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Maple-Pecan Icebox Cookies
Maple-Pecan Icebox Cookies PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Christmas is our favorite time of year for many reasons. For starters, 'tis the season for baking cookies. This year, try these easy maple-pecan icebox cookies. The beauty here is that you can make the dough ahead of time and bake whenever.

RELATED: 7 Easy Icebox Cookies That Will Make Your Holiday Dreams Come True

Makes about 2 dozen cookies
Start to Finish: 4 hours (includes chilling time)

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 egg yolk

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon maple extract (optional)

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter with the brown sugar and maple syrup until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Add the egg yolk and mix until combined, 1 minute more. Add the vanilla extract and maple extract (if using), and mix to combine.

3. Add the flour, salt and pecans, and mix until fully incorporated.

4. Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of a baking sheet. Place the dough on the long side of the paper. The dough will be sticky, so use the paper to help you roll it into a rounded log shape, about 17 to 19 inches long (which is about the length of a baking sheet) and 1½ inches wide.

5. Once you've formed a log, make sure the dough is completely wrapped in the parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. (Note: The dough can be frozen at this point for up to three months.)

6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

7. Slice the log of cookie dough into ¼-inch-thick slices and transfer to the baking sheets. Leave at least ¾ inch around each cookie to allow room for spreading.

8. Bake the cookies until they are slightly golden around the edges, 8 to10 minutes. Cool completely before serving. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

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