s Sugar Bush in Spring and buy our syrup for the year.

So what do you do when you have just come back from the Sugar Bush with fresh maple syrup that was made last night? Make pancakes for breakfast and maple pecan cookies for dessert!

These maple pecan cookies are gluten, dairy and egg free. These cookies fit with a vegan and paleo diet, and use only 6 ingredients. They take 10 minutes to make and are delicious!

I make my own nut flour with my Vitamix. Want to win a Vitamix? Sign up for the free Eat Real Food Health Summit and get a chance to win your very own Vitamix!




Maple Pecan Cookies


  • 3 cups pecans
  • 1/2- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


  1. Grind pecans in a Vitamix until fine
  2. Pour ground nuts into a bowl and add maple syrup, flaxseed, coconut and coconut oil.
  3. Add the oil slowly as you want the mixture to just come together so you can form into cookies with your hands
  4. Let mixture sit for a few minutes
  5. Form into cookies and put on parchment lined baking sheet
  6. Bake 325F for 10 minutes

Original Recipe by Shirley Plant



About the Author

Written by: Shirley Plant
Shirley Plant is a nutritionist and the author of Finally… Food I Can Eat, a dietary guide and cookbook for people with food allergies, and those looking for healthy, tasty recipes. Shirley offers dietary counselling and menu planning through Delicious Alternatives.

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