with shortbread crust
Makes 9 bars Total time: 11/4 hours + cooling
FOR THE CRUST, CREAM:
11/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (12 Tbsp.) 1/3 cup maple sugar or packed light brown sugar 13/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp. table salt
FOR THE FILLING, BEAT:
1 cup pure maple syrup 2/3 cup maple sugar or packed light brown sugar 2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 Tbsp. bourbon (optional) 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract 1/4 tsp. table salt 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted Heavy cream or whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with softened butter. Line pan with an 8-inch square of parchment paper, then liberally coat paper, sides, and corners of pan with more softened butter and flour, shaking out excess.
For the crust, cream 11/2 sticks butter and 1/3 cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed. Add 13/4 cups flour and 1/2 tsp. salt; mix until incorporated. Press crust into prepared pan; refrigerate 30 minutes. Bake crust until lightly browned, 20 minutes.
For the filling, beat syrup, 2/3 cup sugar, eggs, bourbon, vanilla, and 1/4 tsp. salt with a mixer on medium speed until combined; stir in walnuts. Pour filling over crust.
Bake bars until filling is golden brown and set, 35–40 minutes.
Transfer pan to a rack and let bars cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen bars from pan. Let bars cool completely before cutting into squares. Serve bars with heavy cream.
Per bar: 512 cal; 25g total fat (11g sat); 82mg chol; 224mg sodium; 68g carb; 2g fiber; 6g protein